Mike Rowe Gives Advice To Students: "Never Follow Your Passion"

Tyler Durden's picture

Mike Rowe has some truthiness for those students who are "following their passion" without possessing the skills necessary to accomplish what they're trying to do.

"You've all been given some terrible advice, and that advice is this: follow your passion."

The former host of Dirty Jobs tells it like it is by explaining to students that passion and ability have nothing to do with each other, and that "Just because you're passionate about something, doesn't mean you won't suck at it.". Rowe also reminds students that just because they may have a degree in a chosen field, it doesn't mean that a dream job awaits.

"Dream jobs are usually just that - dreams. But their imaginary existence just might keep you from exploring careers that offer a legitimate chance to perform meaningful work."

"Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you."

* * *

Rowe's message fits nicely with our 7 Harsh Realities Of Life Millennials Need To Understand, which should be widely read, lest we end up with more of this...

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Big Brother's picture

This and more realistic perspectives on life and philosophy can be viewed by subscribing to PragerU on Youtube.  Coincidentally, I just ran across PragerU a few days ago.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Think of all the poor Americans whose dream it was to join the military to DEFEND their country.  On average, twenty two of them commit suicide every day.



16.  Read War is a Racket, by Smedley D. Butler.
17.  Read On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by Dave Grossman.
18.  Watch the online video of the TED Talk, A radical experiment in empathy, by Sam Richards.




santafe's picture

What we call dream in the reality of life is just an illusion, a trap.

A dream is what you get when you fall asleep.

TeamDepends's picture

Mike should start a computer company and call it Mike Rowe Soft, just to mess with Bill "The Vaccinator" Gates.

Richard Chesler's picture

Obongo and Hildebeast owners would prefer you follow your dreams and get deeply in debt while you're at it.


NidStyles's picture

Trigger pullers are going to be fetching a pretty penny in the near future... I'm all set, despite that faggot horseman thinking otherwise. ;-)

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Says the guy who doesn't have any kids... nice advice dickwad.


I guess when you're a slave breaking your back for joos you won't have much time for little goy.

zeronetwork's picture

Nothing is here out of ordinary. People used to follow their passion when America was a great country and a great nation. People in third world countries used to follow the opportunities where ever they could find one because passion never filled their stomach and never could provided roof over their heads. Now its our turn to follow the opportunities where ever we could find one, even in China.

ghengis86's picture

Rowe has always been an advocate for the working class. He has been blasphemous, saying that college isn't for everyone and that you can make a good living and take pride in your work creating something of value with your hands. I completely agree. We need to make shit in the U.S., take pride in what we do and create value. I'm not saying unions are the answer, far from it. But labor is good; manufacturing is good; producing capital and resources is good. Don't let the fucking bankers steal it by doing nothing but print. Even my Union buddies understand that when the union gets greedy for the bosses, the working man loses. Likewise, when the shit dick CEO's offshore jobs and are encouraged to do so by the politicians, we get fucked. If we quit fighting each other and fight the oligarchy instead, we'd all be better off.

Learn a skill, be good at it, and you can have pride and a good living. We need labor to create capital. We don't need the fucking banker and politician scum stealing it from us.

crossroaddemon's picture

Nope. the industrial wage slave economy needs to die. Here's a basic rule of thumb for you: if you spend more time earning money than you spend with your kids your priorities are fucked and you need to rethink your life.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

If you can't acquire enough resources playing by the "rules" of the current paradigm to reproduce, you have every right to tear the motherfucker apart and start over.

OverTheHedge's picture

"If you can't acquire enough resources playing by the "rules" of the current paradigm to reproduce, you have every right to tear the motherfucker apart and start over."


I would like to suggest that this comment be pinned to every article here, and possibly added to the vast, empty wasteland that is our new banner.


If you can't reproduce, why are you here? What is the point?

If the world isn't safe for the children you do have, what are you going to do about it?


I hope that these questions are addressed soon, worldwide, otherwise we will just carry on piling the dead like a Conan the Barbarian book cover.


"What's it all for, when you get right down to it?" https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mzlCdWwYn2I

kareninca's picture

"If you can't reproduce, why are you here? What is the point?"

Helping other people, whom you didn't produce.  Lots of nuns and other religious figures have done this historically.  So have lots of aunts and spinsters.  Mother Theresa didn't reproduce.  Paul said that it was better to live as a celibate; that is Church doctrine.  Reproduction is a great thing but it is not for everyone, and not reproducing doesn't make one's life pointless.

