topic 28

Unit 28 :
Chasing Purpose not Passion



 To know the difference between passion and purpose.

What is your biggest goal in life?

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Repeat these words/ phrases after your teacher.

  • wane (v)
  • resilience (n)
  • grit (n)
  • avenues (n)
  • criticized (v)
  • trailing (adj)
  • cultivate (v)
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Dialogue 1

Read the dialogue aloud with your teacher.



I just read this really interesting Harvard Business review on how to be successful.

Oh? And what did it say? “Follow your passion”?

Haha, not quite. It actually said that it’s better to chase your purpose, not your passion.

Oh, so what was the rationale?

Well, the study found that people who pursue passion often feel dissatisfied and tend to give up easily when things get tough. Passion does wane after all.

True, but being doomed to a job that just pays the bills is also kind of depressing, hence the whole dilemma.

Absolutely. But, passions can be cultivated, so it’s more important to find something fulfilling that you can become passionate about.

Ok, that I can agree with. So how do we go about finding that?

Focus on what you care about and align your values with your work. In the long run, purpose will give you more resilience and grit.

Point taken. So, does this mean you’re not going to quit your day job?

Haha! Well, let’s just say that I’m looking into other avenues.

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Let’s practice

Answer the following questions.

1. What does Shirley mean when she says, “it’s better to chase your purpose, not your passion.”

2. How can one go and find purpose?

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Read the article with your teacher.

New Harvard Research: To Be Successful, Chase Your Purpose, Not Your Passion

“Follow your passion” is one of the most frequently repeated bits of work advice . It’s also one of the most frequently criticized, and for good reason. Experts suggest that, for most of us, hard work makes us passionate for a field rather than the other way around. We develop passion for what we do over time, rather than starting out with a clear, defined passion for a particular career path. But if passion is a trailing indicator that you’ve found the right field for you, that still leaves those at the start of their careers with a tough question: If you don’t follow your passion, how do you choose a career? 

Why purpose beats passion.

When we think about passion, we think about the joy you get when you’re rocking out with your garage band, indulging in a beloved hobby, or volunteering to cuddle kittens at your local shelter. Those are all, of course, great things to do. But Jachimowicz insists happiness is a lousy career guide, and his research proves it. In one study of several hundred employees, he notes, “we found that those who believed pursuing passion meant following what brings one joy were less likely to be successful in their pursuit of passion, and were more likely to quit their job nine months down the line.”Chasing passion, in other words, tends to make you less satisfied at work because — no huge shocker here — work is often difficult, draining, and even boring. 

Purpose gives you the resilience to succeed.  

Again, Jachimowicz has research to back up his claim that chasing purpose will make you more successful than chasing passion. “In another set of studies, I found that passion alone is only weakly related to employees’ performance at their work. But the combination of passion and perseverance–i.e., the extent to which employees stick with their goals even in the face of adversity–was related to higher performance,” he writes. A well-rooted sense of purpose, in other words, gives you way more resilience than passion alone ever could. And that resilience is what is likely to make you successful over the long haul (plenty of other experts have argued the same point).So if you’re at the start of your career or contemplating a change of direction, stop trying to follow your passion to the right job for you, and instead ask yourself this simple question: What do I truly care about? Purpose is a far better career compass than joy.

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Let’s Practice

Answer the following questions.

  1. If you don’t follow your passion, how do you choose a career? 
  2. Why does purpose beat passion?
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Share your idea with your teacher. Try to make sentences.

  1. Can goals help to change your life? How?
  2. Do you think people have less goals as they get older?
  3. Is having a goal in life effective in becoming successful?
  4. What are the main differences between male and female goals?