What you’re really passionate about

Over at 37signals’ blog:

Both these companies have succeeded by dropping the “follow your passion” idea and focusing instead on process.

I think passion is misunderstood, and I think their post speaks well to that misunderstanding.

I don’t think Tony Hsieh of Zappos is passionate about shoes. I think he’s passionate about creating spaces where people can be themselves, have fun, and thrive.

To say you’re passionate about photography misses the point.

What about photography are you passionate about?

Is it the tinkering with little details till you get it right?

Is it the gadgetry?

Is the colors, composition and framing?

Storytelling?

Being in the middle of the action of sports photography or photo journalism?

Is it playing with effects in Photoshop?

There are so many aspects about it that you can be passionate about. Without drilling down at least one level, you’re not understanding what your passion truly is.

And once you do, you’ll realize that your passion is much broader than just ‘photography’.

You’ll discover that there are many other areas besides photography where you could do the things you’re passionate about doing.

This is exactly the reason that so many programmers are also passionate about photography. Many of the same passions apply. Gadgetry, tinkering, conceptualization.

When you think passion, think a step deeper than you otherwise would, and you’ll be a lot better off.