“Following your passion” is more than simply the Siren call of startup culture, and self-actualized, self-help books.
It is an explicit commitment on your part to chart, and follow, a life course; to do what it takes to make you a whole and happy person, regardless of what it takes to get there.
It is a commitment to eschew anything that would detract and distract from attaining your own personal Nirvana.
Being committed and passionate doesn’t excuse you from being sensible, reflective, and considerate. In fact, committing to your passion requires that you be even more intentional in your self assessments, and reflecting upon how your pursuit of happiness affects everyone else around you; not the least of which are the friends, family, and loved ones that support and maintain you in your passion.
Usually, they are the first to be ignored, and relegated to the sidelines – because of their unconditional love and support.
What happens when your dream fails? What is the fall back plan? What does the road back look like, if the master plan proves to be unworkable? How will you – and the people who depend upon you – live through the debris of a dead dream?
It’s the dark side of the startup mythos – that not every dream comes true.
This isn’t a diatribe against following your dreams. It’s not even meant to be a polemic against startup culture.
But – when you go all in, don’t fool yourself into thinking that being thoughtful, and considerate of what happens to those around you, is what’s holding you back, and keeping you from being wildly successful.
For, what is success, if at the end of the day, we’ve thrown away all the people that have made our successes possible?
Go, and be you.