I used to think that there was a roadmap for my life. Now I’ve slowly but surely started to realise that I get to create my own road map. Of course, there are things you can not change, but many things you can. I used to think that I had to dig through all my hundreds of thousands of passions to find the “right” one. Now I’ve slowly begun to realise that I don’t have to pick only one of my passions, but a life lived well may have many explored passions.
Here are some thoughts on work and passion which I hope will help you as you navigate the rocky road of passion and life and work.
No one has to pick one passion to focus on for their entire life
There is no real evidence that we each have a unique calling which once found will lead to endless happiness and fulfilment. Some people have one strong passion which they find early. Other people have many passions and they pursue each of these throughout life. Some people become well-known at a young age and some at an older age. Don’t measure your life against other people’s and become frustrated because your journey appears different to theirs. Also don’t become frustrated because you feel like you haven’t found your “one unique thing”. As long as you enjoy what you do, you are doing okay.
You can even try to combine multiple passions and turn them into a career. Mixing passions is a way to make your work and skill set stand out. It is also an excellent idea not to over-invest in a single area.
I am a writer, but I am also interested in philosophy, religion, history, nutrition, fashion and so much more. The more interests I have the more I am able to write about these topics so it works quite well!
Don’t feel like you can’t change things
Even if you have chosen one passion and gone for it for 10 years. You may discover that you become bored and your interests change. This isn’t bad, it’s fairly normal. We all like to discover different things in life and mix it up. Don’t feel like you have signed your name on a dotted line if you have selected a certain career choice, there is always a level of flexibility to change and try something new.
The average person has 10 different jobs by the age of forty and there is no reason to think we will be an exception. As a general rule, skill beats enthusiasm every time. And thinking that something sounds exciting, does not mean it will actually form an enjoyable career.
Passion doesn’t make work not work
Passion is a limited source of motivation. It takes a lot of discipline to stick to a single area. There is a big difference doing something for fun and doing it to earn money. No matter what your career or passion is, soon you have to deal with unpleasant clients, taxes, invoices and all sorts of unpleasant administration. Even professional travellers will find that there are things about their job which appear nice but are really quite unpleasant. If it’s a job it has pros and cons.
Even if we find a job that we are passionate about, in a city we love, with a person we adore, there will still be days when we wake up and hate life.
Ask questions: what am I skilled at? What do I have the potential to become more skilled at? What can I do which is practical and which includes elements I enjoy? What will lead elsewhere in the future? The answers to these questions will help you to move forward in your career and work through your various passions.
Good luck trooper. Stay passionate and create value for the planet.