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Beyond the role: How passion projects fuel well-being and personal growth

In today’s fast-paced world, we spend so much time at work that it often takes centre stage. But increasingly, people are turning to research about wellness and longevity. Eating less, drinking less, doing less. And thereby focusing more internally. Thinking more. Reflecting more. Simply ‘being’ more.

Introducing passion projects: those personal endeavours driven for pure joy, learning and exploration, separate from the pressures of professional goals.

Passion projects are not just hobbies or side interests; they are pursuits that ignite genuine passion and curiosity, providing an outlet for personal growth and fulfillment.

No, not everyone has the luxury of dedicating themselves to a full-fledged passion project. Demanding work schedules, single parenting, limited resources, and the nature of some jobs can make it challenging. However, for those fortunate enough to pursue such endeavors, the benefits are undeniable. Passion projects can significantly enhance our lives.

Take Elena Björkenäng, for example. While dedicated to her work as a Facilitator at Lorensbergs, she’sdelving into the world of Eco-Psychology. This unique field explores the connection between human well-being and the natural environment. Elena’s self-directed studies reflect a growing trend – employees seeking personal fulfilment outside of their traditional work roles.

Elena highlights a key advantage of passion projects, she says “They nurture creativity, regardless of whether the project directly relates to your work. This can be especially valuable in the workplace where there might not always be room for such exploration. Ultimately, this sense of discovery can translate into innovative thinking and problem-solving skills that benefit both your personal and professional life.”

 Frida Åberg, Strategic Lead at Lorensbergs, echoes this sentiment. She’s pursuing her studies to become a Jungian analyst. While this field could potentially connect to her work, she chose to invest in it independently. “I didn’t want the goals that could come with company sponsorship,” she explains. “It’s not a linear learning process, and I wanted to do it without pressure.”

Frida’s experience underscores another important aspect of passion projects: the freedom to pursue personal growth on one’s own terms. Unburdened by external expectations, individuals can delve into subjects that spark genuine curiosity and foster learning.

Chris Hogan, CEO of Lorensbergs, emphasises the company’s stance on nurturing employee fulfilmentand creativity. “As an employer, we have seen a trend in people looking beyond their role for fulfillment… something that gets them going! Something that lights them up but might not be 9-5 but 5-9,” says Chris. “We want to encourage learning in all its forms, regardless of whether it is work-related or not, because we see the benefits. We believe every interaction matters, and that’s the case wherever these interactions take place. People will interact better when they feel they can accomplish their goals. Learning is learning. It is key.”

Chris’s perspective underscores the importance of creating a culture where employees feel empowered to pursue their passions outside of work without fear of judgment or competition. “We view passion projects in the same way as we do parental leave,” explains Chris. “There is a fulfillment, a growth, and a learning that comes with it. Taking a day off a week to take part in a course or taking a day off to be more present with your children is all about learning and growth. We believe that our employees love what they do and trust that their passion projects won’t compete with their performance, but rather enhance it.”

The benefits of passion projects extend beyond personal fulfilment. Studies have shown that engaging in activities we’re passionate about can reduce stress, improve focus, and boost overall well-being. In a world that often demands constant ‘on-ness’, passion projects provide a much-needed outlet for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Carving out space for personal exploration and life-long learning, whether through a full-fledged passion project or smaller pursuits, can significantly enhance our lives.



Elena Wallén Björkenäng

Certified Professional Facilitator

Frida Åberg

MSc Psychology

Christina Hogan

CEO • Certified Professional Facilitator

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