When deciding what to do with our lives, we are frequently presented with what looks like a very painful choice. Passion or Safety. Chasing your talents or choosing a dependable profession. In the case of the latter, we will be bored, but we may never suffer. Meanwhile, the former is a high-wire act in which we fantasize about generating an income from what we deeply love, yet we constantly fear penury and humiliation. The choice can feel acute, but it may be less so than it seems. A huge percentage of us would go after comfort and constancy. However, is it the right option? Is it rational to give up your deeply desired goal to pursue something different only for the sake of safety? Follow me as I simplify the intricacies of my thought process.
Your “safe pick” may offer the comfort and security you need and want, but is happiness a given? It is harsh enough to exist on this planet. We move through our diverse lives under the sway of the numerous difficult decisions we must make. There is no guarantee that we will always make the proper decision. Sometimes we do, but if not, suffering and chronic grief can be unavoidable. This is where what you choose to do for the rest of your life should come into play. Doing what you love can help alleviate the mood, especially in dire times.
Also, once we properly explore the concept of passion versus safety, we immediately understand that we are never properly safe as long as we do something we hate or are pursuing out of cowardice. In the deeply competitive conditions of modernity, our backup 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. This places us at an immediate disadvantage regarding the energy and the focus we can muster. The safe choice might ruin us.
By contrast, what we love, brims us with obsession. We do it for free, which decisively increases our chances of mastery while reducing the price of failure. Hence, a decade of mixed results on a passion project is inherently less onerous than unspectacular when compared with a whole career in a hateful field. It is not very safe to use our one life to force ourselves to do what we know (from the outset) that we won’t enjoy simply to keep living. It is masochism.
We may all have to spend our first two decades suffering through the education system but we will leave school at some point. At some point, we need to have a shot at answering what life could be about beyond obedience and timidity. It’s not very common to have a passion. Most of us do not. Yet, if we are blessed enough to have one, we should know that we risk far more than we should by not heeding its call.
What do you think? Passion or safety? Kindly drop your thoughts and comments in the comment section, if you have any.
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