Passions

I have been trying to find my passion. The more I try and find it, the more elusive it seems to become.

I could list a million and one things that I am kind of interested in but nothing seems to feel like “the one”.

There is an unending supply of things out there which tell you how to find it. Books with quizzes and homework. Blog posts with five steps to working out what your life’s work is. Articles that tell you how you know when you’ve got there.

They have not helped.

When I ask other people how they have found their passion, they say that they are still looking or that they stumbled over it somewhere along the way. Some people say “try everything”. Others say that it will find you, providing you’re open to life. A fortunate few seem to have been born knowing exactly what they were meant to do.

I would like their secret.

I read something last week which said that you won’t find your passion by looking for it; you’ll find it in the things that you do, in observing the things that make you light up.  I tried something similar a few years ago with a wonderfully entrepreneurial friend. We mapped out the things that I was drawn to and attempted to identify the theme. The challenge, I find, is that there are so many things that are interesting and enticing and important that it is hard to settle on one. This, in itself, is probably not a problem, but I’m also aware of the finiteness of time. The fact that you have to commit to something if you’re really going to see it through.

There is, of course, another way to spin it, and the point might be to enjoy what you do at any given moment, rather than focusing on where you want to end up –

But this seems to leave it all rather vague and open and I worry that, in all the wandering and wondering, I’ll end up missing what I was meant to do.

 

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6 responses to “Passions

  1. Where does this desire to find purpose through passion come from anyway? What motivates it and when did people decide to elevate it to such an important level?
    Will commitment to a passion really lead to a sense of satisfaction and purpose in life or is it in itself destructive? Passions are certainly there to be enjoyed but can a life spent indulging them be one which people look back on and can say was well lived? Passions are excellent and add spice to life but I find it difficult to believe they can ever make up the core of one’s being.
    (:

    • That’s interesting – think I have totally confused a passion and purpose here. Guess I’m talking about the latter which I’d really like to find cos I agree that a life spent on passions wouldn’t necessarily be one I’d be proud to look back on – and I guess this is all about being aware that we have one precious shot that I want to use well. I’m trying to think about why I confuse this with passion and maybe it comes from around living your purpose passionately – maybe it’s an adjective rather than a thing.

  2. Hurm. Do you reckon that you might be confusing passions with questions about place in the Universe and purpose? Anyway, I don’t think worrying and trying to intensively workout what your passions are is fruitful. It probably helps to occasionally do a reality check and say “am I enjoying this?” or “what do I like and does my current behaviour and path connect me to those values and affections?” but otherwise, nah.

    I think passions are incredibly important and (perhaps disagreeing slightly with Stolen Golem) make you who you are, are essential to your identity and being. That’s why grasping around and trying to artificially hook on a passion is a bad idea and comes with potential huge risks. Even if you do chase false fancies that aren’t really ‘you’ you can always undo the ‘damage’ and find yourself elsewhere.

    To be honest, I’m struggling to get the idea of searching for passions. I’m a passionate person with a lot of enthusiasm for a range of different things and I mostly relate to them without any conscious pressure. You just live and follow your passions and don’t get hung up on them or fixed in a boxed-in mentality. There are no limits or obligations, really. You just live to love and love what you love.

    As you say, enjoy what you do in the moment rather than worrying about what it all means or where you’ll end up.

    • See above response. Don’t think I articulated this well at all. Agree that there is a danger in attaching yourself to things or forcing passion and I don’t really think I’m searching for things to love as I have lots of those already – guess it’s just the meaning bit, as you point out, so maybe I need to think again re how to phrase that.

  3. First, lovely post, well-articulated.

    Second, I suspect what you are referring to (rather than passion/purpose) is the more general term of “self-actualisation” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Maslow#Humanistic_theories_of_self-actualization) which is entirely common among.. humans.

    Once you have satisfied your basic needs (and this can be anything from food/shelter to basic stability of environment or imho mental state) you want to find something ‘higher’ to complete your sense of self and wellbeing. This can be a single passion or a single purpose – or many. For example, I have a satisfying dayjob which contributes to the purpose side of things (I do something in the world.. it makes a difference and I make rent) and a passion. Actually many passions. But it took me many years. And many interests have come and gone over the years. I think you are really open to new experiences and have plenty of time to try everything – but perhaps not try to grasp hold of each one so strongly..?

    Maybe try not to think of each choice/activity/goal as a permanent and final decision? I’m reminded of being a high school with some careers adviser determined to pigeonhole me into a career for life based on some silly test. It didn’t work and it felt… terminal. I don’t think life is like that – I think your “self” changes throughout the years and so will your interests and passions, your friends, your jobs etc. Remember the stuff about letting go? It’s also about being more fluid and less controlling of the things that come and go from your life and enjoying them while they’re there and not labelling and controlling them as you might stifle the fun out of them.

    I’m sure this sounds a bit preachy – but I think I’ve been where you are to a certain extent. It’s really hard to let life unfold in its own time.

    Your for now purpose is being you. I think you’re rather good at it. 🙂

    Lots of love.

    • You’re spot on. It feels like there’s this enormous pressure to get to the final answer now – and make sure it’s the right one (and yes, that’s often about purpose) – but, in retrospect, I suppose it has been during the times when I have just gone with everything that I have discovered the most about what I like and what I’m good at.

      You’re also right re controlling and I’m going to try and take that big step back and trust things a little better.

      Thanks for such a lovely and helpful comment. Like seeing you here xx

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