Should I Choose Passion or Duty?

Video Transcript:

When it comes to deciding what to do with  our lives, we are frequently presented with   what looks like a very painful choice:  the passionate path vs the safe path.


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The latter involves the slow mastery of a  dependable profession; we will be bored – but   we know we’ll never be fired. Meanwhile, the  former is a high-wire act in which we fantasize generating an income from what we deeply love and yet we constantly fear penury and humiliation.

The choice can feel acute, but it may be less  so than it seems, once we properly explore the concept of safety.



We are never properly  safe so long as we are doing something we hate   or are pursuing out of cowardice. In the  deeply competitive conditions of modernity, our back-up career – the one we adopt out of  fear – will be someone else’s central ambition;

Our plan B will be someone else’s plan A, which places us at an immediate disadvantage in terms of the energy and focus we are able  to muster. The ‘safe’ choice might ruin us.



By contrast, what we love is  what we are obsessed by anyway, we’d do it for free – which decisively  increases our chances of mastery   while reducing the price of failure. A decade of mixed results on a passion-project is inherently less onerous than unspectacular returns for a whole career in a hateful field.

It is in the end not very safe to use the one life  we have forcing ourselves to do what we know from   the outset we won’t enjoy – simply in order to  keep living.

This isn’t safety; it’s masochism. We may all have to spend our first two decades  suffering through the education system; but at some point, we are allowed  to leave school; at some point,   we need to have a shot at answering what life could be about beyond obedience and timidity.

It is not very common to have a passion;  most of us don’t. Yet if we are blessed   enough to have one, we are risking far more  than we should by failing to heed its call.

Topics: The School Of Life, Schooloflife, Education, Relationships, Alain De Botton, Philosophy, Talk, Self, Improvement, Big Questions, Love, Wellness, Mindfullness, Psychology, How, To, Hack, Dreams, Passion, Duty, Work, Do What You Love.

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