One of the most pivotal moments of my life happened when I was 11, it felt like my world had been turned upside down…
We were sitting in a circle on the floor in 5th grade, the teacher asked us to go around and tell the group what we wanted to be when we grew up… I remember sitting there racking my brain for something acceptable to arise within me, something similar to my classmates, anything really before I had to tell the class what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember thinking ‘but I don’t want to be just one thing, I want to do lots of things’. My classmates had all followed the rules and picked one thing they wanted to be, and when my turn came around, I babbled out a bunch of nervous word vomit, “marine biologist, fashion designer, movie writer, track and field athlete.” My 5th-grade teacher shook her head, this wasn’t an acceptable answer, I was told I had to pick one thing. How could I choose just one thing I thought?
Looking back it became obvious that just because my 5th-grade teacher couldn’t imagine that for herself it didn’t mean my future path couldn’t exist. In fact, why couldn’t I pursue all of my passions throughout life, not just settle for one?
As we grow up we tend to focus on what will make us money and how we will support ourselves financially, the passion becomes lost or put on the back burner for years while you forgo your career in search of an acceptable life, or maybe we tell ourselves that because it’s comfortable. We strive for the plateau as opposed to constant challenge and trust me I get it, I’ve been there, it’s so much easier to set the bar at a comfortable height as opposed to challenging yourself. But my friends as they say ‘comfort kills!’
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF 2020
If you grew up in the 1930s and 1940s pursuing a passion was going against the social grain, creative or artistic pursuits in lieu of a stable middle-class job were not common or as socially accepted, and for those that followed societies rules they thrived in that economy, as Adam Davidson, author of “The Passion Economy” states “ Money was the opposite of art, the opposite of passion.” But fast forward to 2020, art, passion, and creativity can all be rewarded, and living in the digital age of communication and endless opportunity our passions are impatiently waiting for us to pursue them and gift them to the world! As Davidson states “virtually everyone can have a richer life, in every sense of the word”. It’s ultimately up to you how you a) choose to forge your life path, and b) think outside the box, nothing great comes from waiting for life to happen, you have to make it happen for you.
The aim of this article isn’t to tell you to up and quit your 9–5 gig, but pursuing your passion or a side hustle alongside, or over a 9–5 stable income, can be challenging and risky, but the satisfaction and rewards that come from it are SOUL QUENCHING! I’ve found that if we look inward and find and develop these things for ourselves they will ultimately drive us forward.
Being assertive in the pursuit of your passion can be financially rewarding, as Davidson states, paying “close attention to the marketplace, seeking out novel ways to match our particular set of passions with those people who most value them”, monetary gain will almost always be just one of the many flow-on effects that arise when you truly follow what you love, and stay consistent along the path.
So Why Does Your Passion Need You?
- It fosters creativity and exploration.
- It’s challenging.
- It fosters growth and self-confidence.
- It’s humbling.
- It allows you to get into ‘flow state’ (I recommend reading or listening to the book Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi).
To my younger self who wanted to do all the things I was passionate about, I am here to say I am conquering my passions, finding my individual value, and forging my own path (man it feels good!)
THE WORLD NEEDS YOU!
Simply put if it’s not you offering your unique gifts to the world, then who will? You owe it to yourself and the world to be gifted with your mind. As Davidson states “we have to pay close attention to those interests and abilities that make each of us different” for this is the real purpose of life, to put out our own individual talents, create value, and come together as a collective to do meaningful work, live a fulfilled life and make a positive change to the world, and for the generations that follow in our footsteps.