Treason Season's picture

"...the vast, empty wasteland that is our new banner"

Hear! Hear! Get rid of the fucking thing!    

WaterWings's picture

Exactly. Penguin shows up in the US of A and says, "Where my *u**********g Tesla at?"

LasVegasDave's picture

And the ones that do produce have every right to send every gaius fracken to an island in the pacific and let them "tear the motherfucker apart" there.


Bonus prize:  a free Che t-shirt

COSMOS's picture

Never insult cheap bastards that have taken over your economy lol and own the TV network you work for...

to quote the lovely blond in the article...."• About how she "used to talk to Jews in Boca'' when she was a server, saying one customer was "stingy'' because he complained about how she poured his beer and that "they would complain and b---- about everything.''

So FOX let her go, no surprise when the board of FOX was seen at this dance...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcE0dUAMcBw

I mean she could go work at another TV station, but wait what was that, the FCC relaxed the rules and let these cheapos buy up all the local tv stations with free money from the FED or your pension funds investing money with their equity firms that then bought up these stations and put in more cheapo bastards to run the show.

No wonder those fur hats in the stands are bouncing up and down so hard with gleeee

ghengis86's picture

How is a skilled craftsman, making good money to support his family an 'industrial wage slave'? Why the fuck do you jump to that conclusion? Projecting your own inadequacies? I've got a buddy who skipped college and went into the refrigeration business and now makes more money than I do! He runs his own business, providing skilled labor that people want along with solid products. Go take your preconceived, biased, self reflective notions of what hard work is, and get a fucking clue. Just cause the man is holding you down, doesn't mean the rest of us can't flourish.

Edit: I agree with your priorities point though. You're spot on in that regard. I just vehemently disagree with the wage slave notion. You're only a slave if you let yourself.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Probably the reason White men became so marginalized was because they focused on their work too much and not the more important things in life, like reproduction and who controlled them.


Shoveling shit all day won't solve many of your problems beyond hunger (if you're lucky) but it does make for great jewlevision. But what can you expect from a paid actor living in frisco who is fifty some with no kids and doesn't want them?

PureLove's picture

'How is a skilled craftsman, making good money to support his family an 'industrial wage slave'?'

1) Fake money that loses half of its value in thirty years

2) He lives in a house, whose price may be governed somewhat by industry -- the financial industry.  I don't understand all the ways mortgage trading affects house prices, but then, that's the point of the complexity of real estate in the first place, is it not?  To deprive suckers like me of it.

3) If he doesn't generate enough money the Government will evict him from his home.  Each year he pays "tax," which sounds more like "rent" to me, which is assessed at the current value of the house, not the price he paid for it (am I right about that?).  How can you pay a "tax" on something every year that you only purchased once?

4) He has to compete with overseas trade, no matter what he does.  If it's specialized doors, awesome cabinetry, whatever -- if his clients are rich he's beset with their trifling and finnicking -- if they're not, then as soon as they feel the slightest squeeze their need for specialty doors and awesome cabinetry finds another source -- most likely a shipping container.

So long and short -- he has to generate cash that is spoken for.  That, to me, is the slavery aspect.  He can't just make awesome stuff for people and trade for it, or sell it with an alternative currency -- not without making some cash that he can't keep.  Since that's the deal -- he's being forced out of his possessions and the fruits of his labor with the cracking whip of fake money that turns into debt along with the Government's annual threat of homelessness -- he's not free from the system.  If it was a matter only of adherence you might not call that slavery, but the system extracts wealth from people in ways people cannot refuse -- at what point does that become slavery?  Or, rather, at what point does that stop being slavery?

That's what I see in it. 

steve2241's picture

Well put purelove.  I'd green you more, but I can only do it once!  That's the best comment I've read in a while.

OverTheHedge's picture

I went out for a meal last night: the bill was €70, when last year it would have been €50. All extra tax. It was a s though we had an extra place at the table, with a fat, bloated government worker shovelling up food and ruining the conversation. He ate more than I did, ffs! And its not as though the restaurant kept that money, so you can't call it inflation.


All that, so Ms Merkel can pretend the eurozone is alive and well.


Obviously, with a 40% price-hike, many more Greeks are eating out on a daily basis, which helps boost the economy and increase both GDP and the total tax take.


