This originally started out as a Facebook post in response to an article that came through my feed, but I decided it might make for a much better post since my blog has been so lonely lately.
This is the post I’m referencing. It might seem like your standard, run of the mill, “X Things that [enter something about a group of people] do [differently/better/worse/etc]” and you’re right. It is. But if you look beyond that, it might just resonate with you. It certainly did with me.
So many of these apply to me, especially 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. It’s taken a long time to get to that headspace, but I’ve had to do a lot of mental changes to get to that point. Sometimes you may feel like you’re isolated when you reach that point, but you need that kind of sacrifice to know you’re planning for future happiness. I won’t lie or try to sugarcoat it. It’s really easy to feel like you’re a little bit crazy or one track minded when you’re someone who is constantly creating more work for themselves and doesn’t ever just “sit back and relax”, but I’m of the mindset that if you work insanely hard when you’re able to, and you work towards goals and passions, the rest will fall into place. You’ll make the money you need to make to truly enjoy the time when you’re not working. Would you rather work a job you hate, not have enough money to really enjoy your downtime, and just be average enough to squeak by day after day? Or would you rather work insanely hard on things you love, to the point where it envelopes itself in your every waking moment, but know that you can “play” equally as hard with complete satisfaction? I’m of the second camp.
It’s easy to feel like you’re working passionately for so long with no results, but trust me. It all comes barreling in over time. Passion is like a flywheel. At first, it takes a lot of effort and time, and you feel like you’re not making any progress. Then over time, you find that you’ve created and worked on so many things, that it gets easier. The friendships come. Your visibility in the space starts coming. The web you’ve been building is slowly becoming stronger and everything is tying together. Your passion is showing through, and people are genuinely interested in what you’re doing. Then eventually, you reach it. You feel like you’ve made it. Suddenly you look back on all of the tough decisions you’ve made or the days where you feel like you’re not making any progress at all, and realize that it’s all leading up to the point you’ve suddenly reached. Success doesn’t come overnight, but all of those things you’re working on and experimenting with will develop into something over time. It takes a lot of work to try new things, and to the outsider, it may seem like you’re wasting your time by building things and scrapping them. But it’s the only way to reach what it is you’re looking to get to.
My sister is an excellent reminder of that. She’s a true artist and she’s relentlessly pursued her passion and dreams for years upon years. Something inside her drove her to do it, and now she’s reaching a status where her work is making a difference and her recognition is giving her a platform to reach others in the field and motivate them. If she were to have given up years ago and decided to just take a job to pay the bills, she would have never met what was really in store for her. She knows that she’s meant for something bigger in this life, and she’s pursuing it. She inspires me everyday.
Anyone who has had a conversation with me that cuts past the small talk can see how much my passion bleeds through on the ideas that I’m working on. I feel bad because conversation always steers back to it, but you know what? I’m happy about the direction I’m driving myself to and where I am, and I wish for everyone to reach this level of love for their current and future work. Work, to me, isn’t just something you do to pay the bills. Work is something that entwines itself in your very life and soul. If everyone took the approach of work being a job, and nobody sought out their passion, then the world as we know it wouldn’t have progressed to the stage where we’re at. People like Elon Musk wouldn’t exist in this world and be pushing technological and scientific development if everyone just followed the status quo.
Not everyone is built for that level of dedication (let’s be real- Elon is basically a genius), but if you’re built for what I’m writing about above, don’t feel bad about loving work and relentlessly taking the steps to eventually get to where you want to be. I really believe that anyone can achieve anything, if they get out of their own way.
Stop ignoring who you’re meant to be and just embrace it, because you’ll be miserable if you try to slow down and pace yourself. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’m not built to sit around. Idle hands are what causes my inner demons to come out. I become a very negative and pessimistic person, and I realize this about myself. But when I’m working on or towards something that really ignites me from inside, it’s basically pure euphoria. And that in turn transforms me into a happier and optimistic person, which then makes my relationships happier and stronger, which makes life a whole lot better.
The interesting thing about working towards your passion is everything in your life is usually built in or around it. I have an ultimate goal for what I want life to look like when I’ve finally completely enveloped myself 100% in my passion, to the point where it no longer seems like work. I’ve been working backwards to line up the steps and choices that will get me there. It may not make sense to everyone or anyone, but that doesn’t matter. It should only make sense to you. Throughout the course, you’ll naturally shed some people in your life, but you’ll also naturally attract the right ones that are just as passionate as you. I feel like I’m already starting to find those people, and it makes me extremely happy.
As Danielle Laporte so often says, “Life balance is a myth, and the pursuit of it is causing us more stress than the craving for balance itself.” We are not meant to be average.
You might feel like your passions change all the time, or you aren’t exactly sure what your real passion is. That’s perfectly OK. I like to call those mutable passions “surface passions” because they can come in really intense like a hurricane and die down over time. But trust me when I say that there’s an underlying theme in all of the “surface passions” that you have, and that underlying thing is really what drives you. There’s a commonality in them all, you just need to find it.