My student Melodie shared a though-provoking article with me on the notion of some inherent passion that lies within us that only awaits our discovery. Our common advice to students is to "just follow your passion." But
[t]o a small group of people, this advice makes sense, because they have a clear passion. Maybe they’ve always wanted to be doctors, writers, musicians and so on, and can’t imagine being anything else.
But this philosophy puts a lot of pressure on the rest of us — and demands long deliberation. If we’re not careful, it tells us, we may end up missing our true calling. And even after we make a choice, we’re still not free from its effects. Every time our work becomes hard, we are pushed toward an existential crisis, centered on what for many is an obnoxiously unanswerable question: “Is this what I’m really meant to be doing?” This constant doubt generates anxiety and chronic job-hopping.The author concludes with sage advice: "Passion is not something you follow. It’s something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world."