The Atlantic

Letters: ‘Find Your Passion’ Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does

Readers react to a report on a new study suggesting that students should ignore the oft-repeated advice.
Source: Alvaro Barrientos / AP

‘Find Your Passion’ Is Awful Advice

Last week, Olga Khazan unpacked a recent study that questions the common wisdom on how we should choose our careers. Passions aren’t “found,” the study’s authors argued; they’re developed.


Young people routinely mistake “find your passion” to mean “pick your interest early and do not waver from it,” rather than “constantly search for the things that make your soul alive and pursue them diligently.” Many older people fail to add useful explanation when pushing this otherwise ambiguous and worthless catchphrase. Thus misled, young people find themselves pigeon-holed into interests they may no longer have, and cut themselves off from opportunities that don’t match up with their onetime “passion.” Everyone

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