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The Case Against Following Your Passion (Ep. 273)

Everywhere you look, the world is telling you to follow your passion.

But does that mean that your passion has to become your career?

Naturally, it depends a bit on what your passion is. Collecting stamps probably won’t make for a very lucrative career for most people.

On the other hand, whether your interests are able to make you money is only part of the question. If you’re not careful, even a high-paying hobby may have its drawbacks.

This isn’t to tell you you shouldn’t pursue your dream job — just know what you might be getting into before you make the commitment.

Things mentioned in this episode:

This week’s episode is sponsored by:

  • Skillshare: with over 27,000 courses in a wide range of different skills, Skillshare can help you take things to the next level. Get started with 2 free weeks of unlimited learning (including Thomas’ Productivity Masterclass!) at
  • Brilliant: Accelerate your learning in math, science, and computer science. Start learning for free at — and if you’re one of the first 200 people to use this link, you’ll also get 20% off your subscription.

Other things we mentioned in this episode:

Want more cool stuff? You can find all sorts of great tools at my Resources page.


  • 0:01:49 – Why turning your passion into a career might kill your love for it
  • 0:15:23 – The overjustification effect
  • 0:23:15 – Sponsor: Skillshare (Learning new skills)
  • 0:26:02 – Sponsor: Brilliant (Learning problem-solving skills)
  • 0:27:47 – Differences between hobbies and careers
  • 0:37:04 – Perseverance and the survivorship bias
  • 0:45:17 – Making an income and bringing value to a company
  • 0:58:00 – Student debt and viewing college as a business decision
  • 1:03:25 – Slowly transitioning from a passion into a career
  • 1:06:36 – Finding a job that can sustain your passion
  • 1:11:10 – Conclusion

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