The Perils of Passion [Vol 1.5]

F A T H O M || T R I B E

Each time I hear it, a puppy dies. I’m sure of it:


Now, hear me out. Passion is a good thing. It has its place. But an overemphasis on passion as a life compass can be downright perilous. Here’s why:

It’s unrealistic. While letting passion guide your life has good intentions, it actually sets you up for big disappointment. It creates unrealistic expectations to find that ‘dream job’ in a ‘dream apartment’ in a ‘dream neighborhood’…and find it NOW. The reality is much more complex. A very small percentage of twentysomethings land a dream job that lines up perfectly with their passions. More common is a long, meandering, sometimes difficult hike to a really good situation.

It’s fleeting. I was passionate about pizza yesterday. Got my fill. Now I want a cheeseburger today. I used to be passionate about running. Trained for a marathon. Ran one (barely).  Over it. I exercise differently now. These examples may seem simplistic, but we often approach some of life’s biggest decisions the same way. Passion can be a tricky barometer. Often what we consider passion is fleeting. It’s not sustaining.

It’s limited in its scope. When considering the ‘big plans’ for our lives, passion is but one of the many factors you need to consider. There are many mornings when I’m passionate about staying in bed. But other factors come to play: the need to keep my job, the need to exercise to stay healthy, etc. When making important decisions, you must consider all factors involved, giving them proper weight and priority.

It risks being a #FirstWorldProblem. Our desperate need to let passion rule all areas of life can be a thinly veiled pursuit of being perfectly comfortable. If our lives are ruled solely by what we feel passionate about, we risk dismissing key reference points (people, communities, churches, etc.) that are outside of ourselves.

Passion has its role and a place in your twenties. Coincidentally, we’ll explore this flipside next week. Passion plays an important role in our work, our family, our spirituality, and our communities. But there’s more to life than passion. Mike Rowe, TV personality and former host of Dirty Jobs, says it best:

Don’t follow your passion, but always bring it with you.

Worth Watching: Take a look at this short video by TED Talk superstar Angela Lee Duckworth on the role passion can play in success: Grit, the Power of Passion and Perseverance.

Worth Listening: NPR has a new podcast called Rough Translation, dedicated to hearing a global perspective on the things we talk about here in the U.S. Each episode explores a current event, but from another country’s perspective.

Worth Pondering: Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” –Malcolm Gladwell

Live well this week,


**Pre order Drew’s book (co-authored with Jess Fankhauser) Ready or Not: Leaning into Life in our Twenties, by clicking HERE. #ReadyorNotBook

***Know someone who you think would appreciate this TinyLetter? Share the love and send them this link:

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