Passion is something you’ve either already found, are still searching for, or gave up on a long time ago. It’s no secret that finding your passion in life is a difficult task, but that should never be a reason to give up on it. 

If finding your passion wasn’t already difficult enough, you’ll probably hate to hear that there are two different types of passion — harmonious passion and obsessive passion. Many will suggest that harmonious passion is more beneficial to you than obsessive passion, but this could just add to the confusion you’re already experiencing.

Nothing is ever as easy as it seems and the same goes for passion, but don’t let that discourage you. Understanding the difference between harmonious passion and obsessive passion can not only help you better understand what drives you, but also give you that sense of meaning and purpose you’ve been waiting for.

Understanding the Difference

Many of us view passion as that thing we love to do, but don’t think of it as anything more than that. Although that is a very basic definition of what passion is, it’s more of an activity that helps to define a person’s identity. 

For example, some people say they like to write and might call it a hobby. If it were a passion, they would instead say they are a writer.

It can go even deeper than that, though, with many psychologists suggesting two types of passion — harmonious and obsessive. 

Harmonious passion refers to a passion that is freely chosen by the individual. They don’t feel they are compelled to engage in the passion at any given time, but they do agree and accept that it is an activity that is important to them. 

On the other hand, obsessive passion is experienced when an activity consumes someone’s time and energy for the wrong reasons. Whether those reasons be social acceptance, self-esteem, attention, or recognition, this passion can become damaging to the individual and end up controlling their life.

If you’re confused as to which type of passion you are experiencing, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does this passion allow you to enjoy your life?
  2. Does this passion resemble all of the qualities you enjoy about yourself?

If you answered yes, then you are likely experiencing a harmonious passion. Now, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you feel like you can’t live without your passion?
  2. Do you feel stress or anxiety when you can’t pursue this passion?

If you answered yes to that, then your passion is likely an obsessive one. 

The point is, your passion is meant to bring you joy — not stress. It should be something you do freely and without pressure.  

Harmonious Passion Is What You’re After

The point here is your passion is meant to bring you joy — not stress. It should be something you do freely and without feeling the pressure of needing to do it. 

Without harmonious passion, we will continue to see a lack of performance, motivation, creativity, and self-efficacy. We will walk through life wondering why we are still unhappy, despite finding and pursuing our passion. We will remain confused with no answers. 

If you feel like you’ve found your passion, but are still lacking that fulfillment, it might be time to do some more soul searching or looking for other ways to find balance.