Tag Archives | steve martin

Why “Follow Your Passions” Is Dangerous Advice

I learnt something this week which will stop me from ever encouraging anyone to ‘follow their passions.’ Oh- I’ve said it many times. But never again. It’s just too dangerous advice. Here’s why.

I know of several young adults finishing school who are deciding career paths, and university course choices. My advice to them: ‘Follow your passions.’ It’s the new age approach, right? Then I actually thought about it. It’s deeply flawed counsel. How on earth does a 17 year old have any clue what their passions are? I’m 54 and am only just getting some clarity on what these might be for me.

Sir Ken Robinson talks about ‘working in your element’: doing what you love and what you’re good at. It’s within that concept that the best advice to any younger talent lies. It’s not about passion. It’s about the other bit. Here it is: