Five Dumb Mindsets People Pursue Their Calling With (and how you can be smarter)

Pursuing a passion sounds idyllic and wonderful and I absolutely adore partnering with people who are dedicated to pursuing it.  But in my years of watching people depart societally defined successful lives in the name of passion, I have made a few observations. In chief: People can be really dumb when they pursue their passion.

Digest these observations and use them to become smarter in your own pursuit of passion:

  1. Dumb people don’t invest, smart people do. The resources of money, time and energy must be invested in every single effort put forth once the decision is made to pursue your passion. You cannot go half in, be inconsistent or cheap out if you want to truly do this. You don’t have to go triple platinum on everything from day one, but you need to commit your resources. Smart people wisely budget and allocate their resources to incrementally invest in what they want.
  2. Dumb people believe they know everything they need to know, smart people keep learning. I encourage people I coach to start with an inventory of what they know and then determine what they need to know. This applies to career, money, relationships or any activity they are pursuing. If you are passionate about being a writer, what do you know now and what do you need to know? Smart people will understand what they are working with and know their strengths and weaknesses, then work to make the strengths stronger and convert the weaknesses.
  3. Dumb people are ego driven, smart people are not. Your ego will limit you way more than anything else you have working for or against you. Your ego will tell you all sorts of things that are untrue depending on the situation. You may be an amazing artist, mechanic, parent, leader, or whatever your passion is, but always remember that other people are involved. As soon as your thought process becomes solely focused on you, you lost the bubble on your passion pursuit and ego won. You are in it for you and only you.

Smart people develop an ego check method – an honest friend, a question they can ask, a spiritual practice. Be smart.

  1. Dumb people don’t have a long term vision, smart people develop one. When all you can see is a single aspect of the life you want, you may not have a vision. You probably have an idea, but not a vision. Dumb people see one thing they want and try to wedge it in without considering the ripple effect. Smart people will look at the big picture, develop a vision that addresses life at large and begin to take small actions to get closer to that vision every day.
  2. Dumb people are inconsistent, smart people take action every day. Dumb people believe a weekly hobby is a calling. They believe a wish is an action, that talking about is doing, that sporadic social media updates and followers are all that is required. Smart people know that progressive, consistent, linked action is necessary to truly align with that pursuit of calling or passion.

I could keep going, but I promised you just 5 and I have delivered them. I have been degrees of dumb, and smart, in each of these areas since I jumped into the pursuit of my calling to partner with people to follow their passion and live their authentic life.  I speak with the voice not only of observation but of first-hand experience.

To work with that energy and to promote smarter calling pursuers, I have developed a free monthly virtual series called The Art of Living Dangerously that you can register for and test your own actions in the tools, resources and information we will share there.  Hope you will be one of the smarties and join me.

At a minimum use these as guides or questions to reflect upon as you make your push into authenticity and pursuit of your personal passion – whatever it may be. Which one resonates most with you?

Jennifer Murphy is a life coach, artist and writer who is passionate about partnering with people who want to stop settling and pursue their own version of passion and authenticity.  Learn more at

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