Do you really have to follow your career passion?

Saturday, October 3, 2009, PM | Leave Comment

In these economic times, fewer of us are worried about being fulfilled and more of us are concerned about simply putting food on the table. But as switching jobs and careers becomes increasingly common, as a matter of fact, whole professions are disappearing, we are more frequently forced to ask ourselves if it’s our passion we care about.

To that effect, I read a book last week by Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.” The author says passion is a total involvement in what you do. It’s when you are totally immersed in an activity, not watching the clock, not thinking of what others think, but simply absorbed in the experience.

He first studied it, he said, in relation to activities people chose freely, like chess players, rock climbers and musicians, then later in terms of work and everyday life.

Although Professor Csikszentmihalyi says he does not believe that people can constantly be in a state of flow, he has written a great deal about how it can be encouraged in the workplace and elsewhere.

In a Nutshell
We ought to have the main external sources of happiness and unhappiness, not just in work but in life as well. These include having some sense of empowerment, using and expanding your skills, enjoying some variety, having a clear sense of your situation and what is required, and doing something you believe in, as a worker, a parent or a member of your community.

What do you think?

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