Finding Passion in Daily Life
So….this post is quite uncharacteristic of me. Rather than an intellectual discussion, philosophical rant, or chaotic conjectural analysis of a topic no one actually cares about, I’ve decided (through some rare lapse of judgement) to tell you a little bit about myself.
I think writing is in my blood.
When I was 7, I used to beg my dad to type my stories onto the computer for me as I dictated (I was obviously too technologically advanced to rely on pen and parchment). As my words-per-minute likely averaged close to 1.5 at that age, I was far too impatient to type the stories myself.
As a third grader, I distinctly recall bending over my friend’s desk as she patiently copied the words of a story I had ordered. At the time I hated the look of my handwriting (still do, actually) and much preferred my friend’s penmanship.
When I was 14 years old, a compulsive writer friend (I’m pretty sure compulsive writing is a clinical condition) convinced me to enter a contest that required a 50,000 word novel to be completed in the month of November. All successful participants were offered a free ISBN number and five complimentary printed books. If I recall correctly, November was close to half-way over by the time I was informed of the competition. Unfazed, I began my novel the next morning. Every day before school, I wrote 3-4,000 words. Generate, a science fiction paperback, still sits in my bookcase.
The following summer I participated in a similar contest and wrote another 50,000-word manuscript. 5th Street, a crime novel, was also published.
A year later, I self-published a book of short stories and poems entitled Wait for Me Tonight. (I know. So cute).
In 11th grade, I produced a satirical newsletter that I distributed amongst my school-mates. Due to controversial subject matter (shocking, I know), it was banned and discontinued before I could write a third issue.
Later that same year, I fell into the habit of writing a paragraph every night before bed. This is still a significant element of my evening routine.
As a high school senior, I frequently rose at 5am to work on my 4th manuscript (which is still in-progress, or I suppose more accurately, out-of-progress, at the moment). Additionally, I had a free period after breakfast that I devoted to my recently created content-website, Today Will Be Amazing. I would sit in the school chapel with a set of soundproof earmuffs I routinely stole from the science department so I could research/write undistracted (okay…mostly undistracted).
My favorite past-times included assisting others with writing assignments, acting as editor for my high school’s annually produced devotional book, or scribbling bouts of inspiration on any paper-ish medium within reach (think napkins, pieces of trash, the back of my hand).
Recently I was inspired to organize a few dusty bins of mummified memorabilia that had laid untouched under my bed for years. I was unsurprised to find countless pages of half-finished stories, tacky poems, and world-dominations schemes, scribbled in notebooks, journals, and on napkins. Many of these artifacts date back to the early 2000s when I was as young as 5 years old.
So yeah….I like to write.
It’s what I do when I’m confused, angry, thoughtful, sad, frustrated, tired, excited, inspired, or intrigued. It’s what I do when I wake up at 3am and can’t get back to sleep (yup, this article is the result of a majorly sleep-deprived brain. My apologies).
But alas, I was far too stubborn to recognize my passion and considered writing to be a mere pastime. I certainly wasn’t talented enough to pursue it as a career. Additionally, while the “starving artist” image was admittedly intriguing at first, I was wise enough to realize that living on the streets or in my parents’ basement would lose its luster very quickly.
I had been told that writers didn’t make money. And I needed to make money so I could have financial freedom to do what I loved….and what I really loved to do was write. Oh the torturous paradox of life!
Young and old alike are often encouraged to follow their passions. Yet the term “passion” is so vague, diverse, and often illusive. Here is where I would usually enter into some deep conjectural discussion on metaphorically dissecting your soul—but alas, not today. What I will say though, is that passion is an inherent aspect of human nature. It could be argued that lasting satisfaction is only attainable when passion is routinely manifested.
How to find your passion?
Consider this. How do you spend your:
Remember that passion doesn’t have to have a tangible end product (as in a book, a painting, a product, etc.). Your passion could be for people, hospitality, leading, speaking, business, reading… the possibilities are endless.
Now, I’m not suggesting you throw in the towel, quit your job, and start a garage band. Maybe you should. Maybe you shouldn’t. There comes a time when personal responsibilities require present sacrifices. Maybe you don’t like your job, but it’s necessary…for now.
Even if you’re not enthusiastic about your current occupation, make a conscious effort to incorporate your passion into your daily routine. You’re smart, capable, intelligent—be creative. Think outside of the box and integrate your passion into everything you can.
And now I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman.
Remarkably put. Shoot, why did I even bother writing a post when Thurman summed it up so nicely in 3 sentences? Ah well. You’ve made it to the end.
Today will be AMAZING!