A Beginner's Guide to Pursuing Your Passion
Posted on 10 November 2017
A word that can mean so many things, and the quintessential buzzword of the millennial generation. We are told everyday what these are, whether or not to pursue them, the challenges they present, and every other fill in the blank future oriented conversation. But ultimately, no one has ever really made an apt description for what they are passionate about, so first things first:
Find it. Discover it. Define it.
Sometimes we know what we are passionate about from the very start, and by sometimes I mean basically never. Sometimes it falls into our laps when we least expect it. And sometimes it learned and shaped and sharpened as we continue through life. The important thing is that you give yourself the time and freedom to discover it. And then to realize everyone’s passion’s are different, so don’t be discouraged if yours is not in fact world peace (cc: Miss Congeniality). Your passion is yours, whatever it is, and you should own it. To me, it feels like my skin is racing like I’ve had too much caffeine (which sometimes I have), my brain starts thinking in a thousand directions all at once, it makes me smile for no reason, it gets me out of bed in the morning, but ultimately, it makes me feel unstoppable.
Break it down now
This is the most important thing in my opinion, and of course, it is never the easiest. For each person it is different because as stated, everyone has different dreams they are pursuing. But what helped me really give myself direction was breaking my passions down to their bare bones. I love volunteering and working with non-profit organizations. I love teaching dance to students. I love being their for my friends and family. And I like to do a lot of other things as well but the sake of time this all helped me narrow down to the simplest passion I own: I love helping people. So narrow in on yours as much as you can.
Alright, so some of you are probably wondering what this has to do with your pursuit for passion-ness, but I promise it’s probably the most relevant, and least recognized part. Pursuing anything that has such a tight grip on you heart is hard enough as it is, not to mention the world constantly throwing metaphorical (and sometimes physical) dirt in your face and knocking you to the ground. If you think you can go at it alone, you’re wrong. At our simplest form we all crave human connection. You need friends in your life. People who see you for you and are willing to stand by your side and pick you up as you take on battles and skirmishes (how about that for a SAT vocab word for ya?) in the war for a wonderful life. Find your squad, your people, and let them help to fuel you day in and day out.
Get outta your mind
Okay, don’t really, sorta, kinda. As we grow up and go through various levels of formalized and unformalized education, we learn a wide range of skills. Through out your life you have picked up a variety of these skills, simple math, laundry, Excel spreadsheets, leadership, etc. These are the things that we fill our resumes with, what we talk about with our friends, but they are not what makes you the most sought after person. I graduated college with a triple minor, not because I was terribly interested in each of those subject areas, but because each of them taught me a different way of thinking. They taught me how to look at situations from different angles, how to approach life, and everything in it. When going after your passion, be open minded and be prepared to look at everything from every angle because the road is not always clear but if you’re vision is wide enough you can always find a different path in the same direction.
The Queen Bey once said “wave it in his face, tell that boy bye”
I’m a sucker for a witty pop lyric and Beyonce wasn’t wrong with this one (though a bit over dramatic). I am going to make a statement that you have all heard many times before but maybe it will stick this time: failure is an absolute essential part of life. If you haven’t already, you are going to fail A LOT! And people are going to tell you “No” a lot. Beyond chasing your passion, this is just a part of life. What will make you different is getting back up (with the help of your #squad), smiling, and saying “Game on, B*****.” Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, Einstein, Leonardo DiCaprio, and even Queen Bey herself all have one fantastic thing in common, they failed. And look at where they got. Here is the part that actually relates to the lyric: get yourself some haterz. 4 REAL. The world told Galileo he was crazy when he said that the planets revolved around the sun, now look where we are. Just because someone doesn’t agree or doesn’t get on board, doesn’t mean you quit or give up, you just keep on going.
Sometimes 2+2 doesn’t actually equal 4.
This is to say: everything you’ve read in any of these posts may not work for you. Just as in almost every area of life, there are different ways to get from point A to point B. These are just some of the realizations I have made thus far in life. My journey was not and will not be the same as everyone around me, and neither will yours. It doesn’t make it wrong, it makes it yours. The most important thing through this fight to make a life out of your passion is that it is yours, and you stay true to it. 1