Four Tips for pursuing your passion and Four tips for not to.
He was only 17 years old when he left his comfortable home in pursuit of his passion. From his childhood, he was intensely passionate about acting in Bollywood cinema. For this, he needed to shift to Mumbai and consider his luck in making a decent acting career. He wasn’t focused on making fame out of it or making millions rather he loved what he did and wished to give his 200% effort for acting.
Unfortunately, his family was middle class and it was hard for them to support his expenses in Mumbai. His father never supported him and thought his dream to be unrealistic. His mother and sister were a bit more compassionate and wanted to see him happy with his life. But they couldn’t help much because his father used to scold them and even give them mental torture for supporting his stupid interest. In a word, most circumstances in his family were against his passionate pursuit.
Despite such obstacles, he made the hard decision to take his path towards Mumbai. His father had already refused to help him financially so with whatever his mother and sister could provide him, he set his journey.
Reaching Mumbai, his days were gonna be worse. After barely sustaining there for two days with the funds he had brought, he got an admission to an acting school. Fortunately one of the teachers also gave him a place to stay. However, His room wasn’t comfy as he had to share it with six other students and they all had to sleep on the floor.
As his initial savings were draining, his mother and sister sent him some funds for him to sustain his daily needs. But being a woman, she could only earn so much to barely maintain his expenses. And his sister was still a student so most of her earnings would be spent on her academic expenses. Still, he kept persevering for three months and in that period, he was awarded as the best actor of his class.
But just around the corner of his first triumph, another hardship was waiting for him. His mother and sister couldn’t send him further funds so he was kicked out of his room. He and his friend were able to find another room, shittier than the previous one and stayed there. But without money, they couldn’t get any food either. So they started eating free foods being distributed in temples.
Seeing him suffer so much, His mother and sister try to convince him to return to his own comfortable home. But his passion is so intense that he is ready to face even greater hellfires. He was a fighter and he never gave up. So he denied returning.
Unbeknown to him, in his home his mother and sister were blamed for everything that has happened to him. So they have to face constant scolding and mental torture from their father and other relatives.
There were not many auditions open in that post covid period so he was unable to hone his skills further. But he still doesn’t want to give up. Fortunately, another ray of light sparked his hope. He recently got a job in a restaurant. But it is a nine-hour long duty and he is paid only 11K IC. It is a relief that he can now generate his income but his income isn’t gonna give him a comfortable life.
So this was the real story of the person whom I have admired so much. But sometimes his actions feel unreasonable as well. He has found his passion and is proactively pursuing it through many hardships. But he has also been neglecting his family life, personal health and other important areas of life.
Most of the successful people we have known have also passed through hardships like he is currently facing. But not all people who face such hardship become successful. So I could only hope that he achieves the success he seeks in his life. But I can’t help but get conflicting feelings in my heart about the decision he made.
So as a lesson for the story I just shared, I would like to share two contradictory sets of philosophies regarding the theme: Pursuing Passion.
How to Pursue your Passion:
1. Eliminate money from the equation:
If money wasn’t the problem, what would you have pursued in your life? When we were a child, we were oblivious to this harsh world so we did what made us curious without a second thought. At those moments, we were truly being ourselves. We didn’t worry if our activities would generate us money, at that moment all that counted was our satisfaction.
So for a moment, act like a child, forget about the money, and try to figure out what job you would have chosen if that were the case.
2. Look at what you love to do:
When you return home exhausted after work, what activities relieve you of all the stress? What activities bring you the greatest joy? Paining? Writing? Making videos? Whatever makes you feel alive. It is quite likely that most of the time you keep thinking about things related to your passion, your internet history is filled with it or your chit-chatting also reflects your inner love.
Usually, your passion is right in front of our faces, but we neglect our subconscious habits and search for them outside of ourselves. Remember that passion comes from your heart and not from the outside environment. So focus on your daily habit, identify your passion, and start pursuing it consciously.
