I followed my passion for two years. And my experience was so strange you won’t believe it!
Mostly because we’re told that following passion makes life beautiful, gets us excited to jump out of bed every morning, and lets us easily make lots of money. That’s really funny.
The truth is the real world doesn’t work like that. I nearly destroyed my life trying to do what I love. Because I was living in illusions.
If you’re someone who wants to follow your passion, you must know what passion is.
So, here are 3 harsh truths about doing what you love. You can save plenty of time and struggle by avoiding my mistakes.
Should You Follow Your Passion: 3 Harsh Truths You Must Know
1. Finding Passion Can Take a Lifetime
So, passion is something you love doing. Like Walt Disney loved drawing, Bill Gates loves programming, Tom Cruise loves acting.
But the problem is that most of us have no idea what we love. We don’t know what we’re truly excited about. Yes, we love something, but then the interest dies, and we move to something else. And it goes on like that.
It’s frustrating to not know what you’re supposed to do. I went through 3 such frustrating years, trying different careers, one after another, like standup comedy, network marketing, and software engineering. Nothing worked until I stumbled on writing.
But not everyone is that lucky. Sometimes, finding your passion may take a whole life. You never know when that happens. You never know when your quiet inner voice gently guides you to what you love.
So, keep exploring different things. Build cool hobbies. Travel, read books, meet people, join art classes, create content for digital platforms, and do scary things. Have lots of fun.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
2. Passion can Slow Down Your Progress
It may not be true for everyone. But it happened to me. And it was horrible.
After trying multiple things, when I discovered my love for writing, I was excited. It was like finding an oasis while being lost in the desert. I thought, “Now I can write every day, make money, and live happily.”
Little did I know, dark clouds were beginning to hover over me.
Turned out I didn’t enjoy writing every day. Sometimes it was exhausting and painful. And when that happened, my immediate reaction was, “God! Maybe writing also isn’t my passion. Because passion is something I’m always supposed to love doing, right?”
And it made me super worried because I didn’t want to go into that passion-exploration phase again. I was dying to settle for one thing.
So, I began to prove to myself writing was my passion. How? By avoiding situations where I might hate it. Like, I only wrote easy things, and that too when I felt good. I didn’t take writing challenges and avoided networking with fellow writers.
But running away from difficulties only slowed down my progress. I was cheating myself. I felt miserable that even after 3 years of exploration, I still didn’t know my passion!
Then things got worse. I started hating myself. I became anxious about my future. And to escape all the pain, I binge-watched TV shows (like Breaking Bad and Dark). I stopped working out, reading, meditating, and meeting people. My life was falling apart.
I know all these may sound silly, but it happened because I misunderstood one thing: THE REAL MEANING OF PASSION.
3. Passion isn’t What You Love Doing
That’s a bitter pill to swallow. But it’s the truth. You won’t always love following your passion. You may not be excited to wake up in the morning. Most days, it will be a struggle, especially if your passion is also your profession.
For instance, I hated writing blog posts that needed a lot of research (for my personal blog). But what I hated most was writing for clients. Because I was told to do it, and I had no control.
You might be thinking, “Then, why follow my passion if I don’t love doing it?” And that’s where we go wrong. Most of us have misunderstood passion.
Passion isn’t what you love doing. It’s something you love so much you’re ready to suffer.
And that simple idea sparked a huge mindset shift in me. It took me around 3 months to understand that.
Then, I began to see writing as my purpose, something that gave my life meaning. Whether it was pleasurable or painful didn’t matter. I loved it anyway and did it anyway.
And loving something doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges. Life doesn’t work that way. Self-doubt, failures, criticism, rejections, and discomfort will always be there.
But when you passionately love your work and have a strong purpose, you’ll go through everything. If you can’t, you need to love more.
“Passion is loving something enough to suffer for it.”
— Jürgen Moltmann
Summary: Should You Follow Your Passion?
Yes, you must follow your passion. But keep in mind it won’t be easy. You won’t always be excited about it. There will be challenges and hardships. But the good thing is if you’re truly passionate about your work, you’ll overcome all the challenges.
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