Welcome to S&T’s #TBT! This week’s post is an official throwback post from 2015. I’m considering whether to re-release old posts on the blog every first Thursday of the month. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
I remember when I found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real. I thought to myself:
Now, why would I ever believe that an oversized man in a big red suit fit down a narrow chimney with Christmas? How exactly did he fit? How could one man fly 24,901 miles in 24 hours around the world delivering gifts to 9 billion children? And how did he travel on an object intended for snow? Could he have at least rented a private jet?
But I did. And if you’re honest, you did too.
In fact, we’ve all believed menarche at some point in our lives. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we millennials have endorsed yet another lie.
We believe that if we follow our passion, then the money will come. Money’s not important as living our dream life.
Now, I’m not saying that money is everything, but to the person who invented this quote, have you ever not had any money?
Have you ever been broke? Now, I’m not talking the Awww-man-I-can’t-afford-to-eat-at-a-five-star-restaurant-broke, I’m talking the I-don’t-have-money-to-eat broke. I’m talking the should-I-pay-rent-or-should-I-buy-my-children-food broke.
I’m talking the I-can’t-attend-your-birthday-party-because-I-have-$10-in-my-account-and-can’t-even-afford-to-pay-for-gas-to-get-there broke.
I’m talking BROKE without the “K” or the “E.” You’re so broke, you’re BRO. Can’t even afford the last two letters of the word.
I’m going to assume that the inventor of the Follow-Your-Passion-Don’t-Worry-About-Money quote was rich because I doubt that she’s ever attempted to live on her passion alone, unless her passion was software engineering or investing in lucrative firms.
If her passion was teaching elementary school, I wonder how she coped with making a mere $35k per year. I wonder how she coped with being inundated with over $30k in student loan debt. I wonder how set she was for retirement at 65. Did she save enough money for her children’s education?
The truth is that the follow-your-passion perspective is skewed because it does not allow room for error. If your passion is painting, how are you going to pay rent if you haven’t sold your artwork? How are you going to eat if it takes many years for you to make a name for yourself and start earning income? How are you going to get by?
The quote should read:
Follow your passion but have a foolproof backup plan.
Be an elementary school teacher, but take on side software development projects to supplement your income and diversify your cash flow. Be a graphic designer, but maybe prepare taxes on the side or sell real estate. Develop skills that are invaluable in the marketplace, so you’ll always have money to fall back on, if your passion fails to help you earn money.
I love to write, but it doesn’t pay my bills. My job as a healthcare data analyst keeps my lights on. Fortunately, my job is 9 to 5, so before 9 and after 5, I’m free to pursue my passions. If one day, I’m able to make a lucrative career out of writing, then I’ll consider leaving my job.
If there is a burning desire inside of you to accomplish something great, then pursue it fiercely. I support you and your endeavors. We should all have a passion, something that fulfills us. That’s what life’s about.
But let’s be smart. Following our passion with a backup plan makes us even more likely to succeed. Money helps us buy food, clothes, and a place to live. Money keeps our mind at peace because we know that if an emergency arises, we would be all right. All of these factors will push us closer to living our dream.
Photo Credit: http://www.seniorliving.rog