With a new academic year having begun, I’ve gotten a nice, sharp jolt back into reality after having spent the past month in fantasyland. I’ve come back and completely dumped the idea of doing that not-so-nice office job because, well, it’s not so nice and life is too short to be doing not-so-nice things. So, on the bright side, I’ve figured out what I don’t enjoy and really don’t want to keep doing all my life. But having taken a leap off the safety net, the question that remains is what do I want to do now? And having asked that question out-loud countless times, I’ve received a unanimous response- FOLLOW YOUR PASSIONS. And therein lies the problem.
There are those kids who know what they’re really passionate about. They just know that their calling is music or mechanics or designing or simply making money for that matter. There are those kids who’re not particularly passionate about anything but are happy with/ have accepted what they’re doing and keeping at it. And then there are those kids, like yours truly, who are really just floating about with no particular talents or passions and refuse to settle for anything less than their calling- without quite knowing what it is. I mean, seriously, what about the likes of this kind?
It was an article I was reading recently that lead me to writing this post. It spoke of reading the three signs which are telling you your life’s true purpose. I’m a sucker for such articles for aforementioned reason- don’t really know what I’m passionate about. I click on all these links nursing the hope of finding some sort of divine enlightenment after having read them. If only it were that easy.
While the article was extremely practical and obviously authored by a person who had the necessary life experience to write it, it didn’t really solve my problem. And here’s why.
The first sign is ‘listening to your life’. Which essentially means scanning your past and being more self-aware in your present in order to find something you like which has been consistent throughout your life. Easy, isn’t it? No. Not easy. I really spent some time trying to find what I have consistently enjoyed throughout my 19 years of existence. And the only thing I’ve really been consistent with is my education. Which has been more out of necessity than passion, though I will not deny that learning is something quite I like. But can learning be ones passion? And let us assume for a moment that that’s what I’m passionate about. But what do I learn? There is so much to learn, it’s hard to pick. I love reading so I’d like to study literature. I’m quite fascinated by music so I’d like to learn to play an instrument. I’ve established a newfound love for sustainability so I’d enjoy doing a course in that. I find nutrition and dietetics quite interesting. I feel strongly about the government’s policy on education and would like a better insight into that. I see media as a powerful force and would like to make a difference through that. And this list is simply inclusive. Can I really learn everything? While learning has been consistent throughout my life, it’s quite hard to pick something I’d like to keep learning about all my life when there are just too many interesting things going around. But then again, the jack of all trades…
The second sign is ‘accidental apprenticeships’. Everything in life teaches us something, we learn and we are guided. I still quite haven’t learnt what I want to do, though I have what I don’t want to. Life lessons haven’t gotten me closer to figuring out what my passion is. Though going on a slightly different tangent, I’d quite like to say that I believe apprenticeships are the best form of learning. I’d love to work at different places and tick each off until I find something I love doing enough. But, alas! That method has only too many flaws. While it might not necessarily be a waste of my time because every experience teaches you something, it would definitely amount to wasting the time of the person training me for the job. And the second flaw is that of basic economics, unlimited wants and limited resources. I want to learn innumerable things but even simply existing costs money. Even if I assume that I can devote my whole life to learning, where is the money going to come from to let me keep at it? I mean, my parents are going to stop their generous handouts at some point.
Finally, the third sign, which really isn’t a sign but more of an instruction, tells you to be prepared for painful practice for even after finding your passions and talents, nothing can be achieved without hard work. Mastery comes only with practice. But until the passion condition is met, I don’t think this step is relevant.
So after all this, I’m still at square one. Now, I’m not trying to say it’s essential to follow your passions. Well, that didn’t quite come out as I wanted it to but let me elaborate. I believe that if you’re happy doing what you are and don’t find the need to be particularly passionate about something or pursue your passions for that matter, it’s completely alright. Finding your passion can be overrated in these times when passion is directly linked with happiness. The need for finding your passion is subjective.
But if you’re restless and unhappy with your present scenario, then finding your passion becomes rather important for your own well-being.
So, while the abovementioned three steps didn’t really work for me, I hope they do for you. If you wish to read the article without my snarky little rant, here it is. And for all those of you who are passionate about too many things or simply not passionate enough about one thing, just know that you aren’t alone. And good luck.
Until next time!