Stupid fuckers.

Escapeclaws's picture

Greeks eating out....

of dumpsters

sessinpo's picture

Actually the whole question is stupid because it skips the real problem of why they are a wage slave, It has nothing to do with industrial. No matter how you make your living, if you are using the monetary and fiscal system they have set up, you are wage slave. So that is basically everyone. There might be a few that are off the radar totally but then again, that would mean you probably wouldn't run into them to even know they exist.

crossroaddemon's picture

This. The poor fucker in question doesn't have a choice. He HAS to earn money. That's the key problem here that needs addressed.

Killdo's picture

'I doubt if all the philosophy in the world can succeed in suppressing slavery; it will, at most, change the name. I can well imagine forms of servitude worse than our own, because more insidious, whether they transform men into stupid, complacent machines, who believe themselves free just when they are most subjugated, or whether to the exclusion of leisure and pleasures essential to man they develop a passion for work as violent as the passion for war among barbarous races.

To such bondage for the human mind and imagination I prefer even our avowed slavery.'

Memoirs of HADRIAN, Margaurite Yourcenar. 

Supafly's picture

It's the price we pay to have the good things we have.  We really do have a choice so it can't be considered slavery.  Consider the cost/benefit of going completely off grid and having nothing to do with our society.  Then make a choice between the two scenarios.  Now you're free!

ebear's picture

"How can you pay a "tax" on something every year that you only purchased once?"

I would be happy to pay an annual fee for:
Fire, ambulance, police, schools, road maintenance, electricity, water, gas, and other related costs that contribute to the upkeep of my city, provided it is broken down into a detailed account that I can analyze and that has a workable mechanism for suggesting improvements and setting priorities. Trouble is, most cities view tax income the way state and national politicians do - as a means to curry favor with special interest groups and enrich their friends.

Sports stadiums are a perfect example of what I mean. Why should I foot the cost of a place where overpaid assholes chase a ball around for the amusement of their dumbfuck fans, and THEN foot the bill for all the damage they cause when their team loses? FUCK THAT SHIT.

Likewise, take your bike lanes and shove them up your ass. I'm a cyclist too, but I don't impose that as some kind of superior lifestyle on those who drive, or take the bus. Want tennis courts? Join a private club. Why should I pay for you to hit a stupid ball around? Same goes for swimming pools, possibly the worst example of a low return on investment.

OK, that enough. Starting to sound like Denninger here.

Small Government Is Better's picture

ghengis86:  your words are right on target.  Skilled tradesmen and skilled craftsmen built much of what helped to make America great.  Today, skilled tradesmen and skilled craftsmen can earn a very good living, and run growing, successful businesses.  America needs more people who want to make something, and fewer people who want to push paper (like bureaucrats).  Those who make something add considerable value to raw materials.  Those who push paper are a drag on the economy, and force the economy to have bankers, financiers, as well as a Federal Reserve Bank.  The bureaucrats, bankers, financiers, and Federal Reserve are all overhead costs that do not add value.  People who make something add value.  It is time for America to add value by making things and selling them around the world.  That will create jobs in America, and will grow the American economy.  The price of American labor is almost a moot point, since productivity enhancing machines reduce the unit labor costs associated with each item produced.  

The politicians and corporate leaders need to wake up and realize that American consumers are 70% of the American economy.  If the American consumers do not have good jobs, and good incomes, just who the Hell do they expect will buy their goods and services, as well as pay the taxes the politicians never seem to get enough of?  It appears that most American political+corporate leaders have zero knowledge of basic economics.

Graph's picture

It appears that your buddy is a good salesman, not a craftsman.

BTW, college edu  is not about the money ONLY, and in many cases, when true passion and talent are present, not even in equation. Comes as a natural byproduct.

"Fred about anything" had a good take on high edu in his recent writing.

crossroaddemon's picture

Let me clarify. I believe that if we have to work for someone else to survive we are slaves. A key prerequisite for true freedom is the option of non-participation in the money economy. That will require major structural changes to our entire socio-economic paradigm and we will not see it in our lifetimes, but it's what we MUST be working for. The right to choose a job doesn't even begin to be meaningful if you need one.


And for the record, I don'thave a job. Haven't since I was 25. But what I've done is probably not something everyone can do.

