Discover Your Purpose: Find the Journey Beyond Passion
When you were young, do you remember? You’d just do stuff. You’ve never asked yourself, “How does learning cricket or compare to learning football?” You just played cricket and football and ran around the field. You played gulli danda, lattu, asked silly questions, looked for bugs, dug up the grass, and claimed to be sewer monsters.
No one told you to do it, so you did it on your own. You went only because you were interested and curious.
The great thing was that if you didn’t like cricket, you could just stop playing it. There was no blame to be taken. There was no talking back and forth. Either you liked it or you didn’t like it.
And if you liked looking for bugs, that’s all you did. No one asked, “Well, is looking for bugs really what I should be doing as a child?” Does the fact that no one else wants to look for bugs mean there’s something wrong with me? What will happen to my future if I look for bugs?”
There wasn’t any crap. If you wanted to do something, you did it.
HOW DO I FIND MY PASSION?
Many people don’t know what to do with their lives. if someone asked me if I knew what they could do, where they could start, and where they could “find their passion.”
And I didn’t have answer, of course. Why? Because I don’t have a clue. What makes you think that some jackass with a website would know what to do with you if you don’t? I write, I don’t tell the future.
But more importantly, I want to tell these people that “not knowing” is the whole point. Life is all about not knowing and doing something anyway. Everything is like this. It was all. Even if you found out you love your job cleaning septic tanks or got your dream job writing indie films, it won’t get any easier.
Many of these people have the same complaint: they need to “find their passion”.
I don’t believe it. You’ve already found what you love to do, but you’re not doing it. Seriously, you’re awake for 16 hours a day. What do you do? Obviously, you’re up to something. What are you talking about? There’s a topic, action, or idea that takes up a lot of your free time, conversations, and web browsing, even though you’re not actively looking for it or pursuing it.
It’s right in front of you, but you don’t want to see it. No matter why, you’re not doing it. You say to yourself, “Well, I like comic books, but that’s not enough. Comic books can’t make you money.”
Then what are you doing?
It’s not that they don’t care about something. The trouble is how well people work. The trouble is how people see it. Acceptance is the problem.
The trouble is when people say things like, “Well, that’s just not possible,” “My parents would kill me if I tried to do that; they think I should be a doctor,” or “That’s crazy; you couldn’t buy a BMW with the money you make doing that.”
The issue isn’t a lack of interest. It’s never out of love.
It comes down to values.
And even then, who says you have to make money doing what you love? When did everyone think they had the right to love every second of their job? What’s wrong with having a good, normal job with some cool people you like and then pursuing your interest in your free time? Has the world turned upside down, or are people just getting this idea now?
Here’s another slap in the face: sometimes, every job stinks. There’s no such thing as a hobby that you love so much that you’ll never get tired of, stressed out by, or upset about. It’s not there. I have my dream job (which, by the way, came about by accident). I never in a million years thought this would happen. I just went and tried it, like a kid on the playground, and I still hate about 30% of it. Some days more.6
Still, that’s just how life is.
Again, this is about what people expect. You’ve seen too many bad films if you think you should be working 70-hour weeks and sleeping in your office like Steve Jobs and loving every minute of it. You’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid if you think you should wake up every day and dance out of your pajamas because you get to go to work. Life doesn’t work like that. It’s just not possible. Balance is something that most of us need.
YOU CAN SEE YOUR PASSION RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU
A friend of mine has been trying to sell anything online for the past three years to build a business. So far, it hasn’t worked. And by “not working,” I mean that he isn’t even starting anything. Even though he has “worked” for years and said he would do this or that, nothing ever gets done.
What does happen is that one of his old coworkers will ask him to design a logo or some promotional materials for an event. Holy crap, he’s all over that like flies on fresh cow poop.
He does a great job, too. He stays up until 4 a.m. working on it, and he loves every minute of it.
But two days later, it’s back to “Man, I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
So many people I know are like him. He doesn’t have to find what he loves doing. He didn’t have to look for his drive. He just doesn’t care. He just won’t accept that it’s possible. He just doesn’t want to try it out for real.
It’s like if a nerdy kid went to the playground and said, “Well, bugs are really cool, but NFL players make more money, so I should force myself to play football every day,” and then went home and said he didn’t like playtime.
And that’s not true. Everyone likes break time. The trouble is that he’s putting himself in a box because he has some stupid ideas about what it takes to be successful and what he should do.
If there is someone who want to know how to start writing.
My answer is always the same: I don’t know squat.
I used to write short stories in my room for fun when I was a kid. I used to write reviews and articles about bands I liked as a teenager, but I never showed them to anyone. When the internet came out, I spent hours and hours on boards writing long posts about stupid things like guitar pickups and how the Iraq War started.
I never thought about writing as a possible job. I never even thought of it as a sport or something I enjoyed. The things I wrote about, like music, politics, and philosophy, were what I was most interested in. The writing was just something I did when I wanted to.
And when I needed to find a job I could love, I didn’t have to look very far. I didn’t have to look at all, in fact. In a way, it picked me. It was there already. Since I was a kid, I already did something every day without even thinking about it.
Because here’s something else that might make some people mad: if you have to look for what you’re passionate about, you probably aren’t passionate about it at all.
If you’re really interested in something, it will feel so natural to you that people will have to tell you it’s not normal and that other people aren’t like that.
I didn’t think about the fact that nobody else thought it was fun to write 1,000-word posts on boards. My friend never thought about the fact that most people don’t find making logos easy or fun. He thinks of it as so normal that he can’t picture it any other way. Because of this, it’s probably what he should be doing.
A kid doesn’t go to the playground and ask, “How can I have fun?” He just has fun wherever he goes.
If you have to search for the things you enjoy in life, you won’t enjoy anything.
And the truth is that you already like something. You already like doing a lot of things. You just choose to not care about them.