You often hear the expression that “you need to have passion for your work.” That sounds wonderful, but it is important to understand what passion really is. The actual definition of passions is; “a powerful emotion or feeling.” In knowing that, how can we apply it to what we do at our job? Many times when a person is a hard worker and tends to be a little on the obsessive side of what they do people will say that person is passionate about what they do. But is that true or are they obsessive? The link below is to a very interesting article in the Harvard Business Review blog that is worth reading. The author Scott Barry Kaufman talks about passion for your work in two different ways, one being harmonious and the other obsessive. When someone has passion in a harmonious way about their work they have “joy” when doing it. They are able to separate personal life from work life and enjoy both. They are less likely to burnout and have higher levels of well-being. Since they can leave work at work, when they return to work they are refreshed and ready to go for the new day. When you have harmonious passion for what you do you are able to be more flexible at work and ultimately overall more successful.
Now for those who have obsessive passion they are emotionally dependent on their work, they have an uncontrollable urge to engage in their work, bring it into all aspects of their life because it is where their value is. Because of this their job brings higher levels of negative affect over time in their life. Their moods are dependent on what is happening at work, they cannot let it go. They have increased chances of total burnout and major stress, they are obsessed with their work.
I think we all have probably known people who are either harmonious or obsessive about their work, which person did you find to be happier? Which do you think is healthier? Which one describes you?