Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Let passion be your guide

{My passion: drawing terrible pencils. Seriously.}

It feels like we spend most of our lives trying to figure out what we're supposed to do with our lives. There are so many questions involved in finding our path. I can clearly recall the feeling of overwhelming panic that washed over me when I sat down with my parents and tried to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I said a lot of things like, Do I really have to decide now, at age 17, what I want to do for the next 35-40 years? Like, right now? What if I make the wrong decision? What if I'm unhappy? I think the answers went something like yes, yes, you can change your mind and you can change your mind.

I did change my mind, slightly. I switched my major from advertising to public relations and the rest is history. But, I think deciding what you want to do with your life goes much deeper than deciding as a teenager on your major in college or where you want to go to school. It comes down to one thing: passion. Anyone in this world who has success or happiness started with passion. They began with a dream. They listened to their heart and did what felt right to them every step along the way. And that's why they are successful.

But it's not always easy. The path isn't always carved out as clearly as we'd like it to be. They are twists in the road. There are hills that we can't see past and sand traps that slow us down. There are moments when it feels like the sun has stopped shining and it's too dark to see our own hand in front of our face. But that's just part of the journey, isn't it? Through it all, we drive on. We chase our dreams as they lead us down the road. And we always end up exactly where we are meant to be.

For me, my passion is writing. Really, it's always been that way. I remember sitting in the interview for my current job and seeing the looks on the faces of everyone in the room as I told them how passionate I was about writing. Writing was my life's passion, I said. They lit up and nodded in unison with understanding. In that moment I realized something important: people admire you when you're passionate because they can sense you're telling the truth. I can't convince you that I'm passionate about anything else, because it wouldn't come from that same place in my heart where writing lives. Explaining what it's like to have passion hits people squarely between the eyes, because they know exactly what it feels like. They have a passion, too.

My boss later told me that as soon as I said it, I was hired. Truthfully, I hadn't planned to say it--it just came out. But that's the one thing that unites us as people; we all have a passion. We all have a dream. And life, we know, is about finding and pursuing our passion. It's the only way we'll ever be happy.

As luck would have it, having a natural talent and having a passion go hand in hand. It's not that we are passionate about something because we're good at it---it's that we are good at something because it is also our passion. The universe just has a funny way of working those kinds of things out. Really all you need is your passion, your undying drive--that's it. You follow your dreams, you dream and hope and do all that you can do, and that will always be enough. It might not feel like enough, but truly it is.

And when that's not enough, you just have to let it go. Surrender. Let it fly. It will always come right back and land in the perfect place. Exactly where it belongs. And it will give you more peace than you could possibly imagine.

1 comment:

Ott, A. said...

Work is so much more satisfying when you enjoy what you do. congrats!


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