Choosing the right job and/or career path is incredibly important for many reasons; the most striking being that you must devote thousands of hours of your life to these jobs. So, in order to live a good life or a happy life, it seems to follow that you should enjoy devoting these great many precious hours to your job. Despite the varying ideals and differing audiences, a very noticeable trend is apparent throughout many major speakers, books, blogs and articles concerning how to live one’s life. Amongst their own individual tips and tricks, many seem to boil down to a simple equation: Realise your passion, throw everything you have at it and with enough effort/luck you will eventually be paid to do it. Written down this actually seems like an easy three step plan. Not only is it a simple solution, but you get to do what you love!
However, there is nothing easy about this simple strategy. Moreover, it is easy for people to find fault in these plans and put off their dreams. A large problem arises when you consider what your passion really is. For many people, I would suggest, it is not uncommon to feel adrift in a passionless life and this is not necessarily through any fault of their own. How easy is it to find yourself racing home from work to gorge on another three hours of mediocre television just to pass the time. In the blink of an eye, this once harmless winter hibernation habit has lasted far longer than you wanted and your passions have been left at the wayside.
There are those people who have kept their passions alight despite opportunities to forget them. However, these ‘passions’ may not be something you want to devote your entire life to. In fact, these are more likely to be mere interests. I enjoy playing squash and running, but I certainly don’t want to pursue these as devout passions in the hope of a career (quite aside from the fact I would not nearly be good enough even at the height of my possible capabilities!).
If we move one step forward in the plan, we must dedicate much of our lives to this passion. This is, of course, easier said than done and many would rather have all the benefits of succeeding in their passion right away (e.g. Loving music and immediately becoming a popstar without the gruelling hours spent playing in empty coffee shops and pubs). However, rewards you don’t work towards are rarely worth anything at all and there are many things to be learnt and appreciated in the process of your efforts. Being atop of Mount Everest would be worth little to nothing in achievements if you were somehow airlifted up there.
The final step, as a result of all your hard work and passion, is that you can be paid to pursue your passion, allowing you to give up jobs and other money-making schemes which are hindering your efforts. Some may believe there are some passions people may not want to pursue to the point where they are getting paid for it, it might ruin the passion itself once it is commodified.
A large amount of reasons to avoid the ‘follow your passion’ strategies has surfaced above. However, we should not stop at these bumps in the road. All of the problems that have been highlighted can be overcome so long as you find the right passion. These simple three step plans are tangible, but with a lot of work, a little luck and the hobby that you are absolutely infatuated with. These blogs, lectures, books, ideas, speakers and all the rest should be heavily commended for encouraging people to pursue their passions. Underlying this message is the earnest wish that people will lead happier, better lives if they pursue their passions. The ramifications for a person feeling happier and living a good life are far-reaching and vastly important.
With regards to myself, I have plenty of interests which I pursue and enjoy. However, at first glance I notice there is no stand out passion for me, nothing that hits me in the face first thing in the morning and beckons me onwards (as of yet). However, after a long examination of my passions and interests, I realise that all of these interests amount to the common goal of living a happy, healthy life. In a sense, I have figured my greatest passion is living a ‘good life’. The pursuit of this idyllic life has varied; different ideas, fads and rituals have come in ebbs and flows. It has altered from meditation, exercise, diet, travel, parties and plenty more. Within and alongside this pursuit of ‘the good life’, I’ve no doubt felt good when helping others, giving advice and watching other people improve their lives for the better.
Thus, the first disclaimer of (what I hope is) many starts here: I’m certainly no psychiatrist, nor doctor, or life coach; but, I imagine that some advice, views and reviews I can give at least offers food for thought. Thus, the aim of this blog is to talk candidly and offer tips about different ways to attain a good life. This is with the hope that it may help others, potentially ensnare people’s passions against my views, or cause people to think honestly about how they might improve their life.
With regards to the simple strategy highlighted above, it is certainly no easy plan to follow. The plans are fraught with challenges, frustrations and failures. However, along the path of following your passion, you will undoubtedly learn things about yourself. It will show just how hard you can work and greatly improve your self-worth. These are but two examples of many more. Furthermore, if/when your passion begins to pay off enough, you can turn it into a job and spend hours doing something you really enjoy. This certainly seems like it’s worth a try, leading you well on your way to having a good, happy life. Of course don’t rush into anything, think over what is best to do both personally and economically.
Larry Smith’s TEDtalk informed and inspired some of my views and may just have proved the straw that broke the camel’s back in my making of this blog. If you need further encouragement to consider pursuing your passion as a career, watch his rather fantastically blunt talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/larry_smith_why_you_will_fail_to_have_a_great_career