Often we hear the expression “You need to have passion for your work.” That sounds absolutely wonderful, but it is important to first understand what passion really is.
The actual definition of passions is; “A powerful emotion or feeling.” When you know that, then how do we apply it to what we do at our job? Many times when a person is a hard worker and tends to be a bit obsessive about what they do people will say that person is passionate. But, is that true or are they obsessive?
I came across a very interesting article in the Harvard Business Review blog titled Passionate For Your Work that I believe is worth reading. The author Scott Barry Kaufman talks about passion for your work in two different ways, one being harmonious and the other obsessive. When someone has passion in a harmonious way about their work they have “joy” when doing it. They are able to separate personal life from work life and enjoy both. They are less likely to burnout and have higher levels of well-being. Since they can leave work at work, when they return to work they are refreshed and ready to go for the new day. When you have harmonious passion for what you do you are able to be more flexible at work and ultimately overall more successful.
There are people who have an obsessive passion and are emotionally dependent on their work, they bring it into all aspects of their life because it is where their value is. Because of this their job brings higher levels of negative effect overtime during their life. Their moods are dependent on what is happening at work, they cannot let it go. They have increased chances of total burnout and major stress, because they are obsessed with their work.
I think we all have probably known people who are either harmonious or obsessive about their work, which person did you find to be happier? Which do you think is healthier? Which one describes you?