Terri Trespicio: ‘Passion is not a plan; it is a feeling, and feelings change’


What is your passion? A frequently-asked question at a job interview or on a first date. Terri Trespicio, an award-winning writer, speaker, brand advisor, and author, wants to challenge the notion that we all need a ‘passion’. She even suggests that looking for passion might be overrated.

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“There is a dangerously limiting idea at the everything we believe about success and life in general and it’s that you have one singular passion and your job is to find it and to pursue it to the exclusion of all else and if you do that everything will fall into place and if you don’t you have failed,” Terri says in this video.

According to her, the pressure to choose a passion is so intimidating, it is like picking a major for life. “This compelling, forceful cultural imperative to choose your passion is stressful to me but it is just not me.”

“I am leery of passion for a few reasons. One of them is that passion is not a plan. It is a feeling, and feelings change. You can be passionate about a person, one day in a job, and then not the next,” she adds.

Talking about herself and how anxious and depressed she was with no life to speak of, Terri says, “I was turning away perfectly good full-time jobs because I was afraid and sure I would pick the wrong one and get on the wrong train headed to the wrong future. You know, create your life first and then live it. You create life by living it and not agonising about it. The idea that everything you are supposed to do should fit into this passion vertical is unrealistic and elitist.”

“Passion is not a job, a sport, or a hobby, it is the full force of your attention and energy that you give to whatever is right in front of you, and if you are so busy looking for this passion you could miss opportunities that change your life,” she explains.

“The most fulfilling careers are those that still have the power to surprise you. Passion is where your efforts and energy meet someone else’s needs. Don’t wait, just start doing it because to live a life full of meaning and value, you don’t follow your passion, it follows you,” she says.

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