why putting your passion on hold is dangerous

by Daniel Batten on December 14, 2009

Have you noticed how many people there are that are doing things they don’t enjoy saying “I’m just doing this for a short while, and then I’ll be able to…” Sometimes this is true – I would say for up to one season. But if you are still doing things you really don’t enjoy after three months of becoming conscious you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then I’d suggest you are suffering from what Zig Ziglar calls “a chronic case of stinking thinking”.


1. An entrepreneur starts a business because she loves x, and wants freedom. Three years later, she is operating the business (which she hates), doing very little of x, with less money and less freedom than she had as an employee.

2. An employee says “I really don’t enjoy this job, but I’ll do it for now because it pays off my mortgage”. Twenty years later, he has switched job 7 times, got a few promotions – but still doesn’t really enjoy the work, and never feels that they have enough of a financial buffer to do what he loves

3. An artist takes the plunge and “does what they love” but doesn’t earn much money from it, so carves 30-40 hours a week to do itinerant work to support what she does until she “make it big”.

Each person is living life from the standpoint of “I will be happy when” (I get the house/ boyfriend/ job/ IPO/ big-account/ ….). But even if for example the entrepreneur does hit pay-dirt – so what? For 10 years, she has practiced putting on hold what she loves – and so this is what she’s become an expert at.

Garret LoPorto’s take on this sums it up perfectly.

“over the course of your lifetime the amount of money you can have is limitless, but the amount of time you have in this life is finite. Spend your time wisely and you will have plenty of money.”

Even if this person decides to give-back by becoming a business mentor – without a lot of self-enquiry, she will only be able to mentor other companies do follow the script she followed. Seek whatever you want in this life – but know that the minute you say “I will be happy when” … you have lost something precious. We become what we rehearse, so if you want happiness, rehearse being happy right now.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick January 2, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Why do we become what we rehearse?

danielbatten January 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm

hi nick, our thoughts become our words and our words becomes our actions. our actions become our character and our character becomes our destiny. any action we habitually do becomes our nature. Malcolm Gladwell talks about this and the 10,000 hours in the book “The Outlyers”. The problem is – most people unintentionally rehearse things that make them unexceptional rather than intentionally rehearsing things that make them exceptional.

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