FireBrander's picture

Perfect. I adopted this philosophy 16 years ago...My family income is less than half what "it could be"...I have far less money...but I have nearly a terabyte of videos and photos of me and my kids living life togetherr. cant' buy those videos anywhere...you have to make them yourself.

prmths2's picture

It isn't unreasonable to work 40 hours per week. How are you going to spend 40+ hours/week with your kids? Of course, if you are on the dole, then you aren't spending any time earning, so a couple of hours/week would fill your prescription.

crossroaddemon's picture

You spend that much time for week with your kids by pulling yourself out of the matrix as far as you can. If you're spending 40+ hours a week to get money your life is out of balance.

SuperRay's picture

EBTers have lots of time to spend with their kids. Btw, moron, when your kids hit 12, they won't want to spend time with you

Oldwood's picture

When you kids are sceaming for all the latest toys and clothes and trips and whateveryoneesle has, and generally hates the sight of you, then the only viable option is work.

crossroaddemon's picture

Funny, I don'thave that problem. My nine year old offered to sell her shit last year if it would enable me to work less and be with her more. And I spend more time with my kids than most parents already. Look at it this way. If you only see your kids evenings and weekends, who is really raising them. It sure as hell ain't you. Is that something you really wanna outsource?

John Kich's picture

This is Donald Trump's most shocking statement yet,

However the mainstream media isn't saying a word about it!

What are they really trying to cover up?


D Nyle's picture

Damn, my passion to build a Unicorn to fly to the Moon to save the Bats will not make me money, oh squirrel..., what was I saying


Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) ghengis86 Jun 11, 2016 8:39 AM

The Bolshevik Government has undertaken the herculean task of converting the whole Russian people to Communism, seeing therein the sole guarantee of its continued existence.  To this supreme end everything else must be subordinated.  But this means that education, learning, science, art, and every other field of intellectual activity is perverted into propaganda; that all doubtful or hostile ideas must be excluded; that no critical or independent thinking can be tolerated.  And history has conclusively demonstrated that where thought is not free there is no true intellectual life, but only intellectual mummies or abortions.

Furthermore, the still more fundamental query arises, whether, even if Bolshevik rule should soon end, Russia may not have suffered such racial losses that the level of her intelligence has been permanently lowered.


The Revolt Against Civilization

The Menace of the Under Man

Lothrop Stoddard, A.M. PhD. (Harvard)


There is a free PDF online to read what really happened to Russia


Blankone's picture

Used to know residential roofers and house framers when in high school and for some years after.  They were skilled.  Now unless they own their own contracting company and run two crews they cannot make a living at it, not even close.  Simular things can be said of machinists in some regions of the country, and concrete workers and stone masons/bricklayers.  Used to know a couple people who's fathers had little grocery stores (not 7 eleven types), there were also several locally owned larger grocery stores.  The people who owned them were skilled business people and had been established for years.  There stores and businesses are all long gone due to large corps.

Learn the skill that brings money now and is most likely to bring it in the future.  Start your own business if you can but look hard at long tern viability.

ebear's picture

"Learn the skill that brings money now and is most likely to bring it in the future."

And for god's sake, learn something about managing money.

A few years back I went to work part-time for a trucking company, hauling fuel. I was the first part-timer they ever hired, and definitely NOT welcome there. The reason was obvious. Half the guys were divorced, making child support and mortgage payments, and YET they ALL drove late model monster pick-ups with all the trimmings. So, even though the job paid top dollar, these jokers still needed the overtime to make ends meet. A couple of them were one DUI away from total failure, and yet they still kept slugging them back and turning up for work with a raging hangover.

30 years ago when I worked in the same industry, half the people were church goers, everyone drove an older vehicle, and besides myself and one single lady, all were happily married with kids. Instead of getting shit faced at strip clubs, they'd meet for a family barbeque on weekends, or hire a boat and go salmon fishing. When it snowed, the first person to finish a shift swept the snow off everyone else's car while theirs warmed up, and the trucks were always preloaded and fueled for the next shift, regardless of whether you rolled in late.

Those days are long gone now, but whose fault is it? I see a lot of high expectations coming from these new guys, but not a lot of willingness to plan wisely, or work for them. As for their marriage problems, I'd have walked too if I had to put up with their BS.

