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Follow Your Passion, Not Your Heart

This is one of those rare times where I’ve titled my blog post before writing it. Usually I don’t come up with the title until after having written the post. The reason for the change this time is because this title is a phrase that’s been blaring in my head for so long. It’s something I’ve wanted to shout from the roof tops above the popular (and often misled) notion of today’s culture that tells people to “just follow your heart.” Telling someone to follow their heart is bad advice. Really bad advice.

The Truth About The Heart

The heart is emotional and therefore fickle. If everyone went with every whim that came to their hearts, the world would be a lot more chaotic than it already is. There’s definitely something to be said for self-control. And this is not just common sense, it’s also biblical.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 says, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

What this means is, as humans our hearts are inclined toward selfishness and sin, and therefore some decisions made with the heart are made with the wrong motives.

Passion Comes From Your Gut

Passion is different from heart. Passion is something that burns deep inside your gut, propelling you forward despite whatever you’re feeling in the moment. It’s what keeps you going and working hard even when things get tough, even when your heart doesn’t feel like complying. Passion is oftentimes more committed than the heart. I think this quote says it best:

follow your passion

Think about this quote in terms of those who are passionate about running marathons. To be successful, it can’t be just because their heart loves running or likes the euphoria that comes with running. If that was the case, they would quickly give up during training when they experienced the pulled muscles, the bleeding blisters, the extreme exhaustion, the harsh elements of outdoor running, and so on.

Follow Your Passion

So what’s the difference between following your heart and following your passion? Following your heart is an attempt to gain immediate gratification, it’s impulsive, it doesn’t weigh the consequences, its desires are temporary, and it doesn’t want to tolerate the suffering required for results.

Following your passion is committing to something you know you must do, even when it scares you, even when it’s difficult, even when you’re tired, even when there’s some suffering involved. It’s taking the time to do your research, make a plan and count the costs. It’s being responsible to your gut, instead of a slave to your heart.

When it comes to the big decisions in your life, whether career-related or not, which would you rather base those pivotal decisions on:  pop psychology fluff, or truth? Will you follow your heart, or will you follow your PASSION? Something to think about!

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