Passion will only take you so far, it's being consistent that really gets you places.
I know this isn't going to go down well, and I'm well aware that I'm walking a big, fat, smelly elephant with a clunky metal chain around it's neck, and dumping it in the middle of your living room.
Passion is great, but it will only take you so far on your journey.
Okay, it's out there now. So what do you reckon? Do you want to punch me?
You see I think the problem is we are guilty of believing too much stuff that we read on the internet or on social media. I know that statement is ironic because it's a blog post on the internet, but stick with me for a moment.
You can't move these days for career and life advice that tells you to 'follow your passion' and how if you do so 'the money will follow'. There are blogs, courses, books and workshops dedicated to teaching you how to do this; how to lead the life of your dreams, doing what you love (and how to sneer at the 'others' who chose menial, office jobs and live their life chained to a desk and a schedule).
I'm worried about the actual sense in this advice though.
First of all, how many of us actually have passions that we could articulate enough to carve out a career path from? If you asked most of your friends what their passion was, many of them might scratch their heads for a while and at best suggest things like bike riding, going to the gym, baking, reading and perhaps music. Loads of great stuff there, but is there enough there to build a career on?
There are a few exceptional individuals lucky enough to know what they wanted to do from an early age. Many doctors will tell you they knew when they were kids that they wanted to help people. Many sports professionals and musicians claim they knew it the minute they watched their first game, or heard a certain band. What they will also tell you, but that you might not want to hear, is the incredible dedication and sacrifice that they had to put in to get to the stage that they are at. They will also tell you about dozens of their friends who just didn't make the cut, whether through lack of ability or not being able to put the commitment in.
So for most of us it's a challenge to know what we are even passionate enough about, let alone being so dedicated at that thing that we are able to do it with the exclusion of almost everything else in our lives. Most of us have other responsibilities and financial commitments, and so chucking in the job to follow our passion is just not a realistic thing to do.
Oh but if you really were passionate about it you would find a way - so goes the response from the 'follow your passion' brigade.
My advice, and mostly aimed at myself, is that if you can find something that you love so passionately, then find a way of doing it every day, somehow. If it's writing then write something every day. If it's painting, then paint every day. Even if it's for ten minutes, that's enough, but do it consistently every, single, day. Prove to yourself that you love it that much, and that regardless of the busyness of your life you will always find a way to do that thing you say you love.
That is the best starting place.
Be consistent. Build from there.
There's no need to be black or white, on or off, all or nothing. You don't have to hand your notice in and jeopardise your family's security.
You just need to do something each day.
Hone your craft, nurture the thing you are passionate about.
But don't be deluded to think that being passionate about something is enough to make the Universe align itself around you, and carve out a yellow, brick, road that leads you to Oz.
Maybe it will, maybe it won't. What's important is that you show up each day with the discipline and craft.