passion vs purpose

What would happen if we helped students pursue majors based on how they want to serve (purpose) instead of what they’re interested in (passion)?  Would they be better students if we helped them choose majors based on their purpose instead of pursuing majors based on their passion?   Here’s a study that may support the former…

I’m finishing the book, “Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More” by Morten Hansen; in it, he shares seven factors that lead to great performance – four focused on the individual, three focused on working with others.  The one I’m most interested in is his chapter on P-Squared – Passion and Purpose.

In the book, he not only explains the difference between passion and purpose, but he identifies specific types of passion and purpose that influences work.  Check out the book for more in-depth information.  For me, I was very interested in his work about purpose; in fact, he was able to find, through his research, whether it was more important to have passion or purpose at work.  Want to know the answer?  Check out the link to the video below:

“Discover Your Passion and Purpose” –

Want a hint?  Check out the chart below, which outlines the combination that leads to great work performance:

Here’s a written synopsis of the chart above:

  • Employees who don’t like their jobs and believe they have little impact — exhibit low purpose and low passion — fell in the 10th percentile in terms of performance.
  • Employees who love their jobs but don’t believe their work has meaning — high passion but low purpose — performed at the 20th percentile.
  • Those who aren’t crazy about their jobs but believe they make a difference — low passion and high purpose — perform at the 64th percentile.
  • Those who love their jobs and believe their work has meaning — high passion and high purpose — fell in the 80th percentile in terms of performance.

In terms of work performance, purpose trumps passion. So, if you want to increase your chances of success at work (and I would argue, in life), find your purpose, then support it with passion.

And this is how we can change education!  Join me on this ride if you have a desire to integrate purpose as a foundation for education (and life) success!


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