Is It Really a Bad Thing to Have a Single Purpose or Passion?

22 September 2021

Should everyone really have a passion in life? We took a snippet of a speech by artist, poet, activist and writer Cleo Wade, who was selected as one of America’s 50 Most Influential Women, on whether we should have a passion or purpose in life. Let’s take a look together:
People will tell you to find your purpose. They will tell you to find your passion, but should it really be like that? We are all multi-layered beings endowed with a multitude of talents, interests, and ideas. Why do we pressure ourselves to have one purpose or one passion?
We all grow and change in our own lives. Who can say that your purpose in your twenties won’t turn into something else in your thirties, forties, fifties or beyond?




I never felt like I had one purpose.

Trying to live this way has always felt stressful and unorthodox. Instead of concentrating my energy on a single purpose or passion, I try to focus on bringing passion and purpose to everything I do.
I do this by asking myself:

“What kind of kindness, care, joy, and patience should I use to bring purpose and passion to my relationship with myself and those around me? What level of openness and curiosity should I have to add meaning to the work and tasks in my life?”


I don’t know anyone who isn’t busy with things they don’t like on the way to finding the job they love.

I am definitely one of those people. I also worked as a babysitter, sold printed T-shirts to tourists, and worked as an office manager. None of these jobs were a good fit for me, but whatever I did, I still tried my best to stay curious.
In fact, when I’m doing work that I don’t like, I ask myself, “Okay, it’s easy to dislike it, but what can I learn from it?” I realized that saying is the most important thing.
I also found that the jobs we work for are not related to how we define ourselves.
They may also be where we feel our greatest sense of purpose or passion, though not always. But often our jobs are our way of paying our bills. And that is certainly not a bad or wrong thing.
One of the best advice my friend’s father gave us as we struggled with some of our first jobs was:

“Don’t stress about what you have to do nine to five. Focus on who you are from five to nine.” If you’re someone who feels like you know your one true passion or purpose, this is a great way to live and I fully support you in that. But I also want you to know that it’s okay if you’re not that sure about your passion and purpose. Stop trying to define it. Instead, dedicate yourself to bringing purpose and passion to every conversation, workspace, and home environment you’re a part of.”


Cleo Wade’s TED talk on this topic:

Don’t forget to turn on Turkish subtitles in video settings.

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