Oldwood's picture

Our education is based on idealism, not practicality, not productivity. They are teaching our little nubs that progressivism will lead them to a utopian world of economic justice nd that WORK IS slavery as some here seem to believe. WORK has been the one thing that has defined survival since the beginning of time, but we are now to deny and defy that for the sake of some idyllic existence where we feed our selves simply by pursuing our passions....whatever the fuck they may be, and the more ridiculous, the more impractical and impossible, the better. So we see a heard of idiots out there demanding their FULFILLMENT for doing nothing of value or practicality. But we have brought this down upon ourselves by the endless pursuit of entertainment, with infinite numbers now seeking their fame in fortune from music, sports, and just about anything else one could dream of so that a massive chunk of our economy is based upon PLAY.

swmnguy's picture

I think we should all appreciate the irony of a professional actor and former professional opera singer telling us about the honor and dignity of the blue-collar trades, and telling us to forego our "dreams" in favor of what is readily attainable right now.


The truth is, we only know Mike Rowe because Entertainment Industry executives think he looks like a guy who has to get dirty at work.  He isn't actually a guy who has to get dirty at work, unless you consider what you have to do to be an actor "dirty."


And Mike Rowe is wrong, too.  I don't hold it against him; clearly he himself has never had to quit school and work at a trade to support himself and maybe a family.  It's hard to give good advice for a situation you've never been in yourself.


There's no conflict between "following your passion" and working hard, smart and honorably in a blue-collar profession.  It's all in how you yourself interpret "Your Passion."  Too many people decide on a specific job without knowing anything about it.  I, for instance, have only ever dreamed of playing Major League baseball.  Guess what?  Turned out in Little League I was afraid of the ball so I couldn't hit for shit.  So much for my "Passion."  So then I decided my "Passion" would be to earn a decent living, be considered an honest and upstanding man, get good at something nobody else wanted to do, and never do anything others could use to impeach my integrity.


Hey, good for Mike Rowe.  He followed his passion, singing opera and moving into acting jobs to take advantage of the "Everyman" look his parents' genes gave him, and selling it to casting agents.


I don't think I'd follow his advice on anything outside of singing and acting, though.

Condition 1SQ's picture

I think Mike Rowe is off his fucking rocker on this one.  For fuck's sake, he works in show business.  Why is he lecturing anyone to not follow their passion?  Shouldn't he be welding a pipe somewhere right now if he really believed that?

ebear's picture

" Shouldn't he be welding a pipe somewhere right now if he really believed that?"

My thoughts exactly, and obvious enough that I figured someone else would notice, and they did!

My answer to Mike is this: Follow your passion, but have a Plan B. In my case, plan B was getting a class 1 driver's license. The course was 5 weeks, followed by working for a temporary driver service (just like temp secretary work) to get experience with different types of equipment and operations. Three months in I landed a job driving tankers - 4 days on, 3 days off. Those 3 off days were devoted to music, which I eventually figured out I would NOT be doing as a career, but I at least took a kick at it, and it didn't set me back. Later I started a small company doing software development which became a money sink, so I went back to trucking and dug myself out of the hole in less than a year. I then turned my eye towards stock trading, and that DID work out, even though it's not exactly my passion.

I do like puzzling things out though - basically any kind of mental challenge is interesting to me - so that worked well enough that I didn't need to think about what to do down the road - I'd made enough to secure my future. And guess what? Turned out I really liked trucking, so I still do it, even though I don't have to. Figure that one out Mike.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Well it looks like a few got butt-hurt, but no one dared to respond. I guess you cowards can while I sleep. Sorry, but this Millennial has a long passionate day working for himself and his family tomorrow.

NidStyles's picture

The leftists hate when you point things out that ruin their little echo chamber.


Look at my post FFS. Someone will have to be on the streets when the police are overwhelmed by the third world hordes. Trigger pullers will be in high demand during those days. It's not like that is their only talent, but it's a valuable on that will be in high demand.


A good example. I've also been a certified manual machinist, and have built many engines from the ground up. These were hobby professions for me, and almost every trigger puller has them.


sleigher's picture



On another note, people should find what their good at and persue that.   He is kind of right.


crossroaddemon's picture

The thing is, you can get good at damn near anything. I've been teaching guitar for 20 years, and have come to believe that what we call "talent" is really just an intuitive grasp of the techniques that constitute a rapid learning process. I had that, but I can take a student who does not and if he/she LISTENS to me and practices the way I tell them (which sadly isn't much) they will consistently learn way faster than anyone around them regardless of how talented they seemed coming in. Being good at anything means building skills, and a halfway bright person can develop almost any skill.