This article was originally posted in ZenestaHossain.wordpress.com
This is one of the most misleading statements you can come across regarding Passion. Though I am not saying that people who advocate for this has any intention of misleading the mass but rather their purpose is to provide genuine help. But, after conducting an in-depth research it led me to a realization that this statement is pretty useless.
First of all the statement ‘Follow your passion’ assumes that you already have a pre-existing passion. Second, if you match your passion with your job then you will enjoy your job. However, in reality most people do not have pre-existing passion that they can match to have this fantastic life. I myself got stuck in this amazing maze beating myself up almost every day about this pre-existing passion of mine that I had no idea about in the first place.
However my prayers got answered and I could eventually breath knowing that all is not lost. Cal Newport, Assistant Professor of computer science at Georgetown University and author of 4 books about passion, proposes an alternate view. He proposes that the key is to ‘CULTIVATING YOUR PASSION‘ instead of following your passion. Cultivate implies that you work towards building your passion.
All along we have gotten this process backwards. We keep on searching for passion because we think that it will bring clarity and when we know what we are passionate about then we will be able to spend time on doing that happily. I would request you to hold your horses and stop worrying so much about finding & following your passion. You can’t strategically discover it through some intellectual scavenger hunt. The problem is passion cannot be found in your head because it lives in your heart. No matter how hard you try, you cannot figure out your passion by thinking about it. You need to take action and feel your way to your truth from inside out.
For years people have written books and articles about techniques to finding passion through things like – psychological and personality test, uncovering hobbies, recalling childhood interests or brainstorming. This is not something new! Every one of us has already heard these million times but yet why are we not living a passionate life. ClearlyTHIS DOESN’T WORK!
The key is to CULTIVATE YOUR PASSION. Below are 3 unorthodox ways of truly cultivating your passion that sounds more logical. These are the keys in truly recovering your sanity around passion that also helped me personally to grow.
1. PASSION IS BORN OUT OF OUR EXPERIENCES
You love your favourite team because it was the first football game you have been to or at least it was the team that you or your family cheered on from your living room. You’re crazy about that one movie because of how it made you feel when you watched it for the 1st time. Discovering your passion for work and life follows the same pattern. You can never suddenly become passionate about something while sitting in your couch. If you want to discover a burning passion, then you need to put yourself in a position to have a burning experience. You need to be curious, take massive actions, make different choices and search out new opportunities. You need to create new experiences.
2. DEDICATE YOURSELF TO A CAUSE
With new experiences you need to find a goal to work towards. Work towards a cause that you believe in with every bone of your body. Mahatma Gandhi’s cause was freedom; Steve Job’s cause was innovation. What is your cause? Reaching for a goal is a powerful thing because it will take you to places you could never envision beforehand. The pursuit will bring your passion to you. When you show up every day and dedicate yourself to a cause and continue your journey towards new experiences and new goals you will truly be cultivating your passion. Consistent social engagement revolving around your cause reinforces your commitment and fuels that cause further. The more committed you become the more it evolves into a passion.
3. YOUR PASSION IS YOUR PAIN.
Most people I know who are truly doing something they are incredibly passionate about were inspired by their own sufferings. Examine your life to discover the key to your passion. Your passion is within you; it is not something you need to seek out. Spend time looking at how you have experienced sufferings in your life. What has been your challenge? What has been difficult for you? Your pains are full of clues in terms of what you are here to learn and what you are here to share. All of us are here with message. We are all here to share, inspire and teach. But before we do that we have to be a student of our own lives.
Lastly, finding your passion isn’t about knowing with certainty that you have chosen the right direction for yourself. It’s about picking a direction and pursuing it with urgency, consistency & enthusiasm. The key is to CULTIVATING YOUR PASSION.
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