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Great News! You Already Know What Your Passion Is

by Jamie Jackson 7 months ago in advice

You just need to stop overthinking things

Great News! You Already Know What Your Passion Is
Photo by TK Hammonds on Unsplash

The premise of this article is simple, so simple it seems obvious: Deep down you already know what your passion is (note: you can replace the word passion with dream/calling/whatever resonates most). You’re just not listening to it. Your passion speaks to you every day, it's the interest in something you keep returning to, it's the odd feeling or strong opinion you have about a sport, a hobby, a lifestyle, it's the contradictory fear you have about both doing and not doing a certain activity.

That's your passion speaking to you. The slight, almost undetectable tightening of a jealous stomach when you read about someone who’s doing something you want to do, whilst you tell yourself you wouldn’t want to do that in a million years. There it is, speaking.

A wise man once told me "Do what you find yourself doing".

I didn't understand this for the longest time, but now I do. Let me explain.

I have always written, online, on blogs, before the internet on Microsoft Word docs saved to my desktop. Even before then, I was scribbling in notebooks as a young boy. I knew what my passion was but I ignored it because who was I to pretend I had the talent to write?

You're already pursuing your passion, you just haven't put a label on it.

You might sit at night and doodle logos for imaginary companies or bands, perhaps you write essays on your phone, you love watching comedy and get excited about the scriptwriting process, you obsess over sports statistics and consume autobiographies about sportsmen and women, you produce watercolours in your spare time or maybe you reclaim old furniture, you game your way into the night and code your own video games, or maybe you just paint figurines or know way too much about military hardware.

You already know what your passion is. You're already doing it.

You watch YouTube videos about sailing way past your bedtime, you spend hours reading about web design and looking through the Tumblr theme garden fills you with unreasonable joy. Maybe you love cameras and you film way too much on your mobile, perhaps you have a muscle car as the screen saver on your phone and play only racing games on your Xbox, perhaps you browse skiing equipment on the internet in your lunch-hour and daydream about the next time you’re in the Alps.

That voice is talking to you, every single day.

It’s making you look at that webpage or read that book. It's saying look here, do this, think about that… but you dismiss these feeling because you’re knee-deep in learned helplessness and besides, no one makes money from writing poems or building guitars, right?

Except for the ones that do. Someone has to.

You rationalise your passion into oblivion. You can’t be an actor now, you’re too old/young. You can't start a cookery business, the market is saturated. You’d love to be a nature photographer, but you’ve got a family to support.

There will always be an excuse, a good reason not to do something and there is only ever going to be one reason to do it: because you have to.

And there it is. That voice won’t go away, ever. It is telling you your passion every single day but you’re telling it to shut up, or dismissing it with one thought and in the next asking “What’s my passion?”

You’ve subconsciously learned to compartmentalise your life into passion versus work and you believe you can never cross the streams. So you ignore your passion and instead look for jobs and careers that are stable and (just about) tolerable.

That’s not finding your passion, that’s cowardice masquerading as practicality.

It’s easy to be practical because it becomes a legitimate scapegoat for our fears. We can ignore passion and later blame the world when we don’t even try.

You already know what your passion is. It’s screaming at you. Stop asking what it is, or even why it’s there and start working out how you move towards it. Don’t overthink. You don't need a "why" despite what books and internet gurus tell you. Just do what you find yourself doing, get out of your own way and do it.

Overthinking and rationalisation have got you into a cosy prison of a job, but now it’s time for more. Follow the fear. Get out of your head. Become open and ready for instruction.

Let your passion guide you because it’s been trying to your whole live-long life.

advice

Jamie Jackson

Between two skies and towards the night.

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