Follow your Dream, Bla Bla Bla
Find your passion. Follow your dream. Bla bla bla.
Actually, it’s a great feeling to find things you are passionate about, and there’s nothing wrong with following your dream. The thing that I find so annoying, and perhaps even destructive, is the growing number of websites, coaches and books selling programs to ‘find your passion, and follow your dream.’
My passion is music. My dream is to enjoy a sustainable career as an artist, and for my music to connect with an audience who enjoys and identifies with the songs I write. Sure, I’m lucky I have a passion, and yes, I’ve followed my dream. But what does that mean? It means a daily commitment to toil away at ongoing study and practice when I’m feeling worn down by the constant rejection that is a big part of this business. It means managing endless business details when I’d rather be performing, and putting my soul and craft into writing 100 songs just to get a few good ones. Following this dream has side effects, too: compromised relationships, spending the holidays alone, and never knowing when the next gig, or the next paycheque, will come.
It seems to me that this trend of services promising to help people find their passion sets a lot of people up for disappointment. What about those who say, ‘I’m a homemaker. Is that a good enough passion?’ or, ‘I install mufflers, and I’m pretty good at it. Not a very exciting sounding passion, I guess.’ First of all, passion is an overused word. Suddenly people feel pressured to have one, and if it’s bold or sexy, all the better.
These dream factories are popping up everywhere: ‘C’mon, take a chance, quit your job, go for it!’
How many of these ‘personal dream coaches’ have done the real work of going deep enough within themselves to be able to transmit the wisdom necessary to inspire others to find their own wisdom? Or are they really experts at teaching others to sell more false promises?
I don’t mean to discount those help professionals who are authentically providing a great service to others, and the world. I just think it must be getting harder to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Today my passion was making a great pot of soup. Maybe that will nourish me enough to sit down at the piano for the evening, in order to come up with some brilliant idea… or not. My dream today is to feel enough enthusiasm to carry on.