Finding A Passion (Funding a Passion)

Having something to be passionate about is an amazing gift.  Something that I’m happy I finally found, or more so, found again.  Sadly it’s not my pay the bills job, hard to be passionate about what I do, so I have yet to earn a living off my passion but maybe one day.  Let me tell you though, it hasn’t been a straight road to finding my passion.

I think the first thing to go over is that you can have more than one thing you’re passionate about in your life.  A passion is usually all consuming but sometimes it can fade, or change.  I look at my writing and think I was passionate about it at one point, but that slowly faded as it became work.

I got caught up in editing and chasing sales and trying to get published and I forgot the passion.  I lost it over years of work.  Maybe that means I was never really passionate about it, maybe that means I was approaching it in the wrong way, I don’t know.  Take that as you will, but I came to realize that my passion was in telling stories.

Passions can change and shift with time.  Now I still write on occasion, I try to keep my creativity exercised as much as possible but I’ve moved on to other mediums to tell stories.  I am starting to exercise that creative part of my brain with my move into computer development work.

How to find that fire

That is the real question.  I can’t speak to this one hundred percent because I don’t know if I’ve really even found mine yet.  I think I might have, but I never know.  Things change and having high functioning depression doesn’t help (something I plan to write more about later).  I can only speak to how I did it.

The best way to find something is to try lots of different things.  Even if you have a slight interest in something, just give it a shot.  Don’t limit yourself in any way.  You won’t just wake up one day and realize that your life’s goal is to play guitar.  You have to actually try one.  If you’re interested in music try to make some music.  Take some classes, learn online and give it six months of work and see if your interest has increased or if you never want to look at a sheet of music again.

Just keep trying things you find interesting.  That’s what I’ve done and that’s why my apartment is full of different sorts of gear and equipment for different things.  I’ve been aggressively searching for a passion, I’ve been in situations where I thought I found it but then lost interest in the activity entirely.

You need to find that thing that you look forward to doing almost every day.  I say almost because there will be days where you just can’t do something any more, times you need a break.  But if after six months you find your interest has only increased than chances are you’re on the right path.

I think a passion is one of those “You’ll know it when you see it” kind of things.  Once you’ve found it you’ll know for sure you have.  So keep trying things until you find it, is probably the best advice I can give there.

Also, don’t stop searching.  I think I finally found my passion this year and I’m 27.  Some people take half their life to find their passion, some never find it, but you have to actually look.  Like most things in life it’s not just going to randomly come to you one day.

I also didn’t realize I had found my passion until I started to actually work on it.  Sometimes things can develop into a passion, it might not be that lightning strike moment right at the get go.  Just give it time, all things worth doing take time.

But, what about money

This is the tricky part and the part people seem to get hung up on (I know I did).  Finding a passion and funding a passion are two different things.  Sometimes actually pursuing what you’re passionate about can get expensive.

Everyone also seems to think that a passion will somehow make them money.  Those who earn a living off their passion are in the very small minority.  If you can find something you love and also find a way to make money from it you are either very lucky or very intelligent.

Most passions are relegated to the world of “hobby”.  That’s not really a bad thing though.  People that end up turning their passions into jobs often end up with very little time left to do the thing that they are actually passionate about.  Running a business takes away so much time dealing with other stuff that a passion just becomes another job.

If you want to keep loving what you love after you find it I would almost recommend not trying to turn it into a business.  Or if you do, try to do it in a way that ensures you don’t put profits in front of passion.  That is where people go wrong I think.  Although, if you are truly passionate about something this shouldn’t be an issue.

Look at your day job as the way to fund your real job, the hobby that keeps you going.  Look at your job as a route to keeping your passion alive through funding.  Not as a way to make money off your passion.  Maybe one day you will be able to sell a painting or a book or a program or whatever it is that your passionate about, but don’t let that be your only drive.

I think that is where I went wrong with my writing.  I was so focused on “making it” as an author that I got so caught up in all the marketing and all the bullshit that comes with being an indie author that I lost the passion.

Closing

Finding your passion is not an easy thing.  When you find it count yourself in a lucky minority and try not to ruin it by monetizing it.  Also take what I say with a complete grain of salt, I’m just a random looser on the internet.  At the end of the day you do what you want and don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life.

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