-the creative quest-
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It’s a novel way to think about the creative quest…
Passion: An Exposé
“Follow your passion!”
We’ve all heard it before, but I have something to tell you:
It’s the wrong advice.
What if you don’t know what your passion is? Hearing something like that can be pretty stressful, right?
It’s time to leave the stress behind. In fact, you don’t ever have to worry about it again.
I’ll tell you why:
Passion is overrated.
It sounds nice and all, but doesn’t apply to most of us.
I’m not here to knock passion. I think passion is great. But passion is a state of being—we already carry it within us and it can be called upon in many situations.
It’s not something to chase.
The problem is that we grow up being told we have to “find” our passion. We must search, uncover, follow, and let nothing but death get in the way.
I just don’t buy it.
There is no requirement—or benefit, for that matter—to find that single, elusive, soul-consuming passion. Instead, why not have passions follow you throughout life?
Explore and pursue interests, hobbies, passionettes. Call it Living. With a capital L.
They’ll require no fidelity, no pledge of allegiance. They can and will change.
Some people do seem to know from Day One what their life’s passion is. They pass their ambitions through the filter of this one objective. Call them lucky if you want.
I think we are the lucky ones.
We get to be the Explorers.
I don’t have to remind you: We literally have millions of choices when it comes to what to do with our time.
How can we know which choice is right?
How can we “find our calling” if we don’t have opportunities to explore even a fraction of all the amazing things there are to do in life? And given all the options, are we really expected to just stick with the first thing we find interesting?
I love dark chocolate, but I don’t want to eat it for every meal.
I love writing, but it is not the only thing I want to do with my time.
In fact, I do and have done lots of other things. Since I was old enough to legally work, I’ve been a…
social media expert
specialty food buyer, seller, and consultant
international volunteer and traveler
Google search specialist
live game show host
luxury resort concierge
It just so happens that for the present moment I love to focus on writing. The reason I am able to recognize the love is because I’ve tried so many other things.
We learn about our desires through experience.
It’s a big world out there. How many opportunities might speak to us if we just take the time to scout them out?
Besides, what if you’re just not good at that thing you’ve defined as your passion? Do you really spend a lifetime pursuing it anyway? I’ve worked with too many hard-up and disillusioned Hollywood actors to believe that.
Some people spend decades pursuing their passion, waiting for their big break . . . and it simply never comes.
Is it not better to let passion follow you? Wouldn’t you rather be the one holding the reins?
You think you’re truly clueless about your interests? Take a harder look at your life.
Are there any hobbies in which you find a state of flow? Little interests to which you’ve remained loyal for years? I bet there’s something you nerd out on.
Video games? Fitness? Cooking? Reading? Poetry about dogs? Knitting sweaters for household objects? Melon art? Planning dance routines?
If there’s an activity you spend hours doing without noticing the time ticking by, passion has followed you there. Explore it.
Be curious about life instead of passionate toward one thing. You never know what opportunities lie behind the next corner.
On your deathbed, would you rather say:
“I spent life as an explorer.”
“I found something enjoyable and stuck with it.”
There is no “right” answer to that question.
But it is right to ask.
If you’re the pioneering type, it’s not like you have to rescue children from sewer gangs or create the next Facebook. Just find things you like and do them. Be an expert for a while. Dabble. The world could use more Renaissance [Wo]Men.
While you’re exploring, see what speaks to you . . .
Because here’s the best part:
When you become good at something you love, it’s remarkably easy to find a way to make a living from it.
Felix Kjellberg loved playing video games. He began prolifically uploading video commentary and vlogs about gaming to YouTube. He’s now the multi-millionaire known more popularly as PewDiePie.
Phil Robertson was a college football star and could have gone pro, but preferred to spend his time hunting. He invented the Duck Commander duck call, which earned him millions and eventually led to a starring role on—you guessed it—Duck Dynasty.
Valentina Tereshkova was a textile worker who happened to love spending time in the sky. She became an amateur skydiver and this led to her scoring a position as a Russian Cosmonaut and the first female in outer space.
Tim Ferriss simply enjoyed novel pursuits. He hated being confined to an office, so he wrote a book on escaping the 9-5 called The 4-Hour Workweek. From that he has amassed the resources to pursue nearly any damn thing he wants.
Those are just a few examples. And while they all happened to make it big financially, I’m certainly not saying that’s the goal.
The goal is to enjoy life passionately—not to make passion your life.
So take a load off. Breathe.
The search is over.