The Lie We're Told About Passion and Purpose
So I was watching this TED talk the other day where Terri Trespicio, a writer and a branding strategist, challenges the preconceived idea of passion and explains how it is something much different than what we are made to believe.
We often see entrepreneurs and influencers on social media talk about pursuing your passion and not letting anything get in the way between you and your goals.
That's indeed motivating, but what most of these influencers get wrong about passion is that they address it as this rigid concept and/or a destination that you must plan your way to reach.
We are made to believe that passion is something you find solely through conscious effort and disciple, but in reality, it's something that develops and changes over time.
Passion Hates Plans
Passion isn't something you find when you're in your teens and then spend the rest of your life trying to achieve it; no person is ever passionate about just one single thing.
We all have several interests. Granted, some are stronger than others, but that doesn't mean that you should prioritize just one and disregard all the others.
When talking about a career filled with passion and meaning, it is important to keep your options wide open and try to explore them all as much as you can.
As Terri mentions,
Passion is not a plan, it's a feeling, and feelings change.
When we're kids, we often don't have a clue about the things we're interested in or could be interested in. It's only when we do things that we didn't necessarily intend to, are we surprised that we actually enjoy doing them.
The same idea applies here. You can't just stick to one thing and tunnel vision it. Passion is simply a feeling. You could be feeling it one day and maybe not the next. You could be feeling it for a career choice or a romantic partner.
Passion Isn't Found, It's Built
Lemme just go ahead and say that the mindset that you're supposed to "find your passion" is total bullcrap. Like I said, passion is something that develops and changes over time.
You can't exactly 'find' your passion right away because it needs time and will to be considered a priority first. 'Realizing' and 'building' your passion seems to make more sense rather than 'finding' it because this way you are accepting that your passion is known only through experimentation.
You can't expect that one day you'll do a new activity and find out that this is what you want to do for the rest of your life. That's pretty nonsensical. Passion starts rather small and develops only through willful repetition.
Writing didn't always use to be one of my passions. As a kid, I began to notice that I like taking notes in class because it allowed me to experiment with different handwritings, and that's how I first discovered writing as a hobby.
Later on, as I continued to write poetry, songs, and eventually this blog, I realized that writing is something I would definitely consider doing for a living, even though I have many other interests that I want to explore still.
Pressured To Be Passionate?
The pressure to "follow your passion" we get from social media has one major flaw: it assumes that we already have figured out what our passion is. In reality, people usually have a hard time figuring out what they are passionate about.
Reason being that they are afraid to try out different things because they think that to find their passion, they must stay committed to just one thing, which is exactly what you're not supposed to do.
I see a lot of people buying into the idea that you must always be passionate about something at any given point in your life. This doesn't make any sense because as we mentioned earlier, passion is a feeling. No matter how much you love doing something, you can't be thrilled about it all the time.
Your mind needs a break every now and then even from the things that you are truly passionate about. That's just how we humans operate. You can't expect yourself or others to stay passionate about something without ever being at least mildly annoyed by it.
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