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It's Not Passion. It's Priorities.

 

I have found something I wish I wrote called Screw Finding Your Passion by Mark Manson (h/t to Lodi Planting for the link) and it is fantastic.

It is the advice we need to hear (note there is cursing so if you are offended by that, I apologize. Don't let that get in the way of absorbing the message, though).

Here's what I loved:

Today I received approximately the 11,504th email this year from a person telling me that they don’t know what to do with their life. And like all of the others, this person asked me if I had any ideas of what they could do, where they could start, where to “find their passion.”

And of course, I didn’t respond. Why? Because I have no fucking clue. If you don’t have any idea what to do with yourself, what makes you think some jackass with a website would? I’m a writer, not a fortune teller.

But more importantly, what I want to say to these people is this: that’s the whole point — “not knowing” is the whole fucking point. Life is all about not knowing, and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this. All of it. And it’s not going to get any easier just because you found out you love your job cleaning septic tanks or you scored a dream gig writing indie movies.

Not knowing is the whole point. 

That's right. We want guarantees in a life that is filled with absolutely NO guarantees. I don't even know if I will be alive from one second to the next. Yet I persist. 

Mark goes on:

The problem is not a lack of passion for something. The problem is productivity. The problem is perception. The problem is acceptance.

The problem is the, “Oh, well that’s just not a realistic option,” or “Mom and Dad would kill me if I tried to do that, they say I should be a doctor” or “That’s crazy, you can’t buy a BMW with the money you make doing that.”

The problem isn’t passion. It’s never passion.

It’s priorities.

More truth. 

It's not passion. It's priorities. 

It's also courage.

Are you willing to commit to something that you know in your heart is right, even though other people are telling you that it's "crazy" or "a pipe dream" or whatever else we tell people who want to follow something that's important to them? 

If you have to look for what you enjoy in life, then you’re not going to enjoy anything.

And the real truth is that you already enjoy something. You already enjoy many things. You’re just choosing to ignore them.

 

That's it. You know your passions. And if you don't--if you really don't have things that you care about in your life--then you have a much bigger problem than finding the job that's right for you because you are living a life that is dead and lifeless and THAT's your problem. A new job is not going to change that. 

I'm with Mark. Your passion has already found you. It's the thing (or things) that you do that put you in flow, that make you feel alive and joyful and that you just DO. Your passions are in your sparks. What lights the fire within you?

Don't come to me saying you don't know what you love to do. Nine times out of 10 you do. The problem is that you haven't figured out what to do with that--if you can build a career or a business on it. Maybe you can't. But I would also say, "how do you know you can't?"

This guy is making a living filming garbage trucks, setting them to heavy metal music and then uploading them to YouTube where millions of weary parents tap can find them to share with their enraptured pre-schoolers. It's safe to say most of us would have told him he was "crazy" for thinking he could have a job doing this. Yet here he is. 

I'm going to say this again. It's not "finding your passion" that is the issue. You already know what gives you joy and purpose. The question is, are you going to do something with that? How are you going to make it a priority? What might you have to give up? And how are you going to engage with those passions to discover how they could fuel your life? 

 

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