Passion vs Duty: What To Work For?

Passion vs Duty: What To Work For?
Representational image source: Adobe Stock

Actor Akshay Kumar recently made a statement that his work is a passion to him rather than a duty. Some people are amazed to see how he can do so many films in a year. However, he said that as a regular working guy, he works the entire week and takes a break only on Sunday, in which way he can get a lot done. But one of the questions that arises is why does a successful superstar like him need to work? To this he quips that even though he has everything in life, he works for passion. The superstar even says the day he feels disinterested is when he will stop working. For Akshay Kumar, his work is something that keeps him excited each day and gives meaning to his life.

Many of us can’t pass such a statement since we have bills to be paid. But we can still strike a balance between pursuing our passion with financial responsibility to ourselves and anyone else who depends upon us. At a time when the unemployment rate is at its highest, college graduates are looking for their dream jobs. It is a time of dilemma – whether to pursue one’s passion or to fulfil one’s duty by taking up any job available.

Let’s demystify what passion is and the road to pursuing it.

What is your passion? Passion simply means a strong interest or enthusiasm in a particular subject or activity. If you enjoy doing something and would love to do it as a career, that’s your passion. It is important to not practice and let your heart rule your mind. Many of us are trained from childhood to be practical and suspend options that interested us as a child.

Go step by step to discover your passion.

Ask Specific Questions

It’s time for you to go back to your childhood and find answers to some specific questions like what did you enjoy doing as a kid, what did you secretly dream of doing when you grew up, what aspects of your current job or life give you pleasure. List five crazy things you’d like to try doing one day. After answering these questions, look for patterns. It’s best not to judge yourself at this moment as you are in the process of finding what you love doing.


When it comes to work, no matter how hard we try we keep coming back to the point of being practical as passion alone cannot feed you or your family. Now it’s time to research possibilities. Be open-minded as some possibilities might seem like a distant dream, but that’s okay. The idea right now is just to put down possible careers. For example, if you have got a passion for writing then some probable career possibilities could be becoming a novelist, freelance blogger, newspaper reporter, magazine writer, playwright, editor, owner of a publishing house, corporate content writer, advertising copywriter, and so on.

Draw A Roadmap

After narrowing down the career possibilities, it’s time to pick one that excites you. As Antoine de Saint Exupery has said, “Walking in a straight line one cannot get very far.” Even though you have selected your destination, you might be lucky if everything falls in place at once. Create a basic roadmap to reach your destination. In the case of writing, it could be like pursuing a bachelor’s in English literature, journalism, and communication. Besides that, you need to be an avid reader and persistent writer.

Seek Help

After getting some clarity about your destination, you might feel confident and reassured to pursue your passion. At the same time, don’t shy away from seeking help. Make a list of people who have accomplished what you want to do, reach out to them, and seek their advice. There are people who look forward to extending a helping hand and giving back to society. Even Mark Zukerberg asked Steve Jobs for help in his early days at Facebook. At the same time, you need to understand that people can be busy so there is no need to bug anyone with unfiltered questions and emotions. You need to ask a few specific questions that you need help with as there is nothing better than learning from people who have walked your path.


Read more: From COVID To Ukraine: How Do We Explain It To Children?


Bring A Balance

Accept the fact that only a privileged few can do 100 percent of what they are passionate about. Most of us have bills and rents to pay, which is okay and part of being a grown up. In hindsight, you will realise that you led a life of virtue, value, and service to others. Sometimes financial responsibilities might make it hard to pursue your passion. That’s where you make some modifications to your roadmap. For example, two people work in retail jobs but have a passion for writing. Tom belongs to a rich family and can leave his job to pursue his passion for writing. But Jack has family commitments to meet so he has to slog at his job. Simultaneously, he can carve out an hour every morning or night to write stories, essays, and articles. It might take longer for him to reach his dream job, but its his daily effort at writing which will make him a prolific writer. 

The important thing is that you don’t give up your passion even when you work to pay your bills. You may just have a slightly longer route. Remember, with your persistent efforts at polishing your craft, you will get there eventually.

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