October 9, 2019

Finding your passion

Follow your passion and it will lead you to your destiny, right? 

Though well-meaning, it is not exactly a piece of very helpful advice. What if I do not know what it is? Or what if my passion is just a hobby that can only help me to unwind and decompress at the end of the day? 

Finding your passion might be a good idea to get you started if you feel stuck in the daily grind. But it also creates the danger of creating a disillusion that once you find your passion, the joy, peace and fulfilment that you are looking for will come. The thing is, it may not. 

It might also cause you to get caught up with finding that one thing that might be your passion that you forget about all the little things in life that bring you joy. What about enjoying a book with a nice cup of coffee in the sun during springtime? 

Work might currently take up the majority of the time when we are awake. But that does not mean that the nature of work will continue like this forever. As work becomes more flexible with more casual opportunities, you can see it as a threat, or you can see it as a gift – a gift to carve out something unique for you that helps you pay the bills, and then some. 

One thing that I learnt throughout my experiences putting together freelance, part-time work and even full-time gigs together is that there are so many things that we can be good at that there’s no need to limit ourselves to just that one thing that we are good at and passionate about. 

We all have one life. It is not a long time, but it is enough for us to make a difference wherever we choose. 

There is time for experiments. For trying things out and seeing if you would like to stick with them. Want to see if music is suitable for you? Take a short course and stick with it till the end. Want to see if writing is suitable for you? Start writing in a journal where perhaps no one will see except you. Do all the seemingly insignificant things that will get you started and get you moving. 

We often get stuck in analysis paralysis, over-thinking till the cows come home and do not take any action at all. Sometimes we worry too much about whether things will fail. Sometimes we are not willing to let go of things that we have achieved to move forward. 

But remember, you can always pivot and adjust your course even after making decisions. Take calculated risks and you will still be able to manoeuvre your way around. What’s the worse that can happen? Maybe you drop something and look for something else again.  

Now there is a fine line between quitting early because it’s not for us, versus quitting early because we cannot get over the initial challenge of learning something new. Only you will know the difference. The true meaning of passion actually means to suffer in Latin. It is not all a bed of roses. There are sacrifices that you will have to make. But if you don’t try, you will never know. 

So how do you actually find your passion? Start by doing something. Momentum creates more momentum. But the journey always begins with a single step. 

What are you willing to suffer for? That might lead you to start thinking about your purpose. Finding your passion might be important. But it is not the only thing that’s important. Perhaps if you link it to some purpose, then your passion might have a reason for its existence. 

Most importantly, seek constant growth and movement. If you stay still in one place for too long, you will stagnate. Perhaps the goal is not about actually finding your passion but in the journey of getting there. 

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