A passion project is something you work on (often outside of your chosen career path) that gives you satisfaction, happiness and puts you into a state of flow. It’s what you do to escape it all. It’s your tiny (or huge) contribution to the world. – Dr. Amy Shah
Some of us put in extra hours at our job if no one asked us to. Some of us are so dedicated that we go beyond our job profile to contribute something extra to the companies we believe in. This passion makes our lives more meaningful but it can also makes us feel exhausted and vulnerable. We may also lose our identity because at the end of the day, our company is owned by someone else and we can never be completely free to express ourselves through our work. There are benefits in creating for someone else. We are more disciplined, responsible and organized when we are answerable to someone. However, we get access to a different kind of passion and freedom when we work on our own pet projects/personal projects/passion projects. We don’t have any obligation to work on them nor do we have to “report” to someone. We are not getting paid for them either. Achieving results in the project may never boost our career prospects in a tangible way. And yet, passion projects bring us a joy that takes us back to our childhood when we did certain things without caring much about the results. If we have a job that we hate, passion projects give us the necessary energy and hope to get through the days, weeks, months and years. This happiness also spills over to our personal lives. Those who work on passion projects are less likely to be overtly dependent on their family or friends or their job for their happiness. Without these projects, we remain frustrated and in turn, make our friends and family miserable. They are not a “waste of time” because they have the potential to make an employee more productive. In fact, we may stumble upon an alternate career or a set of new skills. Having a passion project is like going back to our home…a place where you belong. This space gives us a form of security which is not available in even the most highest-paid jobs.