Finding your passion can feel like Step One to the long journey to a happy life – and the pressure can be insane! In the later years of primary school and all throughout high school, I felt weighed down by this pressure to figure out my passion – my ONE true calling that I will dedicate my life to.
That one perfect thing that makes everything else in the world seem dull.
That one thing that, once achieved, equals contentment, happiness and success.
In fact, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that it was only until very recently that the gnawing pressure to “find my passion” stopped playing a huge role in my anxiety and self-confidence levels.
I felt as though my life couldn’t truly begin until I had discovered my ONE calling, my true passion, my life purpose. I felt that there was a big decision that needed to be made right now. The proverbial clock was ticking, and I was wasting time.
Now, while I do believe in the power of timing, and that everything happens in it’s own time, when you’re ready for it, I so do wish that I knew back then what I do now – that this false belief about finding your passion was something that was holding me back and was a myth that needed some serious busting.
So what is this magical myth, this limiting belief that stops people from discovering their passion and living their dream life?
It’s this: That there needs to be just one.
Sounds simple enough, I know. But really think about this for a second. Yes, I truly believe that we can’t be amazing at everything under the sun and that consistent, focused effort is the path to genius and success. BUT I also believe that there is a common misconception about finding your passion that paralyses young people (I know that it can’t have been just me!) It’s this idea that once it’s decided, it’s set in stone. That there’s no going back. That it would be so horrible and embarrassing and wasteful if I chose something only to realise it wasn’t for me, and that I need to start from the beginning again.
Now let me just clarify that when I say passion, I’m referring to that moment or feeling or action that sets you on fire in the best possible way. It’s that thing that we hope we find in a career that can support us and that makes time fly, leaving us yearning for more. It’s a sensation that is difficult to define, but unmistakable when you feel it. In fact, the quotes about passion below only begin to describe my own understanding of passion:
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” —Oprah Winfrey
“Passion is the genesis of genius.” —Tony Robbins
“The most beautiful cosmetic you can have is passion.” – Yves Saint Laurent
When I updated my own definition of passion, the idea of finding my passion changed dramatically. The pursuit of passion went from finding my calling by trying to pinpoint a job or career or industry to honing in on what brought me joy, what gave me energy, what made me see the beauty in the world. Over the years, I’ve found that I’ve been passionate about multiple things. I adore music and story telling, travelling and content creation. I’m passionate about learning and teaching.
A piece of advice for my high school self, that I wish ALL young people could know and accept is that having multiple passions doesn’t make you unfocused, a drifter or unrealistic. Acknowledging the potential for multiple passions keeps you open to trying new things, keeps you braveand takes living to the next level.
There is so much pressure to find that ONE. As if, once you choose, that’s it.
No changing your mind.
No losing focus on that single, pinpointed choice.
It’s that kind of thinking that put so much pressure on choosing preferences for university degrees at the end of Year 12. That made me so hesitant to go from a rigorous science degree to a creative arts degree. It’s that kind of thinking that makes you feel silly for trying something if you’re not 100% sure that you’ll be successful, that it’s beneficial or that you’ll reach an end goal.
It is insanely debilitating. This kind of thinking cripples you and stops you from grabbing opportunities to do things that might be spectacular. I’m definitely not coming from a place where my resolve is 100%. I still slip into this thinking that my efforts at the moment might be wasted on something that isn’t what I’m meant to be doing with my life. It’s a struggle that I’ve seen so many people experience, but it’s also a struggle I’ve witnessed so many people overcome.
Finding your passion is easy if you start with a shift in perspective.
Stay open, work hard, have faith.
I’d love to know what kind of things you’re passionate about. Share them in the comments below!
– Sam x