If you haven’t seen the latest research from Carol Dweck and her colleagues, who pioneered work in the value of Growth Mindset in education, you’re going to want to check this out. (Thanks CNBC for highlighting this research)
The research results released this summer show that people who believe in following their passion also believe once you find that passion, pursuing your career will be easier. When they encounter inevitable obstacles, they’re more likely to give up.
The research also shows people who believe the passion theory also are less likely to develop new interests, and being close-minded can stifle innovation and creativity in their careers.
I meet career coaching clients time and again who feel like they’re missing out on life because they don’t have one passion. But if you don’t have a passion, you’re not broken. You’re normal, and in some ways you’re ahead of the game.
So, what should you do instead of following your bliss?
Envision a career in which you develop multiple interests over time, and then look for ways to connect those interests in innovative ways. Openness to new experiences and ideas is more important than finding your one true passion.
Looking for that passion is like only dating to find your one true love. Yes, it’s romantic, and fuels the Disney empire, but relationships aren’t fairy tales, and neither is your career.
It’s easy to hop online and take an assessment. A little too easy. Interests are developed over time, not uncovered in a 20-question quiz.
Developing your interests involves curiousity, not passion. It also involves being open to learning new things. These are traits that you cultivate. You’re not born with them.
This kind of cultivation is the foundation of my coaching philosophy. We live in a noisy world, and that’s why career coaching can help you figure out what you want to try next. Curiousity is quieter than passion, and it lurks in the details of life. You have to play detective in your own life.
Try this: Go to your local library and head to the new release shelf of nonfiction. Scan the titles, pick up some books, and choose one that seems vaguely interesting. Take it home and read. Does it spark any new ideas about your job? Your life? Does it lead you to want to explore another book or topic?
I know.. DUH. But life is so busy, and it can be hard to make space for curiosity. Just know that in the long run, research shows it can pay off.