“Follow Your Passion” Is the worst advice
There are a couple of old sayings that many of us have heard several times in life. Such as “follow your passion,” or “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” However, what if you aren’t really sure what your “passion” is? It sounds so simple to “do what you love” but is it really that simple? So many of us go day by day just coasting through life almost like we are monotonous because we’ve been taught to do it that way.
I’ll give you an example. In life you’ve done everything the “right” way. You went through school. Got a degree, secured a couple of internships and even managed to get a nice but kind of low paying entry level salary job. At this point you may have relocated or stayed in your hometown. Either at a disruptive start up or more established company. “Congratulations!” everyone says including your parents and close friends. I mean you have your first “grown up job.” What is there not to be excited about?
On the surface you are very happy but on the inside you’re feeling a bit meh or whatever. You’re thinking “well it’s just the right thing to do.” Anyway, a couple of years go by. You get some raises here and there. Hey you may even switched jobs already. Back in the day job hopping was looked down upon but you’re a millennial so you get a pass.
Now you’re making more money! You could be at what is considered “mid level” mark. I estimate around 50-60k per year depending on your industry and location, maybe even 80k. Ýou’re sitting there having dinner with your parents and they tell you how proud of they are of you. Your buddies high five you at the bar and say you are “living the life,” especially if you’ve moved out of state from your po-dunk town, they almost even envy you!
Again, on the surface you’re flattered and smiling, but inside you have a void that still won’t go away. No matter how many raises you’ve gotten or what company you work at, you aren’t fully happy. You start to wonder what the hell is wrong with you? Despite the decent job, salary and maybe boyfriend or girlfriend, you aren’t happy. At this point you’re almost a zombie because you’re doing the standard routine that was embedded in you ever since you were a kid.
There’s no fire, no spark within you. Just the same old feeling that you can’t seem to shake every day. I know this because I’ve had that feeling for years and years. So you ask yourself: What do I do? What is my passion? There’s actually no one way to find the answer to this question. I knew during high school I loved to act and get into character. I had been writing short stories and fiction ever since I could remember and that if I always wanted to get into the business of helping people. So it’s knowing what drives you, what provides that spark inside can help you find the answer.
And I don’t mean something you are good at. Because you could be good at crunching numbers but is that something that fills that void? If it is great! But what’s something you are passionate about that you could be doing right now. I don’t care what it is, we as humans have something that we love to do no matter how silly it is. Maybe you’re into comics. Why not join or create a meet up with comic fans, join facebook groups, start a youtube channel, etc. Go out network and meet others with the same interest. I mean there’s a ton you could do.
I’m not one of those people that say quit your day job and focus on your passion nonsense. I’m just all about filling in that emptiness that you currently are feeling right now. There are too many stories out there where people did little things toward their passion every day only to one day realize that they are making a profit out of something they love to do! And then that time comes where you can actually quit your day job and focus on your passion. See where I’m going with this? If you go into it with the mindset of escaping right at this moment, your motivation will slowly start to dull. Think of it just as something that makes you happy.
If something pops up from it great. If not? At least you’re not feeling like a zombie for the rest of your life. Keep that fire sparked!