On March 27, this year, I wrote about following my passions under the again {Re}tro.

I was struggling with the idea and the meme: Follow your passion. I always feel as though these words are off kilter. That skew something that I cannot put my finger on. And then this morning, I read a Harvard research report that says this is hogwash. That following your purpose is far better than following your passion.

I felt validated. Because that was the difference.

Sometimes you don’t know what your passion is until you’ve tried a few hundred things. And, as I mused back in March, I’m passionate about a lot of things but that doesn’t mean I should choose it as a career. And, I know that following my passion could also lead to some really big missteps, because, well I’ve tried to follow my passion and that leads me to trouble.

But following my purpose is another story, indeed.

Back in March I shared that the first definition of passion in Merriam-Webster is the suffering of Christ. (Not what I think people mean when they say, “Follow your passions.”) Only further down do you find the definition I think people generally mean, “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.” But as the article pointed out sometimes getting to an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction only comes after all-out hard work and long obedience in the same direction.

Purpose involves intentionality.

Let me say that again: Purpose involves intentionality.

Research on passion suggests that we need to understand three key things: (1) passion is not something one finds, but rather, it is something to be developed; (2) it is challenging to pursue your passion, especially as it wanes over time; and (3) passion can also lead us astray, and it is therefore important to recognize its limits.

Jon M. Jachimowicz, 3 Reasons It’s So Hard to “Follow Your Passion”

Jachimowicz says that passion can wane over time. But purpose, on purpose, is all about intent. It’s resolute. When we lean in to our purpose, passion and happiness happen.

The better question to ask is: “What’s my purpose?” “What’s my intent?” Because that can take our focus and lead us on.

So thanks science for giving me some hard proof to what I could not put my finger on back in March. Thanks for helping to “revalidate” my thoughts. ❤