Follow Your Passion
How do you follow your passion? I’ve often heard the phrase ‘follow your passion’, but how exactly does one do that? It seems impractical to me. Besides if you want to get ahead in anything, your typically not following, but leading. Lead your passion, or make your passion, would make more sense. We sort of get to choose our passions. It typically takes time and work to become passionate in an area. Being passionate about something you haven’t invested yourself in, would be like being passionate about a person you just met. Sure there could be initial chemistry, but you have to build a relationship and get to know the person, before you can genuinely be passionate about them. 

I’ve come to understand passions like relationships. Initial chemistry can be important, but even so, until you spend time with a person, you can only dole out simple judgements. The more time you spend, the more you can tell if it’s a good fit. Some people just won’t be a good match, but there are a lot of people that would be beneficial for you to know. That’s what a passion can do. It can pique your interest, challenge you, make you better, change you, give you a different perspective, a different vision, a good time, difficult times, and a more fulfilling life. It’s not always fun or easy, but messy and changes with time. 

I feel a lot of passions are discovered once you get your first accomplishment in that area. So if you feel like you don’t have many passions, don’t just try something new, but commit a certain amount of time to something new. A first date can be informative, but sometimes misleading. Besides starting something new usually makes us feel awkward, unskilled, and even embarrased. It makes sense, but passions come after that initial step. Then all those awkward moments become worth it. Some passions just hit you, but I think most are created, just like relationships. Some are spontaneous, but most require some hard work and dedication. However, that’s what makes them valuable, strong, and enjoyable.


What do you want to be when you grow up?

It may seem like a simple question, but how many of our 8 year old selves knew what our dream professions actually entailed? And the older you get, the more blurry it becomes. Or if you get an aha! moment, but realize you should have started in that profession 10 years ago to be where you want to be. Normally it can take a few years after college to find something your passionate about. Then what? You most likely have time invested in a different field, degree, and you have to start from scratch. Meanwhile, hey those bills don’t pay for themselves. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the question ‘if you could do anything, what would it be’. Well even though my answer would have changed through the years, it always required money. And I would think, if I could do what I wanted, why do you think I wouldn’t already be doing it? 

However, my pursuit of ‘purpose’ never seemed to go anywhere. It was just a stressful exercise where I would wrack my brain and try to get an epiphany regarding my reason for living. Shockingly, it never worked. Then I realized, I wasn’t focusing on myself. Self confidence, self fulfillment,  self esteem. These all have one word in common, Self. If your trying to find a way to make your purpose connected to others, it’s not going to work. We’re so often put down by focusing on our own wants, that it’s like a bad character trait. However, if you base your self worth on others, well, it’s not going to end well. Your purpose is about you. But I’ve often heard the ‘my purpose is to help others’ kind of line. That’s what makes finding purpose so difficult. It’s not about others, but it is often stated as such. You have to find what you enjoy and want to focus on. It’s not something you can answer with a simple question, it’s something that has to be discovered, understood, and often times created. What you put yourself into, can often times lead to a purpose. 

And then we have all those ‘self’ words. If you want to be successful, happy, and confident, then sometimes you need to be a bit selfish. If you don’t pay attention to yourself, your wants and desires, then how do you know if life is taking you in the right direction? If your only focused on those around you, it’s near impossible to live a satisfied and fulfilled life. It may be counter culture, but it’s common sense in other areas. You know the whole, put your own mask on before assisting others. It’s just like that. Focus on yourself, learn what you want, need, desire, and do as many of those things as possible. Then, people with similar passions will begin showing up in your life. As well, you won’t have to seek fulfillment from others, you’ll already have it. You’ll have a grounded view of yourself, and those around you. Which then makes it much easier to help others. 

So it’s okay to be selfish sometimes. On the extreme side, I knew one woman who was in an abusive relationship, yet was so focused on trying to be better for her spouse, that she completely neglected herself. Trying to give her some perspective, I asked her what her favorite color was. With a confused look she said, ‘I don’t know, it doesn’t matter’. To her, nothing mattered except trying to keep him happy. There are people who you can never do enough for or be good enough for. Yet if you don’t have a clear perspective of yourself, it’s easy to be controlled by these people. So when your learning what you want to be, don’t think selfless, think self first. Once you know what you want, you will be doing all the right people a favor by being yourself, and living a fulfilling life. You know, 🐝 yourself, and the rest will come into focus.