We were told to “reach for our dreams” so we grew up trying and exploring hobbies, interests and identities. But we were taking too much time and they hardly brought food on the table, so were told to make more “practical choices” for our future. So we toiled, did the leg work, suffered the consequences of haphazardly-constructed processes and accepted brief rewards as fee. They said this was real work but it felt meaningless so we questioned whether there was something more. To this they told us that it wouldn’t feel much like work if we discover our “passions”.
Discovering and dedicating a part of your life to perfecting your profession and passion have become a life-long struggle. But people’s openness to create and share online a life outside the cubicle has inspired many to do the same. In fact, you seek for something other than what’s before you. Some develop a keen interest for running, celebrated by joining fun runs and charity runs. Others take to social media to push themselves to explore the world more enthusiastically. And there are some who, despite their age, learn a new musical instrument and visit local bars to appreciate home grown music.
The generations before us may have judged us for our lack of commitment, our constant search for things instant and our inability to stay focused, but they were blind. They failed to see one very crucial reality: we can be more than the title that defines our payroll.
Passion need not be your profession.
What you are passionate about can be different from your job and it is up to you to play around with your time and energy to make both work. You don’t necessarily fail because you have deal with customer complaints by day and be your true performance-artist-self at night. In fact, that is a win. When you are able to pursue your passion and still have decent means to live, that’s a success story.
Lifestyle preferences dictate you establish a profession.
Get over yourself, having a job is not miserable. There’s probably only one Chris Cornell in every 10,000 people and chances are you’re part of that 10,000. Looking for, acquiring and maintaining a job is the minimum pre-requisite to putting food on the table. Doing well in that job gets you more dinero to have a lifestyle that can support whatever you set your mind to. You don’t need to give up what pays the bills to pursue your passion. It may work for some but suffering is not necessary to reap rewards. Your needs are just as important as what you are yearning to do. Playing it smart gets you time and money; time and money that your passion requires.
Passion is not mutually exclusive from profession.
If you find your job merely bearable and you hardly remember anything you did because it is too mundane, then you either find another job or suck it up and start seeing the silver lining. For one, we can be passionate about more than one thing. We can be excited about more than one thing and when it comes to work, it can be as ridiculously normal as it can get. Even if it is as simple as putting together a presentation, verifying reports, matching legal documents or chatting with enthusiastic customers, look forward to it.
Our passion and profession are not enemies, they never were so don’t allow yourself to initiate the conflict. Do not let your passion be a scapegoat; learn to find peace doing something else. Do not feel sorry for yourself that you wake up to a profession. If you work smart, not just work hard, you’ll start to see it differently.