For almost all of our lives, “finding your passion” is portrayed as this mystical journey that leads to living happy and free life, but sometimes it seems only a select few people ever get blessed with knowing how to reach end of this search.
I personally struggled with this for the past few years. After graduating college with a degree in marketing, the obvious path would be for me to land a marketing job in an office where I would use the skills I learned in school. And that is exactly what I did. The only problem was that I was completely miserable doing it. No matter how much the job paid, how nice the people were, how good I was at it or the perks associated with the position, I was never satisfied. I would move to different marketing jobs, thinking a new company or line of work would make me happy, but in the end that type of job or lifestyle just wasn’t for me. I kept questioning how I could ever do it for my entire life and knew I needed a way out.
With this realization came the search for “my passion”. I wanted to be one of those people that is in love with what they do. Part of the elite group of people who don’t work for the weekend, and basically get paid to live (or so that’s what it feels like). To do this, I knew I needed to find something I absolutely loved doing and then make a living out of it. In our societal upbringing, we are not often instructed to find our passion. Typically, we’re taught to follow success, a secure job or money. However, this is only a small (if any) fraction of the puzzle to happiness.
Any self-help book, Ted Talk, or successful entrepreneur I follow speaks about the significance of finding your passion and turning that into a living in order to love what you do. While I craved to find the passion that would set me free, the journey felt completely overwhelming and seemed almost impossible. Anything I felt passionate about, I either couldn’t make money from (so I thought) or I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I thought things like, “What if I I’m passionate about my family and friends? How do I turn that into a living?” I couldn’t think of just one certain thing I felt so strongly about that seemed I should devote my life to it. During these times of exploration, I’d often feel sad and hopeless. It seemed to me that these people speaking about finding their passion just knew them all along. It’s what they’ve done since they were children or had a knack for their entire lives. I wondered: if I couldn’t find my passion, would I be stuck doing jobs I didn’t love forever?
If this sounds like you, or if you’ve ever felt angst or confusion over finding your passion, the good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Since then, I’ve taken an entirely different perspective on this topic and I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe we all won’t “find our passion”. And this is because many of us have tons of passions! How can we pick just one? And depend on just that one for happiness, job security, and financial abundance? Some people may have a passion that is stronger than any other, and it has been obvious from an early age that is what they need to pursue in life. This is totally awesome for those people, but they are not a majority. Most of us have many interests, some stronger than others; but being forced to choose one for our livelihood forever just doesn’t sound realistic. Passions and interests evolve all the time. What we’re passionate about now can change in 5 years, or we may discover a completely new passion along the way. All of this is totally okay. I think what matters most is that you find joy in what you’re doing in the present moment. Finding your passion may sound like the golden ticket to life, but having passionate interests is totally a win too. Finding work that allows you to tap into these interests is life changing, and the more you enjoy your work everyday, the more you’ll attract positive and similar opportunities and scenarios into your life. You can’t choose passion. It is just doing what you love. Instead of forcing yourself to find your passion, just follow what you love and the rest will come.
I don’t want my point to be misunderstood and come off as I don’t think working for passion is important. Passionate is definitely important in what we do. I believe you must have passion in order to be successful and ultimately happy in your life, but don’t get caught up in finding one passion if that doesn’t seem to be possible right now. I suggest focusing on being passionate, instead of finding your passion. The more we work on our inner self, the closer we will be to living out our passions. We should probably work to change that phrase anyway. Because I don’t really believe we ‘find our passions’, they find us.