Finding or Developing Passion?


In this Inverse article, Sarah Sloat writes that Stanford Psychologist find that “Finding Your Passion” Is an Ineffective Way to Live Your Life.

You’ve got to find what you love. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.

– Steve Jobs, Stanford University’s class of 2005

However, Standford researchers, in a 2018 paper argue that it’s not the “finding their passion” but “developing their passion” is the better way of effective living.

The difference between finding and developing your passion is nuanced but crucial, the team argues. Telling someone to “find passion” enforces the idea that each of us has a great passion within us and our life purpose is to realize what that is and be happy. That’s a dangerous mindset because it can limit the passions that a person ultimately pursues — and may prime them to give up if their passion is proving difficult to commodify into a job.

“Urging people to find their passion may lead them to put all their eggs in one basket, but then drop that basket when it becomes difficult to carry,” researchers write.

– Sarah Sloat in Inverse

The researchers reportedly believe that “a future isn’t decided by a set path; rather, it’s shaped by a series of choices and hard work“.

“My undergraduates, at first, get all starry-eyed about the idea of finding their passion, but over time they get far more excited about developing their passion and seeing it through. They come to understand that that’s how they and their futures will be shaped and how they will ultimately make their contributions.”

– Carol Dweck, Ph.D., in the statement (source: Inverse)