Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about passions. Passions for life, love, pursuit of happiness… But mostly, a passion that leads to a career.
See a few weeks back one of my former communications professors asked me a question while meeting with her in her office. She asked me, “what career do you want to end up in after graduation?” I told her that I could not confidentially answer that question because I felt like I lacked skills and passion. I told her I don’t feel like I’m passionate about anything and she talked about how you don’t need to have passion to pursue something.
Later in our conversation we talked about how I can join organizations to improve my skills to become more confident and she mentioned how that I am in my own head when it comes to passions. What she meant by that is that I underestimate myself and my abilities. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
When we think of the word “passion,” we often associate it by thinking that it’s something that needs to be pursued 24/7 or that is something that comes to natural to us. But actually, if you type in the word “passion” into the google search bar, all that it says is that it is a “strong emotion that you barley control.” The word that stuck out to me in this definition was the word “barely.” Barely is defined simply as “almost not.” Interesting right?
I think of the word “barely” as small effort; where you only fill the glass half way. So, with this in mind, how does this coincide with the definition of “passion?”
To answer this question I say that the way we currently think of passion is wrong. That a passion is not something that we breathe and talk about all day, but something that gives us fulfillment when we do it even if it’s “barely” enough effort.
Do you think Steve Jobs wanted to be creating 24/7? Maybe, but most likely not because not all of us want to be actively pursing something every minute of the day. If you are like me, sometimes the best ideas come when you are not even doing anything, but when you are in a peaceful solitude state of mediation. So, we are not always in a constant state of passion.
What does all of this mean career wise? Does an individual need passion to make the right career path? Yes and no. If you base it on the google definition yes, but if you base on the perceptions in your head, no. All that your dream career requires is effort and a willingness to learn in your field of interest. If you’re interested in zoology, pursue zoology. It only took an interest of creating a computer to have Steve Jobs create a $879 billion valued company. It only takes a small and consistent effort.
So, if you don’t have anything that interests you 24/7 every day, that is okay. That’s the point. You know you’re on the right path if you want to pursue that interest anyway, no matter the doubts you have or the noise you hear. If it doesn’t scare you than it means that it you must not really care about it that much.
So keep onward in your pursuits even though you may doubt yourself. Cause even the greatest innovators experience feelings of doubt.