I got a question from Joel:

  • “I’m pretty sure I’ve identified what my passion is and that would be something in the field of creating pieces of art work like drawing, painting, lettering, or illustration. I know I enjoy doing these things but I find myself not always wanting to do them. Does that mean that maybe this really isn’t my passion and perhaps just a hobby?”
Passion vs. Motivation

There’s such a fine line between passion and motivation. If something is a passion, does that mean you’re always motivated to do it? Not always. Sometimes you can be passionate about something and still not really be feeling it today.

Just because you enjoy doing something, doesn’t mean you’ll always want to do it.

In my case, I absolutely love doing this daily video show, and I really love engaging with all of you and reading your comments. But it’s also really tough. There are days where I would really, honestly, just love to go sit in my beanbag and chill!

But I show up. I show up because I made a commitment, and I made a commitment because I have a burning passion. I have this desire. If I didn’t do it, I would feel bad.

Seasons & Saying No (for Now)

I’ll give you an example of a passion that I’m neglecting every single day: making music. I have a passion for music. I love music. I love playing piano, guitar, and I love producing electronic music. I am passionate about music.

But I’ve been saying no to it. I’ve been saying no to it so I can do all of these other things. So I can do a daily video show, so I can do a twice-a-week podcast, so I can run and grow and online community membership site, so I can write my book, so I can work on my Value-Based Pricing course.

I go through seasons where I choose to say no to things I’m passionate about so I focus on other things, but I never fully leave it. I never fully abandon my other passions.

In fact, that’s one of the primary reasons I take Small Scale Sabbaticals. Every 7th week, I take off an entire week to pursue secondary passions, which for me is music. I am saying no to it sometimes, but I’m saying yes to it and making availability for it other times.

The Difference Between a Passion and a Hobby

What you’ll find is that a passion is something you come back to. A hobby is more of a passive interest. You try something out, maybe you enjoy doing it on the side or every once in awhile, but it’s not burning inside of you. You really could take it or leave it.

With a passion, you dream about it. You can hardly sleep at night because you can’t wait for the next day when you can work on it. You’re consumed by it. It bothers you deeply when you can’t do it. That doesn’t mean you’re always going to be motivated to do it 24/7, but when you neglect it, it eats away you.

If you keep returning to something, that’s a good sign it’s a passion.

If you find yourself struggling to maintain interest in it, it might just be a hobby that you’re trying to force into a passion.

It’s ok for that thing to just remain a hobby. Just because you’re passionate about something, doesn’t mean that it’s easy to do. It doesn’t mean you’re never lacking the motivation for it. It means that no matter what, you’re going to show up because you’re committed. There’s no question of not doing it for you, because you’re compelled by it.

If you’re finding that you have to try super hard to push yourself to do something, then it’s not a passion. A passion will pull you. From the outside, they look the same in that you’re making forward progress, but they’re very different from each other.

A passion will pull you. It’s a burning inside that must be satiated. It’s something you’re driven by—not something you push yourself to do.

I hope that answers your question, Joel. You’re not always going to want to do something every hour of every day, but do you show up anyway and is there a yearning inside if you’re away from it? If you keep returning to it, that’s a good sign.