Blind optimism

In 1996, a team of goal-driven climbers continued to the peak of Everest against the wishes of the meteorologists at Basecamp. The weather was simply too dangerous. But because the goal of reaching the top was more important to them than the journey and experience of climbing, they carried on. The next day, they were all dead.

Psychologists, call this “goalodicy”.

Passion, as Ryan Holiday says, in this sense is just ego. Pure and plain destructive ego. It’s self-absorption at the expense of reality.

Banks rarely lend money to people following their passions. They believe, and rightly so, that a passion driven entrepreneur is much more likely to lose the money than make something worthwhile with it. The dispassionate, yet smart, business person who is serving a market with a problem are almost always the better option.

Follow your passion is simple advice. Given out liberally by life coaches who, I’m sure, believe that they’re doing some good. But that doesn’t make it right.

In today’s world of side hustles and influencers, I don’t think there is much more dangerous career advice than follow your passions.