Whew! Where to start?
Have you ever heard someone tell you that you need to find you passion in life? It’s made out to be the cornerstone of happiness – living your passion.
But how do you know your passion?
It should be easy enough, right? It’s something you feel strongly about, something that drives you. Something that you wouldn’t mind doing for the rest of your life. Maybe even something you’d do if it made only little money, just barely enough to feed you. So how come we’re not all following our passion yet?
Maybe because we have the wrong idea. Can it be that some people just aren’t passionate about anything? See, I am passionate about so many things I could hardly decide which one to pursue first. How’s that fair?
We certainly have affinities to some activities and jobs, but there are a few things all passionate people have in common – no matter the subject they feel so strongly about:
- An immense dislike for mediocrity. To be a master in your field and immerse yourself fully, you need to strive for out-of-the-ordinary success. Perfection. Constant improvement. Van Gogh surely didn’t cut his ear off because that was what most artists did! (Passion and insanity may go hand in hand, but it’s okay to take on and leave the other.)
- Curiosity and hunger for knowledge. I’m sure you’d agree that most subjects get more interesting if you develop a better understanding. Bees for example are extraordinarily boring – until you get to talk to a beekeeper. Did you know there’s no money in honey? It’s all about pollinating. Different types of bees have differently structured hives, some of them the most chaotic constructions you’ll ever see. Some types of bees are dying out because others migrated into their habitat. There’s more to know than your brain will hold. And it’s just bees!
- The willingness to work hard. While we’re all out chasing the quick buck, most people have forgotten the value of hard work. Sure, to make money working smarter rather than harder is probably a good idea. But working hard just for the work itself instills a sense of accomplishment unequalled. A Muay Thai fighter devotes eight hours a day to kicking and elbowing, six days a week. Is that smart, from a strength and conditioning point of view? Absolutely not. Is it rewarding? Does it fuel the fire? Hell yes!
- The resilience to overcome failure. If you’re focused on an outcome, such as money, failure is immensely discouraging. When you try to start a business to become a millionaire and then, as most, your business fails – you wasted money and time. There’s not much to be gained. However, if you have something you want to share with the world desperately, that failure will hurt in a different way. You may feel discouraged because your beloved baby wasn’t received well. But your desire and passion for the thing itself will likely stand untouched, which will lead to more resilience for the next ten failures that inevitably lie ahead.
Most importantly, all of these can be applied to any kind of job, hobbie, club or sport.
Great! Now you know what passionate people have and maybe what you don’t have – and you’re ready to roll your eyes and move on with life. How’s this going to help?
Passion Is A Skill
Well, as searching for your passion probably hasn’t done the trick, maybe developing the skill of passion will. Does that mean you have to become hungry for knowledge about accounting…? That’s probably too big of a challenge.
But what you can do is to shift your perspective. A pradigm shift, as Stephen R. Covey would call it. Understand that passion does not fall into your lap, but instead is something to be worked on. When you’re confronted with a new project at work or a subject, try not to write it off as boring right away. Don’t worry- it’s fun, I promise.
I’ll get more into how to develop and harness passion in my next post(s). And, more importantly, in the rest of this blog, where I’ll show passionate people, passionate travel and all kinds of fun stuff.
Do you think I’m full of shit? Feel free to let me know in the comments.