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January 22, 2005



Curt, I agree. It may take repetitious pounding on our heads before it starts to register. But I think you really have something here. I think of passion at work as a seed that needs to be planted. For some of us, it may take longer to grow and to bloom.

Don Blohowiak

Could it be that passion for work is overrated?

Maybe it's peace of mind not expression of passion that might be the reasonable goal while earning one's livelihood.

Brief essay at:

Don Blohowiak

Curt Rosengren

Don, I usually enjoy what you have to say, but this one honestly makes no sense to me.

I was curious what prompted you to suggest that. I went to that article, and I have to say it mystifies me a bit. There don't seem to be any real arguments for your case. I went through it again and again, and didn't find a single argument supporting the "it's better to have more peace than passion" in life. I would be most interested to hear why you think that.

Clearly, there is a Mazlov's hierarchy issue - passion isn't particluarly relevant if you don't have a roof over your head or know where your next meal is coming from - but let's assume that one is operating further up the pyramid and has all the basic needs met.

Reading the article, I questioned the basic premise. You say:

"Consider for a moment the great number of highly frustrated folks who, in mid-career, find the burning passion of their early twenties dimmed or totally extinguished. Even highly compensated, successful professionals such as lawyers and doctors often make that tragic discovery. Many in their forties find themselves shackled in career captivity where it is very difficult to shake off both the obligations and the trappings accumulated from a couple of decades plying their now not so psychically rewarding profession."

That kind of thing happens precisely *because* they didn't pursue their passions earlier in life. They run out of fuel for doing something that isn't in alignment with who they really are. People jump on the treadmill to what a successful career is supposed to look like, and even manage to convince themselves that they really love it in the early years. But as time goes on, the luster starts to fade and they realize that it isn't what they want to do or who they want to be. And the energy to keep doing it ebbs.

Remember my definition of passion..."the energy that comes from bringing more of YOU into what you do." It's doing something that is in alignment with who you are. It's doing what comes naturally to you, not what you "should" do.

You say, "Even highly compensated, successful professionals such as lawyers and doctors often make that tragic discovery." Highly compensated and "successful" has absolutely nothing to do with what lights someone's fire on a core level. And using the example that
even people like lawyers find themselves grinding to a halt in midlife to make a case that passion is overrated makes no sense. As a group, I find lawyers to be some of the most unhappy with their careers that I've come across. It is one of the paths that people jump on because that's what "success" looks. And that success is almost always as defined from an external perspective.

One thing you say that I *do* agree with is this:

"Perhaps, in direct opposition to the common wisdom, it is a gift if one does not discover a deep passion until later in life. The passage of time can afford you many experiences and benchmarks against which to measure the enduring authenticity of your inner stirrings."

I call the first ten years out of college the incubation period. I tell college students not to obsess about picking the "right" career track for them - because odds are good they won't. I suggest that they think of the years following their graduation as a lab experiment that is helping them hone in on what kind of work is going to make them feel alive.

Thanks for the food for thought Don.

amy anderson

Hi Curt:

I love what you have going on. Would be available to chat? I am starting my own business and use the tag line: Coaching to create fusion between passion and natural ability. I think we may have something in common.

I can be reached at: 404.502.7012
or 770.487.6023 - I am in GA, peachtree city



this was amazingly good news!! :)


thanks to shaelie my job is beautiful and wonderful. i can really feel the love when i'm at work. and i mean love.

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