The wise man is also passionless

What is passion? Well, I am sure only about one thing - passion is one of the most overused words now.

Almost every day I see blog posts trending, where people talk about their passions and give definition of it in various forms.

Here is an example, a quote from this blog post

Passion is when you give up sleep, skip meals, and ignore your friends — just to fit a few more design hours into the day.

Honestly, I do not have anything against neither the post nor the author. This is just an example and I know a lot of people (friends, colleagues) who would agree with the quote. I see this kind of thinking more and more and what scares me, is that more and more companies seek for this kind of passion in their employees too (recently I’ve faced this myself when applying for the jobs).

To wrap up this “way of thinking”, you could be considered as a passionate programmer/engineer given that you

  • Work 8 hours a day.
  • You have side projects - you spend your evenings working on them.
  • You contribute to the open source projects during the night (well, you can try to combine it with the previous)
  • You have blog and write at least 4 posts monthly (just wake up early morning, do it before work, make it a habit!)
  • You learn new technology every week
  • Etc

The list can be continued. Ahm, can you do this with proper sleep, healthy food and as a bonus meet your friends? Hardly.

Here is another quote, from ancient Stoics

The wise man is also passionless.

Although I’m far far away from being wise, but I do think that we should be careful when making our passions.

I work with people. I value them much more than any programming language, technique, software or best UI guideline. I want to see people in my workplace mentally and physically healthy. Neither sleepless nights, nor tasteless life are not the values which I seek.

I do think that industry/market forces people to develop “fake passions” only for the sake of their own benefits.

Consider me unpassionate, I am going to sleep well, eat and meet friends.

Written on February 5, 2017