A passion is a “strong and barely controllable emotion”. The Late Latin word passio litteraly means “suffering” (from Latin pati “to suffer”).
Who enjoys suffering? I don’t.
The use of the word has been declining until 1980, with good reason. Then the trend reversed. It became a mantra of the tech/startup world. You’ve got to “follow your passion” and “be passionate”, they said.
That’s foolish, because passions are toxic.
Anger? Toxic. Overly intense desire for something? Toxic. Obsession? Toxic. Depression? Toxic. Anxiety? Toxic. The list goes on and on.
My aspiration is to live a good life, as proposed by the Stoics. A life in accordance with human nature and the laws of the universe. With a sense of freedom and peace of mind.
“But isn’t passion necessary to achieve great things”, you might ask. No, I don’t believe that.
You can aspire to be useful to as many people as possible. You can work hard and perform your duty. You can be fully engaged in life.
The important thing is to focus on your inner scorecard. And not be attached to things outside of your control.
Apply self-control and don’t become a victim of the emotional roller coaster. Being overly fixated on the past leads to depression. Being overly fixated on the future leads to anxiety. Avoid both.