In a paper entitled “Implicit Theories of Interest: Finding Your Passion or Developing It?”, researches shared five studies that examined the difference between people who subscribe to the fixed theory versus the growth theory of interest. They found that people who believe that interests are fixed are more likely to:

  • Lose interest more quickly in areas outside their existing interests.
  • Anticipate that there will be “boundless motivation” when following a passion.
  • Give up more easily on a new interest if it becomes difficult.

Source: Why “follow your passion” is bad advice

We’ve all read about Carol Dweck’s fixed vs growth mindset, but this is the first time I’ve seen it applied to how people deal with their passions.

I know I will be thinking about this next time I’m talking to students or staff on what it means to “follow your passion”.