No one is born with a passion.
I was scared shitless in my final year of high school. If I didn’t get good grades on my exams, I was done.
My teachers would tell me, the results here determine your future.
IF YOU DON’T DO WELL, YOU’LL GET A BAD JOB
This is somewhat true but it’s empty. It’s thrown around as a scare tactic. If kids get good results, the teachers look good, the school looks good, you get it.
Day in day out, a peppering of questions.
What do you want to do with your life?
Who do you want to be when you leave school?
What’s your calling in life?
What’s your passion?
Lady, I know you mean well, but how the hell am I supposed to know? I’m 17.
This thing about a passion kept coming up. Follow your passion this, follow your passion that. Follow your passion and you’ll never be lead astray.
So where was this passion everyone was speaking of?
WHERE WAS MY PASSION?
I’d wait and wait. Expecting this passion of mine to rock up. It seemed like a really big deal. Surely it would show its beautiful face here soon.
How come everyone else seemed to have theirs but I didn’t?
This really haunted me. It was tough going through my final year. I had no idea what I wanted to do but supposedly I should’ve.
My soul was being slow-roasted, believing I’d done something wrong.
Graduation came and went. Still no passion.
I fluffed around at university for a couple of years. Seeing girls at school was fun. I thought that could be my passion. Getting girls.
Where the hell was this thing?
I’d read articles from successful people.
Follow your passion. Everything else will fall in place.
I’m following my passion so it doesn't feel like work anymore.
I used to play with toy cars as a kid and never looked back, now I’m a race car driver.
These guys had it set. I wanted to reach out to them. What were their secrets?
I graduated university. No passion.
I thought I’d had a little taste of it here and there but I didn’t feel it.
I was expecting an Earth-shattering moment. Butterflies in my stomach. The feeling you get when you see your crush walking across the park times a million. Nope.
I’d given up. This thing I was searching for, this passion, I wasn’t cut out for it. It was my job to ride the passionless cheese grater of life.
I’d been lifting weights for five or six years. I was never creative in high school but my body had become my canvas. I’d started to look pretty good by my own standards.
Could this be my passion?
Did I finally take the podium in a lifelong game of hide and seek?
Not so fast.
I remembered the articles I’d read.
You’ll know when you find it.
You just know.
What was this knowing supposed to feel like? You can’t just say, you’ll know.
All the 22-year-old millionaires and megastars must’ve had it from birth. They knew the secret. Life must’ve given them an orchid of lemon trees and a lemonade manufacturing plant.
I began to hate the world. Positive on the outside, cynic on the inside. I’d been hard done by.
It wasn’t coming. My passion was never going to hit me in the face. My crush wasn’t going to walk across the park a million times.
I worked out the secret.
Get really good at something.
So good it sucks. It sucks because it’s hard to get better. But you love it.
You’ll start to embrace the suck. It’ll bring you a euphoria like no other.
After you learn to embrace the suck, you’ll find it.
But it won’t hit you in the face.
You’re not born with a passion. No one is. You have to grow into it.
You have to continually work at becoming better and better at something.
Once you develop a skill to a point where you are better than others but more importantly, better than your previous self. This is where your passion will begin to grow.
If you’re in high school, it’s unlikely you will be very good at anything.
School raises you as a droid. Be similar enough to everyone else, that way you’ll be easier to control.
If you can break out of the droid mentality. If you can allow yourself to work hard at something, over and over and over again. You will find your so-called passion.
Now reflect back on my original statement.
No one is born with a passion.
A newborn doesn’t know he’s going to be the next Elon Musk. A six-year-old girl doesn’t know she’s going to grow up and be Oprah.
These ordinary people got really good at something.
We are all ordinary until we decide not to be.
Some get lucky and get really good at something earlier in life. Others take 60-years to realise it. Many have died without it.
If you’re in high school and waiting for your passion to hit you in the face, I know how you feel. I’m still waiting too. It’s not coming.
There will be no sign. No billboard on the side of the road.
Don’t do I what I did and become bitter. Looking at others thinking they had it set. Save yourself the time and effort.
Play around with different things.
Try whatever sparks your interest even a little. Then dig deeper on something and get better at it. Triple down on it.
Don’t let any of your seniors be gatekeepers of your potential. Much of their advice will be their own unfulfilled dreams being passed onto you.
You will never win playing a character that isn’t you.
Be patient. Getting really good at something will take time. And it will suck.
Embrace the suck.