3. Quit talking and start doing:
Even after having a full idea of what our passion is, we still hesitate to go for it because we fill our minds with negative thoughts. We consider our passion unreasonable or it is never gonna bring us success. But rather than restricting ourselves, it’s best to just jump for it. By jumping, I don’t mean leaving everything else and blindly pursuing it. Rather try to incorporate your Passion into your day to day work. Make time for exploring your passion after work. Passion doesn’t have to be within your work, it can be your side hustle. But whatever you do, start following your passion in a manner that is comfortable to your present life.
Moreover, no one else is going to come to you and help you present your passion to the world. You need to be your own biggest salesman, showing off your skills and expertise before anyone else will.
4. Persevere through challenges and failures:
No matter what field you decide to pursue, your beginnings are always going to be tough. The problems can be from your personal life, work overload, health and many more. But no matter what obstacles come in your life, don’t lose hope and quit your passion. It was your love and joy that enabled you to focus on your passion, so don’t let that joy burn out. Always make a step towards following your love, no matter how tiny your step be.
How to not pursue your passion:
1. Focus on What You Care About, Not just on What what you love:
What you love isn’t the same as what you care about. You love the things you care about, but caring means more than that. You love to pursue dancing, but you care about the well-being of you and your family, you care about being financially stable and many more. If pursuing your passion is hampering the aspects that you care about, then it is best to reconfigure your method of pursuing it. Aligning your passion with what you care about (your values) will give you a motivational boost to preserve any kind of hardships in life.
2. Realize the paradox of Passion:
Expressing your passion can be beneficial because others admire you more and may help you become more successful. When you are passionate about your work, you are more likely to be exploited — asked to work longer hours and take on demeaning tasks unrelated to your jobs. This is largely because employers tend to think that passionate people view “extra work” as a reward. But this process will place you at risk of stretching yourself too thin and burning out.
And there is no guarantee that pursuing your passion will lead you to the success you seek. Life is full of uncertainty and all we can do is give our best and hope for it to work well.
3. Passion changes with time:
Stephen Colbert famously said, “Dreams can change. If we’d all stuck with our first dream the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses.”
Passion isn’t something that is fixed from your birth. Passion is related to your activities during childhood. The activities that made you curious, gave you initial success, provided you with some appreciation from others and filled you with excitement, this is how passion is developed. When you first tried football in childhood, you performed better than your peers, people around you praised you for that. These positive experiences will push you to play football more and more and with practice, you naturally become better at it. And you entitle it as your passion. Or you did your worst at football, but watching football with your friends and families filled you with a sense of connection. These incidents can also pique your interest in football. But with time, this can change.
During my childhood, I was passionate about martial arts, later my passion changed to public speaking and now I love writing. Many experiences were responsible for this shift in my perspective. But what I am sure about is that with new experiences your interests and passion will change.
4. Take a hard look at all of the issues and problems pursuing your passion entails:
In today’s capitalist world, any activities you do that don’t generate wealth are deemed useless. So if you wish to follow your passion full time, you have to make sure to generate income with it. And for some passions, it is easier to attract money than others. Like you have a passion to study to be a doctor, and you know how much doctors make as their salary. But enrolling in the university takes a huge sum of money and puts you in great debt. In the initial years of your medical career, you will be drowned in debt and you have pushed yourself very hard to clear it and start earning for yourself. These kinds of problems loom in every field you choose to pursue. Even if you are ready to face any kind of challenge, the type of passion you choose to pursue might show you a much greater hardship than you initially thought.
Now, some of the points I mentioned in those two sections might be contradictory to each other. It is because the first section focuses on the idealistic view of life while the second gives a realistic view. But we can’t consider one of them to be better than the other, because it all depends on what we choose to believe in.
There is a term in life called “Balance”. And balancing life in the midpoint of idealism and realism is the best way to live one’s life. Keeping an entirely idealistic view will bring you many disappointments from this real world and only keeping a realistic view will shun you from the beautiful aspects of life. This is also the reason why life is considered hard. Following a single philosophy can never bring fulfillment in life. And no single knowledge can explain the grandness of this world. Thus if we wish to pursue a fulfilling life We should be able to find the golden mean among the extremities of life events.