Doing what you love can kill your love

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1 year ago

Love the value, not the activity

I'm sure almost everyone feels passionate about something, It being making music, cooking or making content like blogs or videos in the Internet. You sure have the best time of the day performing that particular task in comparison with everything else and this is a great thing. Then one day you decide that you're going to dedicate your whole life to It, leaving your job and putting all your effort into that particular thing. You make your first creations and wait till someone sees how big you are and they are drawn by your passion. However, that day never comes, days turn into months and nobody really pays attention to It. Then you get discouraged, you quit, and what's worse, you end up hating what you once loved. This is common to many people who tried to pursue their dream career to find that It was not what they wanted. That's why in this article I will talk about why "Do what your love" is actually a bad advice and why you should leave the things you love as they are and dedicate yourself to something that provides value and in return, a feedback loop that provides passion. Let's begin:

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From intrinsic motivation to extrinsic motivation

The main reason that can justify why choosing your passion projects as a way to get an income is indeed a bad thing is the overjustification effect, which makes Itself present when a person's level of motivation for an activity shifts from the intrinsic to the extrinsic due to offering an external incentive (Such as money or accolades) that decreases a person's intrinsic motivation. Then, once the person gets pushed to the extrinsic side and the incentive is no longer provided, the interest in the particular task will be lost and the intrinsic motivation that was once there doesn't return, now needing more extrinsic rewards to sustain the activity.

For example, take a woman called Emily whose passion is to pick up flowers and make bouquets. Then, a store owner sees her skills and offers her a job to do exactly what she has always love. A couple months pass and people don't really seem to notice the shift from the quality of the bouquets that were previously offered and the ones that Emily arranges just buying because they are for an special occasion. That, amounted with the fact that now Emily has to do that specific task for about 8 hours at a near minimum wage job, lead her to quit and to hate flowers in general. Did you see what happened there? Upon getting a reward for what she did, a reward that didn't come from her own satisfaction though from external sources, her levels of intrinsic motivation decreased considerably and upon understanding that It was not worth It along with not getting any positive feedback for what she did, she just killed her own passion.

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Then what can I do about It?

Well, there's actually two things you can do. One, being that you proceed with doing what you love and pray that you get immediate results so you can generate a positive feedback loop from which to draw passion to keep doing It and the second to seek an area in which you can love not the fact of doing It though the value you provide for others. With another example, you might want to provide value to other people by providing them with self help content that will make them see the truth of things, so you start writing about self improvement, which is precisely what I did.

However, there might be times where you don't actually know what is the type of value you want to provide, so you try different things, and that's a good thing, as the first compliment, thank you or any tangible way of motivation in any of those areas will draw the extrinsic value and the purpose to keep doing It, saving your free time to do what you really love. What I should tell you right away in order to strengthen yourself in the periods where you don't get any response is to have a clear purpose, a Why. This why might be to get yourself or your relatives out of debt, to provide a better future for the people you care or to spend your time performing the activities you're passionate about without having to worry for money.

Image taken from Author: Firmbee

I hope that this article could have provided enough value for you, giving you some insights as to why doing what you love is actually a bad avice, something of which I have sinned before telling you exactly that. So now is my time to redeem myself and give you the opposite point of view, reminding you to always question what you see or read in the Internet and have your own opinion on things. Thank you for your support and good luck!

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