Genina Ramirez

The Value of Curiosity Over Passion

Did you always know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Did you spend your youth dreaming of your chosen profession and pushing towards that goal with singular focus? If you were like me the answer was a hard no. People used to always tell me to follow my passion and my future would, somehow, magically unfold before me...but that definitely didn’t happen.

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And let me be clear - I have always enjoyed the jobs that I’ve had (hell, I love my job now) - my problem was that I didn’t have this insatiable fire driving and directing me. Instead I felt this crazy pressure to find the perfect career path that was meant for me alone...almost like searching for your soul mate.

My problem is that I enjoy so many different things - I have many small loves, not one great love. And for the longest time I thought this meant I was doing it wrong...that I was somehow failing both my business and myself. How could I be fulfilling my potential and making the right career/business choices if passion wasn’t my driving force? Was I doing the work and my clients a disservice?

Then everything changed the day I heard Elizabeth Gilbert give a talk on this very subject. She totally opened my eyes:

“Follow your curiosity. It might lead you to your passion or it might not. You might get nothing out of it at all except a beautiful, long life where all you did was follow your gorgeous curiosity. And that should be enough too.”

- Elizabeth Gilbert

All of sudden I was given permission to do what I had been innately doing all along: following my curiosity. Passion is fiery and all-consuming, an insurmountable force that takes over and gives you no choice but to follow the path it has paved. But curiosity… curiosity is a gentle friend who takes you by the hand, leads you to a winding path, and allows you to choose your own direction. Curiosity leads you to places you never knew you wanted to go—and that is so important in business. Being open to new experiences, opinions, and knowledge is always a benefit, it allows you to grow, not only as a person but as a creative.  

So give yourself permission to follow your curiosity. Give yourself permission to step off the beaten path and wander into the undergrowth. Quiet your mind and I promise you’ll hear it, your inner curiosity. It might be scary, might seem like a waste of time and energy, and there is no guarantee you’ll discover anything of interest. But I can guarantee you won’t discover anything new about yourself or your capabilities if you don’t even try. And who knows? The journey itself could be priceless.

After all, not all those who wander are lost.

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