Monday, April 20, 2015

Question Your Passion

Which is the more important question: should you be searching for your passion so that you can give all you got to it or should you give all that you've got to something until it becomes your passion?

Depending on how you answer, what does that say about your motivation and character?

And I'm just curious, but what does having a "passion" mean? It's a popular word these days and I see a lot of books being written about "following your passion." Does this mean that everyone has a passion they should be following and if they aren't they aren't being true to themselves? Or what about those who can't identify a passion; are they somehow second-class citizens?

Can a passion be created from what was once a passionless endeavor?

I might be giving away my hand, but I believe on some level the whole "follow your passion" theme is in the same book where "you can change the world" is found. Different chapters, but all a part of some kind of narrative (and I venture to say a very Western narrative) that magnifies the individual in a hyper-grandiose fashion that we feel the constant pressure to live up to because it's the voice that says this is all about you. The threat is that if you don't follow the storyline, you won't find yourself a part of the story and if you're not a part of the story, you're nothing. That can be scary.

But the truth is that this isn't the only story out there, nor is it necessarily a true story.

It is possible to live in this world meaningfully without ever having a passion that you pursue. It's possible to do work that no one else sees as valuable, work that others think they're above doing, and be more satisfied with life than they are. Why? Because some people in this world have learned that you can actually love what you do simply because you get to do it. It could be stuffing envelopes, working at 7/11, fixing boilers, whatever. And most of the people I know who are content like this have one thing in common -- they know the story of "it's all about you" is a flat out lie.

I'm not saying to stop following your passion. But be suspicious. Ask what it means and who it's all about. Don't let the prevailing narrative of this generation dominate you. There's a much better story to be told.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is so, so valuable and true. It feels like a big generational our grandparents understood the value of just putting your head down and working hard at whatever provided for the family. We tend to struggle more with that question of "is this my passion?" I think it definitely boils down to the lie that it's all about us!