Read this article by Mark Manson:
When I first saw the title of the article, I wasn’t sure what to think. Is it going to be misanthropic and tell me to give up on enjoying my life? Or is it going to present something mind-changing that reframes passion-searching in an uplifting way? The gist of the article can be summed up in this excerpt:
The common complaint among a lot of these people is that they need to ‘find their passion.’
I call bullshit. You already found your passion, you’re just ignoring it. Seriously, you’re awake 16 hours a day, what the fuck do you do with your time? You’re doing something, obviously. You’re talking about something. There’s some topic or activity or idea that dominates a significant amount of your free time, your conversations, your web browsing, and it dominates them without you consciously pursuing it or looking for it.
It’s right there in front of you, you’re just avoiding it. For whatever reason, you’re avoiding it. You’re telling yourself, “Oh well, yeah, I love comic books but that doesn’t count. You can’t make money with comic books.”
Fuck you, have you even tried?
I like this guy.
When I was a kid (which, to think about it, wasn’t all that long ago), I wanted to be a teacher, artist, astronomer-astronaut, doctor, world traveler, and owner of a pet tiger. There was no reason I couldn’t be any one of those things. For a while now, I’ve been struggling with the “reality check” argument. As a student in my last year of college undergrad, I get asked a dozen times a month: “So what are you going to do with a linguistics degree?”
The hell if I know.
But I don’t say that. I usually joke that I’m going to be a great barista some day, which is unlikely, as I would suck at making coffee for people and would constantly mess up people’s double mochaccino pour overs with skim milk topped with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. I hate that question. And I bet that you either do or have hated that question sometime in your life. Screw that. There’s so much pressure to do something great and honorable with your life. Actually enjoying yourself is prioritized below pretty much everything else. Pursuing degrees in the arts, liberal arts, and social sciences is not nearly as venerable as anything in the engineering fields and the hard sciences. I was a Computer Science major for 2 1/2 years. I enjoyed playing with code in high school, my parents both work with computers, and I’m Asian. I either have to become a doctor, a computer engineer, or a famous author – or all of the above to bring honor to my family.
But I grew to despise it. I discovered that I hate staring at a screen searching for misplaced semicolons and rearranging linked lists. Classes and homework became soul-draining. But to switch majors would be admitting defeat. It would be letting my mother down – her own daughter couldn’t beat the odds of women in STEM and hack Computer Science (pun intended). What a failure.
Largely thanks to the support and inspiration of my partner, Moose, who studied linguistics before dropping out to travel the world and learn on his own, I grew the ovaries to switch majors. My mother was somewhat disappointed, but in the few years I had been attending college, she grew a certain amount of understanding. She had eased into the realization that what she cared about most was for her children to be happy. Having a good salary helps a great deal, but she’s slowly working her way toward accepting that her kids are going to be teachers and non-profit workers, rather than scientists or doctors or lawyers. My dad still holds out hope and inserts his judgment here and there, teasing me about my switch of studies. He’s supportive in the end, though.
I don’t have a passion. Yet. I don’t write everyday – I have this blog, but I haven’t quite made it a habit to post every other day. (I’ve read it takes anywhere from 3-12 weeks to establish a habit). I don’t make art. I don’t especially enjoy cooking or baking. Screw sports. And I enjoy white wine, but only every so often, so I’d fail as an alcoholic, too.
I don’t need to find a job that I love every moment of. I don’t need to scour literature and forums to discover my one true passion. I need to be patient with myself. Keep chugging. Maintain a vision of the future with heavy consult from the past and the present. My passion is here. I might not see it clearly yet, but my passion is right here.
What are you passionate about? What do you find yourself loving doing on a regular basis? (Or wish you could be doing on a more regular basis?) Agree/disagree with the article? What do you think of “Do what you love; love what you do?”