A lot of people ask me to define passion, to help them discover the passion in their lives, and to differentiate between love, duties, responsibilities, and passion.
A lot of people say that they have no passion in their lives, which I usually disagree with. All of us have some passion or the other. Only that, we fail to recognize it.
When I started writing about passion, I realized that I can write an entire book about it.
It is important to recognize the essence of your life to channelize your energies in a particular direction. It is more important in today’s times, especially during Covid-19 and the lockdown following the same. For, despite all ups and downs, highs and lows, good times and bad, it is your passion that keeps you going.
So, What Exactly Is Passion?
A constant burning fire in our mind and heart that compels us to do something, despite all odds against it. That drives us forward, and that keeps us afloat during difficult times, is passion, according to me.
It challenges you, motivates you, and keeps you happy.
So, if you know of even one thing that fits the above criteria, that’s your passion in life. It makes you dream, it makes you plan ahead, and stay hopeful – about your life, your future, your goals – and how they should be.
Sir A. P. J. Abdul Kalam had once said – “A Dream Is Something That Doesn’t Let You Sleep At Night.”
Passion makes that dream happen.
Often we confuse love, liking, duties, responsibilities, & desire with passion.
In fact, it is quite easy to confuse between the above as each of them has the capability to keep you happy and satisfied, keeps you dreaming for a future, and gives you a sense of achievement.
A mother taking care of a baby is happy and content, dreams for the baby’s future and sometimes, spends her life doing that.
Women taking care of family. Men sweating at their jobs.
And vice versa – Men taking care of family and women loving their jobs can be really happy for it gives them a sense of satisfaction, money, independence, and a sense of achievement.
A doctor taking care of patients in the hospital is as content and happy as any soldier or sportsman.
An engineer or executive working as a corporate employee in an MNC is happy at the end of each month when he is paid handsomely.
Cooking for family.
Painting to keep you distracted.
Watching your favourite web-series or movie on Netflix.
Shopping and Retail Therapy.
Spending time on Social Media.
Chatting with friends.
Playing Video games.
Each of these activities has the ability to independently keep you happy because it distracts you sufficiently and makes you hopeful for a long time.
But one needs to learn to differentiate. Any or all of the above may or may not be your passion. If they become your passion, there is nothing like that. You will eventually find the purpose of your life around it. But if it is not, you need to redirect your search.
Ask yourself this
Why am I doing this???
You will get your answer in one of these – Because I get paid well/ because it is my duty to do it/ it is my responsibility/ I should do it as I need money at the end of the day/ that it looks good/ that people want me to do it/ my parents want me to do it/ it will make me famous/ let me try, it has worked for others, then why not me/ I do it simply to kill time/ I have nothing better to do/ I was getting bored so I thought I’ll do this/ I love doing this/ It’s interesting so I am exploring more.
Will I still do it if I am running short of time?
Will I sneak out time from my busy schedule to do it?
Will I do it when I am totally free and have all the time in my hand?
Do I lose track of time when I do it?
Do I feel happy doing it?
Do I never want to stop doing it? Can I continue it always? Forever? Even if there was nothing else in the world left to do, will I do continue to do it?
Will I do it if I was never, ever paid for it?
Will I still continue to do it if I have to pay instead, to keep it going?
Does this activity has the ability to push me out of low or sad feelings?
Will I do it if no one supports me? No one watches my painting. No one eats what I cook. No one reads what I write. Not a single person. And if everyone I know, wants me to stop doing it – Will I still fight to continue to do it or stop myself for them?
Can I forego my sleep, food, entertainment for this?
Don’t get me wrong. You don’t need to do any of that. You don’t need to forego anything, not your health, food, sleep for anything. But if you can, rest assured, it is certainly your passion. Again, you don’t need to stop doing any of the activities above. Duties and responsibilities are a very important part of life and should never be taken casually. You got to do what you love to do, so hobbies, likes, interest, love, pastime, social media. everything has its own place in our lives.
Just that, they shouldn’t be mistaken as ‘Passion.’
A close relative is an MD with an international MNC and loves his job as he is paid in millions. He gets up early to go and join the office before time as a row of meetings and deadlines wait for him. He is responsible for pan Asia operations. He is enthusiastic, motivated, driven. Loves to go on a holiday once a year. Loves Adventure sports. Is a caring father and gives time to kids. He is crazy about football and Netflix. So he loves to do a lot of things, we can say that he does each of it passionately enough, but none of it is his calling in life. He has grown up to be responsible, caring, sensible, and an achiever in all that he does. So, he looks passionate in whatever he does.
But if you ask him what will he do if he wasn’t paid to do, and will kill for it, his answer will be – cooking. He dreams of opening food chains, he knows a lot about different cuisines, pays extra attention when someone is talking about various recipes. He plans his future around a restaurant at a beach in Goa.
A passion is something that attracts you naturally. You don’t have to do efforts to achieve it. It is not what ‘should’ be done or will make you look good and an achiever. It is what you naturally do. What you love to build your life around and can do it endlessly.
A lot of people tell me that they want to become writers. When I ask them why they want to do it. The most common answer is – because writers are famous, they are successful, they have fans and followers, and it looks cool to be called a writer when you get to tell people that you have written a book with your name on it.
(All of the above is false, though. But that is another story 😀 )
All of the above are wrong motivations. The only motivation to become a writer should be – “What do I do with the thoughts cluttered in my mind if I don’t lay them down on paper? They won’t let me live peacefully. I HAVE to write. Even if no one reads.”
You are passionate about painting, if your hands pick up the colours even if you don’t have time, you want to stop yourself from doing it, and still find yourself giving shape to ideas in your mind. That’s passion.
Teaching is your passion when your mind takes you towards students asking you to explain something from your field of interest and you find out ways to make things simpler and easier to understand.
While the attraction is natural towards most likes and loves. The hard work is not. But when even hard work appears exciting, congrats – you have got your passion in life.
It will make you work hard. It will compel you to take out time from your busy routine. It won’t let you rest unless you achieve your goals. It makes you learn new skills in that particular field. It makes you find people who have been pioneers in that field. And be the best.
Introspect & Brainstorm
So, even after reading the above paragraphs, you haven’t zeroed in one or few things you are passionate about, give yourself time, and think about it.
What makes you the happiest?
Where does your mind take you whenever you have time? Or when you are busiest?
What do you read about the most?
What are your most common searches on google?
Lastly, write down
Your positive strengths – what you are good at?
What you were good at when you were a kid?
Are you an artistic person / or do you have a scientific bent of mind?
Are you an introvert? extrovert?
Do you love to talk to people/ Are you avoid them?
Do you like to go outdoors/ or stay indoors?
Do you like group activities/ Or you would rather sit at home and do something alone?
Do you like to learn/ Or teach?
What comes first in your bucket list?
What will you do once at least, before leaving the world?
A lot will be clear once you start writing the answers to the above. There are a lot of personality tests online that will help you know what kind of person you are. Take opinions from friends and family. Observe the pattern in your behaviour about what draws you the most. I’m sure, you will find the passion for your life.
Last but not the least – When you find something that truly motivates you, give it your best. And, see how the Universe supports you in achieving it.
Blessed are those who already know the passion in their lives. Let me know if you already have something in your life that drives you forward, keeps you happy, and keeps you going through every phase of life.
Do write to me about what you learnt in this journey of discovering yourself. How you achieved it. How you knew that it was the one for you. What was the response of family and friends towards it. I will wait for your replies.
And if you don’t, let me know if my above write up helped you find one. I really hope it does. All the best.
Take care. Stay safe.