Conventional wisdom is that you should find a job that matches your passion. I think this is backwards. ~ Seth Godin
How many times have you heard career advice that tells you to follow your passion and find work that matches what you love to do?
This is definitely the prevailing wisdom of most career coaches and anyone who hangs out in the community of lifestyle bloggers. And it makes sense. If you love a certain hobby or field of study, why not go do that for a living?
Well, as he often does, business wizard Seth Godin turns this idea on its head in his latest (awesome) book Linchpin. Godin suggests that your passion should match your job, and not the other way around. He makes the point that transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion.
In other words, find something you enjoy well enough, and then bring your passion to it to transform that into something remarkable and meaningful. You don’t have to get what you want when you want what you have.
I have to say that I really like this approach, and it seems much more realistic than finding a career that perfectly suits your deepest passions. After all, our passions and interests often change over time, right?
Contrarian Career Advice Meets Your Marriage
I am sure that you love your husband or wife. I’m sure that you care a lot about your marriage and don’t want to get a divorce. After all, you are spending your time here reading this great blog, right?
Why would you do that? Why would you ever need to be proactive about improving your marriage? Why would any married couple need to seek advice on how to keep the spark alive in their busy relationship?
Because you understand that you have to bring your passion to your marriage.
When you first met your spouse, I’m sure passion was alive and well. Chances are, your newlywed years were filled with great sex and plenty of free-flowing romance. As the years go by, though, the fuel for these passionate times starts to require you to make a choice to refill the “love tank.”
Dr. Gary Chapman cites some studies related to this phenomenon in his (also awesome) book The Five Love Languages. On average, the period of infatuation (the feeling of falling “in love”) lasts around two years. That means that for the first few years of your relationship, passion was taking the lead and fueling your relationship.
However, after those early years, infatuation fades and we’re left with a choice. That’s right, once the chemicals and crazy emotional responses wear off, we must choose to love our spouse each day. It’s no longer automatic.
Bring Your Passion
So, just as Seth Godin suggests for your career, you can’t depend on your marriage lasting because you followed your passions when you married your spouse. Instead, it’s up to you to bring your passion to your marriage every day.
Embrace your job and bring your best to your career. Be a Linchpin and do indispensable work.
More importantly, choose to love your spouse with your full ability every day. Take a passionate approach to your relationship. Invest time, energy and remarkable effort in your marriage.
Choose to live, work and love with passion.