I have heard the phase “Find your passion!” repeatedly for as long as I could remember.
“Find your passion!”
“Do what you love!”
“The key to happiness is finding your passion!”
“Every day will be like playing instead of working.”
I think this is a little unfair, and here’s why:
There are two types of people– people who LOVE things, and people who like things.
People who LOVE things love to taste, love to feel, love to smell. They love trying new things and having new experiences. They are very hungry and very passionate. They are very happy (or very depressed) with their lives. They can be impulsive.
People who like things like to try new things too, but they are a few degrees detached compared to people who LOVE. They are interested in their work, but not emotionally attached. They are not as hungry, but are disciplined.
The phrase “Find your passion” seems to apply only to people who LOVE.
So does this mean that only passionate people will succeed in life? Does this mean that only passionate people will be happy? If you don’t LOVE your job, will you be miserable? Most humans lie somewhere near the middle of a normal bell curve, which means most people are not Very Passionate. Does this mean that the vast majority of us will not be happy and find our career? Does this mean our society was set up so that most of us would fail?
“Find your passion.”
I’ve met some people who take this mantra to heart, and as a result can’t find a career path that suits them. They can’t take the first step in selecting a path, or they constantly switch careers. Am I passionate about A? … no. B?….no. C?…. eh, it was good at first, but now I’m cynical and disenchanted….so no. Etc.
The Passion is either external or internal.
Finding Your Passion is a matter of finding where your passion lies. Is it something, one specific Thing maybe, that makes you happy? Or can you find happiness within yourself?Is it finding a Passion (one of many), and then making it belong to You? Or was it Yours to begin with, but just needed to be unearthed?
Many of us envy these people who have found their Thing and seem to have their lives planned out. But every field has its ups and downs. There is always some politics, corruption, and bullshit in everything. What happens when a field becomes less tasty? Do you feel stuck? Get burned out? Quit? Change careers? Which narrative do you pick to rationalize this with yourself? Is it because the world is corrupt and you stayed true to yourself, or is because you lack discipline?
The key is to find both passion and discipline. Find what gets you up in the morning, and discipline yourself to withstand the hard times and fly through the good.