My mother said to me “always do what you love” and my father followed it up with “do what you are passionate about as that is the ultimate formula for success”. Well they were great words and I was privileged enough to have the freedom to choose my major in college of my own volition. But let me preface my argument by saying, no I don’t have a passion. And that does not make me a looser or unfocused or even purposeless.
I was fourteen years old when I realised that all my friends were either playing cricket, were into comics, some were singers, some dancers and many such things. But I wasn’t particularly interested or even had a talent for any such activity. I did read and occasionally write but nothing like my best friend baking chocolate cookies and pies. Even that seemed “passionate” enough to my “passionless” life.
But then came college and I decided to choose a major that would better suit my reading and writing skills. After all that was the formula for success right? If you follow your passion and do what you are passionate about, you will always succeed. Well not in my case. I was more or less average during my entire college and I spent my last three years searching for my passion stuck in a course that promised new opportunities and exposure. I got it all, but passion still eluded me.
The advice that my parents gave was me brilliant, but at the same time it excluded any other possibility. It simply encouraged me to focus on passion as if it was a plan for life and in the process it became a yardstick to judge my value and worth. In fact, many of us face the compelling task of naming a passion when we probably don’t even have one. Every time I was asked what my passion is, it would always trigger anxiety in me and my mind would scramble to produce a good answer because doodling and watching movies didn’t count as ‘passion’.
Around the time of my graduation, it was an epiphany of sorts when I finally realised that it was completely okay if I did not have a passion. I found out that every time I scored well in a particular subject, I worked harder and enjoyed learning that particular paper more. Every piece of writing that I shared with my friends, the successful and well received one’s made me happy, encouraging me to write more and express my opinion. But above all, I finally realised that for me, it was success that lead to passion and not the other way around.
All I am saying is its completely okay not to have any interest or passion as such. Passion is a feeling after all and feelings always change. I spent the past couple of years wallowing in self-pity and under estimating my own worth just because I did not have a passion. Eventually I realised that I was so busy searching for my passion, it was all but a tunnel vision and I was slowly losing out on great things that were right there in front of me. So I stopped and I realised how absurd it all was. I was not any less interesting or ambitious or smart just because I did not have a passion.
I am not encouraging anyone to be idle or aimless. We are all endowed with different abilities and capabilities. And instead of searching for some divine passion, let’s keep doing things that come our way, things that intrigue us, make us productive and at the same time, contribute to the society and make others happy as well. Do what brings you success, whether in personal life, or professional life or in anything. Passion is the spark that ignites in the process of doing something, so keep doing that which makes you successful and happy, and the passionate spark will follow along.
Inspiration – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MBaFL7sCb8