Don’t Follow Your Passion

I’ve written numerous times on the importance of passion. I guess you could say it’s a topic I’m passionate about. I believe that in order to have success and be happy, we need to be passionate about our career. If you chase the dollar, you’ll never be happy. If you follow your passion and do something you enjoy, the money takes care of itself.

Or so I thought.

Then I saw a video from Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) talking about passion. This made me reconsider my opinion.

Rowe says that we have been given bad advice – “Follow your passion.” He admonishes those who say, “Follow your dream!” He says that just isn’t true.

Rowe gives an example of the former TV show American Idol. Each year, millions of young men and women would try out for show. Some of them went on to fame. The majority of them didn’t have what it took to be the next American Idol. Some of them were just plain horrible. You know the ones – American Idol highlighted some of them each year in the auditions portion of the show. They were terrible singers and couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. Yet they were devastated when they didn’t go through. They were passionate about becoming the next American Idol but didn’t have the talent it took to do it.

Rowe is blunt about it. He says, “Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you won’t suck at it.”

I guess the same could be said about aircraft maintenance. Someone could grow up fascinated with airplanes. Their dream is to be an aircraft mechanic one day. But if they don’t have the basic aptitude and skills it takes to preform simple maintenance tasks they probably won’t succeed.

In the end, Rowe sums it up with some simple advice. “While passion is way too important to be without, it is way too fickle to follow around. Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you.”

I guess that’s pretty darn good advice. What do you think?

You can watch the entire video here:

Thanks for reading!


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D.O.M. magazine is the premier magazine for aviation maintenance management professionals. Its management-focused editorial provides information maintenance managers need and want including business best practices, professional development, regulatory, quality management, legal issues and more. The digital version of D.O.M. magazine is available for free on all devices (iOS, Android, and Amazon Kindle).

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