“Find your passion” – sounds easy enough, right? Well, I’m not foolish enough to think it’s that easy for everyone, however I am foolish enough to have seen every episode of Beverly Hills 90210 at least 3 times, and still insist that my obsession with fidget toys does not mean I have adult ADD…but I digress. When thinking of topics to write about I always came back to one question: “What am I passionate about?” And that has been the core question whenever I have had a huge life decision to make. Well, almost all decisions. When I decided to cut off my mullet in 1990, it was probably less about passion and more about wanting someone to finally say yes to a date, but I digress again.
Passion is important for so many reasons and in every aspect of life. This isn’t a big secret, and I don’t claim to be telling you something new, but when you really take a step back and ask yourself what you are passionate about, it should either reassure you or reshift your priorities. For example, if you’re questioning an important decision, but know that you’re passionate about what you’re doing (or chasing), focus your energy on creating opportunities around that decision rather than thinking negatively and worrying about having chosen wrong. The universe has a way of working things out, so drop that anxiety and keep pushing forward – it’s wasted energy. On the flip side, if you aren’t happy in your life, often it’s because you’re chasing someone else’s dreams or trying to make everyone but yourself happy (i.e. money, marriage, kids, travel, etc.). Time to refocus and reshift. When I look back at my best and worst decisions, they always center around a lack or abundance of passion in my life at any given moment. My worst decisions specifically were made when I was either anxious, stressed, self-doubting/loathing, or lost in some sense. You impressed with how self-aware I am? Didn’t come without cost.
Something that most people probably don’t acknowledge or think about much is that your passion(s) often change with age, accessibility, and wisdom. What you’re passionate about at age 15 probably won’t be what you’re into at age 40, and what you’re chasing when broke as opposed to financially successful might also be different. And that’s how it should be. With age comes wisdom (for most of us at least), and with wisdom comes the realization that money doesn’t necessarily equal happiness. I should say I do like when I have it though, so if you’re not happy with your money, hit me on Paypal. Where was I? Embrace a change in what drives and motivates you…yes! Growth is good and evolution is healthy.
I have always known creativity was my passion, and family is as well. However, I didn’t know how passionate I was about family and being a good dad until I was mature enough to get past myself and put others first. It had to come at the right time and proper stage in my life. Sounds weird I’m sure, but being grateful for something and passionate about something are two different things. This is taking an odd turn so I’m just gonna readjust and get us back on track.
I’ve always been passionate about creativity and the process of creating. Anyone who is a creative knows that indescribable feeling of having completed something you think is great and might resonate with others. It’s like a drug, or so um I’ve heard. So much so that when drawing wasn’t enough I learned Photoshop, and when that wasn’t enough I started to paint. When I started writing, nothing felt better than finishing a script, and don’t get me started about being on set and the energy that collaboration and production brings. This is why creatives put ourselves through the torture and vulnerability of creating and letting others judge us. Because that need for self-expression is addictive, and the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment after is like no other. I imagine that great athletes or doctors must feel the same, but I suck at sports and don’t like gory shit so who knows.
So why point out the obvious and say find your passion? Because sometimes we get lost in life, work, emotion, crisis, and in chasing money. The reality is that it’s not always easy or possible to make money and pay bills with something you are passionate about. But, it is easy to take time out for yourself and feed your passion. As a matter of fact, it’s necessary for your mental and emotional health. I looked for a lot of quotes about passion and the one that stuck with me most was by Joss Whedon, so here it is –
“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping…waiting…and though unwanted…unbidden…it will stir…open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us…guides us…passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love…the clarity of hatred…and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we’d know some kind of peace…but we would be hollow…Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion, we’d be truly dead.”
Now are you really gonna argue with the guy who wrote Toy Story and created Buffy the Vampire Slayer? I don’t think so. Feed that fire and stay laser focused on it, and if you are lucky enough to make a living following your passion, I hope you are grateful enough to appreciate it.