I recently had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine about pursuing one’s passion. I subscribe to the notion that everyone has an inner talent, an inner genius, a natural propensity for something in life that they are not only good at, but that feels good to them. My friend was determined that the only thing he was passionate about was playing Basketball and the ship had sailed on doing that professionally so I was wrong.
I’m not writing this article to prove I’m right but in hopes of inspiring a treasure hunt in those who are willing to read this. If you have not yet discovered your passion, the only way you can absolutely not find it is by not looking, or by giving up. I am not saying that we don’t have to work shitty jobs in the mean time. If you only knew the number of jobs I have quit and been fired from in the last decade while hunting down my passions. You likely will have to do something to pay the bills while you sort out what it is you truly love doing, what you’re great at, what you have to offer the world and how the fuck it can be marketable. But the key is to not get comfortable. Don’t allow that job you don’t love, no matter how well it pays or how content you are right now doing it, to become your life and distract you from trying new things. The only way to fail at this is to give up trying. This is a law of numbers, there is no way you can miss 100% of the time. You win some and you lose some but you win some. If you try things and they’re not quite right for you, you MUST try more things.
I’m a very fortunate person. I had a support system that allowed me to fuck up a lot of times and get back to ground zero over and over again while I explored the world and did things I enjoyed until I dowsed out what I was truly passionate about. Not everyone has the time I did, or the backup plan… But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It is only impossible when you decide it is. Do the things that scare you, do the things that make you nervous and sweaty and that sound like another person’s life because everything is someone else’s until you make it yours, and become the person that it belongs to.
I could go into a rant about the law of attraction and the power of the mind in manifesting things and the incredible transformation I’ve experienced with nothing more than a simple daily gratitude list but I’ll save that for another day. Right now all I’m asking is that you keep trying. Keep testing the waters for something new you haven’t ruled out yet, because the more people who find out what it is they’re passionate about the better off this world will be. Happiness breeds happiness. Courage inspires courage in others. Passion is contagious and it generates enthusiasm and engagement and productivity. Be BOLD! Figure out what you want and go get it. E.E. Cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
Maybe the word ‘passion’ itself is a hangup for you, maybe you need to find something that simply engages you. Find something that pulls on your insides and lights a little fire in there. Something that you enjoy and that feels more like a hobby than work and do that, pursue that, trust it as simply a bread crumb leading you in the right direction because you can trust your heart, or your gut, or whatever part inside you that knows things before your brain talks you out of it. That inner self or innate wisdom deep inside you knows and will help you make decisions along the way if you train yourself to listen.
I have put off writing this for a while because there are so many versions of this letter out there already, a fabulous one was written by my own mother, which you can read here, about achieving mastery and not giving up. And another by one of my favorites, the infamous Cheryl Strayed, you can read here about allowing yourself to be where you are, and figure out what’s next. This is not a new discussion, but I brought it up again because sometimes we need to be reminded. We are the architects of our own lives, and we can pretend to be the victim of our circumstances or we can take responsibility and empower ourselves to craft it exactly as we see fit.