We’ve lost the meaning of the word passion.
Typically the New Year is a great time to evaluate whether or not what we are doing is right or wrong and exactly what, is working for us. When we head towards a word called passion it’s important to acknowledge that as much as passion can energize us, it is equally challenging.
You must have heard this word a lot these days. Somebody left their white collar job and joined a rather low paying entrepreneurial venture. And somebody traveled miles and crossed 7 oceans to teach some unknown people and children how to read and write. Or a journalist risking his entire career just to protect the anonymity of a source. And a man with a camera staying in fatal conditions of a foreign country which is in a constant state of anarchy and terrorism.
Do you ever wonder why do these people do that? Why do they take such pain when they could live their lives hassle-free with their kids and families, earning a six-figure salary at their homes.
They do it out of their passion; for job satisfaction, for teaching, for their belief in journalism; for their passion for life, in general.
Passion drives a human being to achieve what he is worthy of achieving. One Stands alone in millions because of one’s passion. It may be anything you choose to pursue, from your own business, singing, writing, reading, travelling, to helping the human being or caring for animals/nature or any profession for that matter, but when you choose your passion as your profession the work does not seem to be work at all it becomes an integral part of your personality. This is the strength passion possesses. It does not let you sit on your backside but kicks it to make you run for your passion time and again.
More than once, when reading an article that talks about someone following their passion, it has occurred to me that if you don’t know what your passion is, or if you found it and it’s not what you thought it would be, or if you do know and practical life things are getting in the way of you living it, all of these stories might make you feel frustrated, disgruntled, or maybe even like there is something wrong with you that you haven't figured things out yet. It seems that every article we read about someone who has completely changed their course or left their day job and is now living their passion makes it sound as if it were easy for them to do it. And there’s a good reason for that. It’s because we are reading about the culmination of something that may have been years in the making.
The truth is that making a change of any kind, particularly one that involves your career or a major corner stone of your life, is the farthest thing from easy. Everything is messy all the time when you are making changes on that level. Some moments in life are fantastic, you can feel the value of what you are doing, and it seems like everything will work out. Other moments you wonder what you were thinking, you always wonder that have you made right choices are not. There is not one person who has taken the leap of making a significant change that has not come up against these feelings.
So here is what I have learned so far about following your passion and how to lessen the pressure whether you have found it, you are looking for it or trying to live it.
First, we need to throw out the phrase “follow your passion”. “Follow your curiosity” instead. If you are looking to make a change in your life or just enrich your experiences in some way and you are not sure where to start, follow your curiosity. Notice what interests you. Follow it and then explore it. Maybe it’s that thing that lights up your being or the thing you feel like you could talk about all day. And then start to think about where you could fit more of that into your life. Start small. See what happens.
Second important thing is to surround yourself with a few people who understand or have done what you are trying to do, people who can offer you different perspectives. I feel like we need to talk more honestly to one another about the particulars of our struggles and how we achieved our successes. We need to share our questions and brainstorm solutions because the truth is that everyone who is in the midst of a career change or a major life shift has help. Maybe it’s from a partner, family, or friends but it literally takes a village whether that support is emotional or financial.
Finally at last but not the least, be open. This one can be a little difficult for me because in this instance, what I mean by being open is letting go a little and allowing things to unfold. This can be really hard if you are used to being very linear or goal-oriented, or if you feel like the clock is ticking, the rent needs to be paid, EMI need to be paid or you happen to be someone who is a little more on the controlling side. Not that I’m speaking from experience here or anything.
For me, I love seeing how my path will unfold, and I marvel at the the opportunities that organically evolve and the side of me that is feeling that excitement and pull like I want to run with something but don't know exactly what or to where. And I'm learning that sometimes you have to sit with that feeling, as uncomfortable as it is, until that thing comes to you, because as much as we may want it to, we can't force it to come along before we’re ready.
I’m still working this out as I go along. Some days I feel like things are well in hand, others not so much, but overall I try to remember these three things and that every moment is an opportunity to make a choice that will set us on a different course and change something that hasn’t been working for us.
That’s ‘Passion’ for you.
So, go. Go out there and catch a glimpse of your own potential and behold how Passion is born!
Devendra V. Jaiswal