Recently, a lot of people ae coming up to me in either a state of beginning worry or downright panic over the fact that they don’t have ‘It’. What, you might ask?
The passion. For something, anything. That one thing you would do almost all day, every day, with fire in your gut and a big smile on your face. What you get up for in the morning, what you want to dedicate your time and effort to. Basically: Your Master Goal. Your main goal in life. Your life’s purpose.
I’ve had some serious discussions about this with friends who did art school: They told me about the rising problem in this day and age where almost everything is possible, we literally have the ability to be almost anything. But we can’t be everything at once and we start to feel overwhelmed by all the choices. We become very stressed about it all. We feel pressured. We HAVE TO realize
our some form of potential. If we don’t, we consider ourselves failures. Suddenly our every choice becomes an enormous thing and we’re crippled by the huge responsibility.
See, we can’t ‘just get a job’ anymore. We can’t do anything ‘normal’; we have to do something outrageous and amazing: Something that we can dedicate our life too, while making ourselves sound cool.
Add to that the fact that people with passion have never been more visible and celebrated than they are today. You see all these brilliant, driven people who do what they want to do. They do it like they were born for it. Maybe they are. These people are an inspiration, wonderful to look at. But what does that mean for all of those people who don’t know what their passion is? Of don’t even know if they have one to begin with?!
First of all, you passion-pressure and worrying is because you are overcomparing your life to that of others, which is very easy to do on the Internet. You are comparing your life to that of someone you think is succesful or has found their life’s purpose and that makes you feel inadequate and like you’re in a Find My Passion Sudden Death Round.
I am still totally on the Don’t Compare Yourself To Others Boat, but look at it the other way: Just because you see lots of high-profile high-passion people doesn’t mean there aren’t millions of people like you who haven’t figured out their passion (yet) either. It may sometimes seem like you are the only one without a defined purpose, but you’re really not. You’re the majority, not the exception.
But I also want to tell you (and this might blow your mind a little) that it’s okay not to have an all-consuming passion in your life. Gasp. I know, right?
You don’t have to have that one thing that becomes your purpose and your legacy. It’s perfectly fine for instance, to have an okay job and enjoy your hobbies and your friends, without being a failure for not having made any of the things you enjoy your occupation. Not all things you enjoy have to become your profession, you know?
And not all passions are necessary to make your life purpose or make you famous. The women who were born to be great mothers do not all open orphanages, do they? The people who can make anyone feel comfortable with them do not necessarily become therapists or people you can hire to help shy people at parties. Not all men who love soccer become the next Beckham. Not all great cooks become television chefs.
Sometimes really fashionable girls don’t become fashion bloggers or models. Instead they just feel fantastic in their lovely outfits and do a great job in another profession. Sometimes great singers don’t become popstars. Instead they rock out with their friends on SingStar and occasionally serenade their lover. They still love to sing, even though they did not become the next Adele. Instead, they sing while doing other things, that they also love to do.
Your life’s legacy can be great without being tied to one thing or to something outrageous or impressive. Some of the most impressive people I know don’t have one all-overruling passion to pinpoint and they’re very happy. Being happy is a very important objective, remember? If you can raise a couple of kids well, support your family with your job and help your friends and neighbors during the weekend while generally being happy and nice to other people? That sounds like a damn fine legacy to me.
So if you’re worried you haven’t found your passion yet and feel a little lost, you can borrow this one for the time being:
“Live well. Be happy and help others be happy. Enjoy your life, be thankful and do what you do with pride and enthusiasm. If you are destined to dedicate your life to one big thing, you will find it (or it will find you). You can also be destined to dedicate your life to many smaller things and if you can do that well, that is just as beautiful and impressive.”