Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you must have heard Instagrammers telling you to find your passion. It’s something that’s been thrown around the internet like a sack of crap. How exactly do you “find your passion”? Maps? Clues? Crazy 14th-century indecipherable codes? We’re willing to give everything to find it. But what if passion could never be found? What if passion can be cultivated? With several misconceptions orbiting cyberspace we should decapitate some of them.
PASSION ISN’T A LOST TREASURE TO FIND
It’s funny, we think of passion as a long lost treasure. But it’s something that lies inside of us with an invisible cloak around it. It’s with work we can strip it of its outfit. It was always work->falling in love->Stumbling upon it, not the other way around. There are real-life examples to support this.
- Mark Manson – He never considered writing as a career choice during his early days, not even a hobby. He wrote short stories, movie reviews, guitar pickups, even causes of the Iraq war, just for fun. By the time when he “stumbles upon” his desire for writing, he had written tons of stuff online. He decided to hone his skill and eventually became a bestselling author.1
- Better Ideas – The youtube channel born out of boredom. Joey Schweitzer started making youtube videos to fill up his time. But months later the channel picked up and he decided to make a part-time career out of it. Better ideas currently have 770k subscribers, not bad for a youtube channel that started due to boredom don’t you think? 2
Ellen Degeneres, Taylor Swift… and many others found their “passion” only by working on it because they relished it. Passion can be recognized after the work’s done. You never know how coffee tastes like without taking a sip. Unless you have crazy mystical powers…
THE “DO SOMETHING” PRINCIPLE
People always complain that they don’t have something to be passionate about. My first response is “Have you tried…
- Visual effects?
- Game designing?
- Tech reviewing?
- Martial arts?
- Eating – You can do food reviews dude, isn’t that cool?
Don’t get me wrong, you need not look for your calling. It’s always something you love, something that resides in us in a tiny form. Our passion expands when we work on it, and we finally get a chance to view it when it’s substantial in size. Say you’re into Avengers and would love to make incredible time portal animations, check out visual effects. If you love making funny sketches in your class time, why not give drawing a shot? Tech Enthusiast? Just write reviews for products on Quora, become a beta tester. Think about it, What’s dominating your 16-awakened-hours? What are you browsing, talking, thinking about? Find what it is and try to choose your activity according to it.
If you feel nothing comes up, no worries. Just skim over the above list, you might find something interesting.
But how will I have the motivation?
When you act, you get inspiration. When you decide to push through small failures (which seems huge by the way – Like wanting to get 1000 likes on your first youtube video), you get tiny success. This gives you the motivation to take further action, and the cycle repeats itself.
I discovered my love for writing only after 15 crappy articles and 3 short stories. This comes around like 9 months of shallow-effort. And these articles were so nauseating that in one instance that I dashed through my bedroom window to puke. But these 9 months were some of the life-defining moments for me. And I am grateful for them.
But what if this didn’t work out even after months of struggle? What if you don’t make money out of this?
One, finding your love for something shouldn’t be a struggle. It’s fun. You should love the process. If you don’t (even after substantial effort), it’s time to spice things up. Do something else. If video-editing isn’t your cup of tea try game-designing or writing. Just do something. Having a creative outlet is much better than staring at a dumb screen. Agree? Two, Passion isn’t about work and earning money, it’s about finding joy. It’s okay to work in a 9 to 5 job with a bunch of cool guys and be passionate about gardening which pays you like nothing.
This approach exposes you to better experiences, eventually expanding your perspective about life. You put in the work, you may or may not fall in love with it. If you do, that’s awesome. If you don’t, no worries you have experienced something new that a vast majority of people don’t. It’s a win-win situation anyway.
- Find something that seems interesting (Google about it to get an idea of what it’s about)
- Expect nothing in return except joy, work on yourself, and the most important thing is having fun.
- Do this for a month or two.
- If you still love doing it, keep going. Else switch up and repeat the above steps.
Time will let you know.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF I FOUND MY PASSION?
The point of life is the uncertainty of it. You just simply take up something, work on it for the mere joy of doing it and have fun. You forget day and night, become so obsessed with it that you find yourself needing to relearn how to pee. Your love for the act of drawing or any endeavour that excites you becomes more than life itself. You cannot stop but wonder “I wish I could do this for the rest of my life” and that’s the time my friend, you have finally found your passion. So what’s it gonna be?
- Screw finding your passion – As a kid, I would write short stories in my room for fun. As a teenager, I would write music reviews and essays about bands I loved and then show them to nobody. Once the internet came around, I spent hours upon hours on forums writing multi-page posts about inane topics – everything from guitar pickups to the causes of the Iraq War. I never considered writing as a potential career. I never even considered it a hobby or passion. To me, the things I wrote about were my passion: music, politics, philosophy. The writing was just something I did because I felt like it.
- Joey Schweitzer – Better Ideas
- Do something principle by Mark Manson – If you wish to read the generalized version of the “Do something principle” you can read it here. My article circles only around passion