"Live your passion!" "Blog about your passion and make money doing it!" Sound familiar? We are hearing this everywhere nowadays. Discovering your passion and living the life of your dreams has become trendy. Where does that leave us lost souls who don't really know what our passion is? Or maybe we have an inkling but aren't certain?
I've been analyzing the current passion trend and I think it is a bit misdirected. It preaches that we should be passionate about "doing" something. I disagree. I think we can only truly find passion in who we are "being" as a person. What we love to do may come and go. We're human. We get bored, we get distracted, we get disillusioned with shiny golden promises of fulfilling our dream (which must always be career oriented, apparently).
I won't lie. I've been feeling pretty passionless lately and all this passion crap was really annoying me, so I decided to find my own way to deal with it. Here is what I did:
1. I made a list of past experiences in which I truly felt passionate and alive. I didn't put boundaries on the list. It didn't have to be just career stuff. If I thought of something that happened when I was 6 years old I put it on the list. If it's something tiny and insignificant, I put it on the list.
2. I looked at my list and confessed aloud, "None of these things are my passion." Then realized I must look behind the activities on the list. I needed to ask WHY is this on the list? Example: Making family documentaries. Ok, so WHY did I enjoy that? Answer: because I was creating something that would be treasured forever. Because I love the element of awe and raw emotion that washes over a client any time they see the movie I created for them. That is what I really love about it.
3. When I did this for each item on the list I began to see recurring themes. Strangely, they have nothing to do with making movies, which I always assumed was my passion. See what I mean. Other items on my list: planning a surprise party for my parents anniversary. Shooting a concert of a favorite local band, editing it in a cool way and giving it to them for free. Coordinating charity work for an orphanage in Bulgaria.
At first these activities seem unrelated. But once I look behind the curtain I see they all provided me opportunities to create something that would be "treasured forever" by the end recipient. Now THAT my friends is my TRUE PASSION. Other things that came up for me in this exercise are that I love taking elements and rearranging them into something new. Also I found the pattern that I love working as part of a team and collaborating.
Figuring this out is like freedom to me. I can implement my passion of creating treasures for people in a myriad of ways, not just making family documentaries. As an artist I no longer feel imprisoned or bored. I feel I can take what I learned from this exercise and BE a more passion-filled person.
If you are feeling a bit passionless yourself, give this a try. Think your passion is photography? WHY? What is the essence behind taking photos that gets you jazzed? Then, how can you take that essence and apply it to other mediums, or different situations? Please share what you learn about yourself and your passion in the comments. I'd love to see if this is helpful to anybody else.