This November, I’m challenging myself to write every day. You can read them all under the “Shorts” category, where each post should be around 500–1k words. Think of them as “less polished” than my usual longer blog posts. This is Day 22.
"Follow your passion, and it will lead you to your purpose. Do what you love."
"If you follow your passion, you'll never have to work a day in your life."
Those are the most cliche job advices you'll come across. While those words do contain some truths, they are not as simple as they sound. It's easy to give out, but holds no value whatsoever. What exactly does it mean to follow
your "passion"? It can be misleading because not everyone can drop their jobs to pursue their passions. Not everyone has one
passion, because they may have several. Not all passions can be turned into careers, because some are simply hobbies. And not everyone has an idea what their passions are, so where does that leave them?
Even if you do follow your passion, don't fall into trap of believing that if you have enough passion, you will easily realise your dreams with enough passion. You still need to build your customers, business, and everything else from the ground up. Work is still work, and you still need to find a way to make enough money to live. Working on your passion can be exciting but there will also be tough times that you will hate. That's okay because after all, it's still work.
Before you do take the leap, it's better to ask yourself whether you are being pushed or pulled towards your passion
. If you feel a bit forced to do it, you might be running away from something, so it's a good idea to reconsider and think about what you're afraid of. However, if it's calling for you and you can't stop thinking about it, then it might be worth a shot.
If you don't follow your passion, that's also perfectly fine. We're so caught up with the idea that we need to find something we thoroughly enjoy doing, otherwise, our lives would feel meaningless without any purpose. This is absolutely baseless. You can still work a job that you're indifferent to while still pursuing your passions in your free time. Work can still be work, but it doesn't have to serve our purpose in life.
I think a better piece of advice would be to follow your curiosities:
I’m a (major) advocate for what Elizabeth Gilbert—author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love—calls following your curiosity. Curiosities are subtle. They might stem from interests in things that feel basic, silly, or mundane. These quiet whispers from the Daimon can be cultivated and explored without the risk of failure. Over time, curiosities can become passions. And then, maybe, someday, they become “callings.”
— Deep Fix
I don't think we go out to find our passion; it's something we cultivate over time instead. Curiosities do not have to be passions either, but they can be over time. See what you vibe with, what you're excited about, and put effort into it. If you become good at it and it's what the job market looks for, you could make a career out of it. At the same time, if it doesn't, it's fine to keep it as a side project. Again, a job doesn't have to be our passion or our purpose. It's not the key to discovering "purpose" or "meaning" in our lives. It can be, but it's not always the case.
So if you haven't found your "passion" yet, don't be discouraged. I don't think I have either; I'm just exploring a bunch of different things I think I enjoy to see what fits. I believe if you continue to explore and follow your curiosities, you might find something worthwhile to work on. And that might be your key to cultivating that "passion" instead.