The Problem with Searching For Your Passion
A game that reminds me about the harsh truth to find your passion is the original Super Mario Bros. Whenever Mario had broken into a castle, fought through the endless traps and defeated the main boss, he always came across a silly little toad who told him the Princess was waiting for him in another castle.
I never enjoyed those moments, but that repeating experience is similar to anyone who search for their passion. They find something they’re interested in, pursue after it, and after struggling through a series of hassles to understand it, realize they’re just not into it. Thus, sending them away to find another passion that captures their attention.
Take, for instance a man name Williams. After a few people had complemented his paintings, he assumed his true passion was art. He then imagined the type of careers he could have as an artist and the people who’ll praise him for his work.
Although he had an exciting start in learning how to be an artist, as soon as he sees how difficult it is to paint certain pictures and sell his art, he lose his interest and look for something new to do. And as silly as that example was, this happens to people everyday.
They may not have pursued an art career, but they did pursue other goals they originally wanted to accomplish but found too bothersome to continue chasing.
Whatever you believe about passion, chances are you’re wrong and you should toss those ideas out the window.
The Problem Usually Originates from Your Childhood
Our childhoods act as a stepping stone to get us moving towards the right direction and discover what we enjoy doing. We take a taste out of life and see what makes us happy.
But the problem usually starts when you’re placed in a class of 20 other students who’s similar to you. Normally this will be great for improving your social skills. But to understand your passion, humans need to notice they’re better at something than other people.
It’s noticing you can draw better than most students, play the piano better than others, or play sports better than others that naturally makes you interested in a subject. And when you’re surrounded by others who outmatch you in every subject you get involved with, you’ll be more likely to evade those activities to avoid looking silly in front of anyone who can actually perform well at it.
This makes it difficult to notice your passion because you’re in competition with several dozen classmates. The odds that you’ll find yourself better than someone else in a particular skill is dramatically reduced. And this cause you to believe you belong in the “average” category.
Passion originates from feeling like you’re the exception to the rule and that occurs when you realize you’re better than other people at something. Call it petty, but you get a sense of superiority when you outdo someone in either a test, a game, or even gambling.
Whether it’s writing, drawing, or playing sports, students who excel at something over others develop a natural interest to dig deeper into it.
When I was in elementary, I had a difficult time learning when I was in a class of 30 students. If I struggled with anything, I was usually on my own because the teacher had to deal with enough students on her own. If I thought I did good at a certain subject, I realized there were 15 other students who did just as well, lowering that feeling of accomplishment.
However, when my parents had enrolled me into a class of 12 students the next semester, my interest for learning rose dramatically because it was easier to beat someone in a particular skill or subject.
And with that thirst for competition, I kept up with my studies. It was easier to ask the teacher for help if I had any questions or concerns. This was the moment I realized the importance of learning in small environments versus big.
Very few teachers enjoy managing a large class because it’s difficult to examine every student strength and weakness. However, the moment students are enrolled in a small class, they learn faster and progress more quickly. They develop confidence to express their ideas and a love for learning.
Passion Originates From the feelings of Accomplishments
I still remember the first book I wrote in the sixth grade. It was a super hero novel that I imagined daily. But instead of only daydreaming about it, I had the hard-copy version on my desk. That was perhaps the first time I actually accepted the fact I wanted to be a writer.
Such as when you’re a child who realized you’re better at certain things than other children, the feelings of easily accomplishing something increase your interest for it.
Imagine you started programming and found it pretty easy. You notice other people viewing the idea of programming as impossible, giving you those positive feelings that you’re better at most people at it.
During your programming campaign, the first program you create is, “Hello World” and this creates a new burst of excitement in you. You want to dig deeper into this subject and see how far you can go.
That rising excitement is known as your passion because it makes you want to return back to it to expand your knowledge.
However, the conflict that normally arise from this is known as frustration. That occurs when you set impossible expectations towards a goal you’d want to achieve.
For instance, while you’re learning how to program, you give yourself a goal to create an amazing software by the end of the month. But as each passing day go by, you remain stuck on creating the first parts of it and your frustrations increase as you put in less effort. The more you constantly struggle with it, the more you tend to avoid that activity, eventually avoiding it completely.
Find what you’re good at and set realistic expectations on where it can take you. See what you can do with the skills you learned that week and play with them. If you’re learning how to program, don’t imagine the million dollar idea you can create from it.
Imagine the funny programs you can create with the skills you learned that week. That’s how you keep the passion for that particular passion alive.
Sometimes You Have No Choice But to Break the Rules
Although college and universities are great resources to become a master of your craft, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the only way to succeed. The purpose of school is to narrow your skill choices until it becomes one of the mediocre sets that already has a hundred people waiting to get into.
For instance, when you’re in elementary school, you have the option of being 100 different things. By the time you go to High School, it usually narrows down to 12 possible career choices.
But when you hit college, it drops down to 1 – 3 career choices. And those choices aren’t even the ones you truly wanted. They’re usually careers that were the logical choice to make because of peer pressure or salary possibilities.
The average student isn’t going to major in photography because there isn’t that many great career choices that can come out of it. However, if that person also had a keen interest in fashion, they could create a popular fashion design blog.
This is where the importance of combining your natural interest with your own personal skills comes into play. Skills that can’t be taught in college such as humor, wittiness, and good taste.
A problem people make is assuming they’re only allowed to have one passion they could develop a career out of. If they enjoy Law, the main career they can see themselves getting into is either becoming a Police Officer or Lawyer.
The true way to discover your passion is to know what you’re interested in and combine your natural skills into them. Whether your strengths are in art, humor, being positive, writing, or whatever that makes you YOU, combine them together to make something you never knew existed.
If a history lover also had an interest for drawing, he could combine his skills to create some interesting comics that would make historical moments more interesting. If someone had a natural interest for video games while also possessing a good sense of humor, they could create funny videos that’ll attract millions of people.
Most people can never define themselves with only one skill to make themselves successful. They’re a combination of skills and traits put together. Sometimes they even have to drop out of college because there were other areas they wanted to improve their skills in, but the education system didn’t acknowledge them.
It’s a terrifying and yet exciting decision when you create your own passion and only a handful of people have done it.
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