I’ve written about this before, but I don’t have a passion. I don’t have this one thing I excel at and could do all day without ever getting bored. I don’t know what my passion is, but I am happier than I’ve ever been. In fact: this whole ‘follow your passion’ advice has, if anything, distracted me from my true purpose. Here’s why.
People like to tell you that if you don’t know what your passion is, you should think back to when you were 5 years old. What did you like to do most when you were a child? What did you spend all your time doing? What were your favorite activities?
I like too many things
This is where I fail already, because I liked doing so many things. I liked to get dressed up and make up plays, I liked to pretend my room was a shopping mall and play a sales assistant, I pretended I was a teacher, a writer, and I even made old school ‘vlogs’. At school I was terrible at math, physics and biology and slightly better at English and history. But I didn’t excel. I wasn’t passionate. And if I was, that could change the next day.
Nothing changed when I went to university. I changed my mind every year and by the time I was committed to getting my communication science degree I was 21 years old and had tried three different degrees. And this is where it gets critical.
Why ‘follow your passion’ is bad advice
If someone had told me back then, when I was insecure, young and unsure of myself and my future: FOLLOW YOUR PASSION AND DO WHAT YOU LOVE it would have confused me completely. And I was already very, very confused. If someone had told me: if you’re not head over heels in love with what you do, you shouldn’t be doing it, I probably would have quit (again).
Now here’s why that would have been a huge mistake. I’m 100% sure I wouldn’t have been head over heels in love with anything at that point in my life. If I was passionate about anything, it was getting a degree; any degree really. I wanted an education. I wanted to become financially independent. To this day that’s what I am most passionate about.
Screw finding your passion
So screw finding your passion! We don’t all have a passion, this one key to an amazing life that we’re overseeing by staying in a dead end job. I can safely say that I have never had a passion, but I am happier than I have ever been. Why? Because I have always, always followed my intuition, and that has been hugely important for me.
My intuition has told me this: find your interest (communication science), get a degree (Bachelor and Master’s, check), work hard (always), be committed (entirely) and do it with passion (I do – as much as I can). In the meantime, I found an outlet for my creativity in my blog and I AM HAPPY. And no, my blog is NOT my passion.
What about sacrifice?
So pursue your passion by all means, if you have one, but don’t ever feel bad if you don’t know what your passion is, or if you’re wondering if you even have one at all. To me, this whole mantra or so-called advice has never helped and I’m glad I have never listened to it. There’s also a little thing called sacrifice, also known as the non-passionate hurdles you take to get to where you want to be.
I have no passion in life – but I am happy
I currently work as a researcher and lecturer and although I don’t consider it my passion, I am passionate about it. I love my job, my colleagues, I am challenged all the time, I feel worthy and my job gives me so much satisfaction. The other day I realized that this is what I’ve always wanted. When I get in my car in the morning and make the drive to work while singing along to my radio I am 100% happy. Can you believe it? I have no passion in life and yet here I am: happy. And that’s what we all strive to be, right?