Our passions are our most intimate and obvious connection to purpose, and getting paid to do it is a blessing. Though monetizing your passions should not be the central goal, it is a privilege to be able to dedicate our lives to our loves.
The burden of splitting our time between jobs and passion due to concerns of finances often leaves us with one encroaching upon the other. In these circumstances, work most often wins. Money is a centrifugal force in many of our livelihoods, and thus work becomes the central theme of who we are and what we do, leaving us with little time or energy for who we actually are and what we actually want to do.
But what if your profession and your passion were one in the same? What a dream it would be to dedicate that same time we do to our jobs to our own passionate purposes, to our labors of love.
One of the best love stories we will ever experience is the one between ourselves and our passion. They already have such great chemistry but we often break up prematurely on account of:
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
“We should see other people.”
“I have to focus more on work.”
“We’ve grown apart.”
The marriage of passion and profession is a lucky fate that evades most of us due to the simple fear of commitment. We are afraid of commitment because of what commitment entails—an all-in, all-or-nothing act of reckless abandon for the one that we love, no matter what anyone else thinks about it, no matter what happens.
But instead of committing to our undying passions for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, we settle for less and say ‘I do’ to a lifetime betrothed to a mediocre second best.
Why we must be the pursuers of our passion
- Allow time to learn each other. Understand that both parties must grow in order to achieve that perfect fit.
- Use this time to clarify your vision and the reason behind your pursuit. If it is a good one, be patient and persevere.
In any proper courtship, there is the dynamic of cat and mouse, the pursuer and the pursued. Why is this a necessary introduction in a courtship? Because it proves to the pursued that the pursuer is serious in its pursuit. It shows the pursued that the pursuer has the qualities necessary for commitment: perseverance, patience, ambition and stamina. This is where we develop our work ethic, the evidence of our worthiness of their hand.
This is also where the pursuer is able to decide introspectively whether the pursuit and the pursued is what they really want. And if the pursuer concludes that it was perhaps just a fleeting crush, the journey is still premature enough to leave without regret for any bad blood or wasted time.
We often forsake our passions because they don’t just fall easily into our grasp because we say “hey, I like you.” We expect it to yield to our whims and dreams and desires without giving any chase or any effort. And why would any object of affection yield so easily to this lazy expression of desire?
How to stay committed to passion after the infatuation stage
- Remember why you began
- Track you progress: By now you’ve made it so far. You both have grown immensely. It would be a pity to turn back now.
- Understand the obstacles and the hard times are cultivating you and your passion for the purpose at hand. Use them to your advantage with a positive and open-mind.
- Keep your progress consistent. Don’t get lazy or too comfortable where you are.
There is always a starry-eyed infatuation stage that every passionate endeavor encounters. The infatuation stage is where we fall in love with our passions; when we begin becoming the manifestation of corny quotes like “I can’t fall asleep because reality is better than my dreams.”
This is where the love affair with your passion finds purpose. It’s where flings turn into relationships and hobbies into professions. This is the scary stage where those crazy lovebirds may move in together [or quit their jobs.]
But then the scary commitment stage begins. Maybe you stopped seeing other people. But you start seeing your beloved’s wretched flaws. And then you stick around anyway. This is when the arguing begins and the tears fall second thoughts threaten the stability of your decision. But this is also when those crazy lovebirds see through each other’s flaws and you get down on one knee anyway.
What we are agreeing to when we say ‘I do’ to our passion
- Passion is not easy but it is worth it. Do not give up.
- Keep working as hard as before. Just because you have made it to the alter, you have not made it to the finish line. Your attention and work ethic should be as strong as it was when you started.
Passion is never easy. Nothing that pertains to things of the heart ever is. But it is always worthwhile. There are guaranteed hard times, times of heartache, regret or cold feet. But you always remember why you said ‘I do.’ And then you keep going, keep loving, keep pursuing them, just like you did when you first began.
Also published on Medium.