“Pursue your passion.”
“Find your bliss.”
“Reach for the stars.”
We’ve heard them all before. We even give credit to those little nuggets as words to be guided by.
Is this why we might be in a state of discontent?
Lately I’ve been drawn to unpopular thought patterns in which I question all these little sayings and wonder why I feel an aversion to them. Shouldn’t I want to do something I’m totally passionate about? Don’t I want to be blissful? Okay, reach for the stars. . . that one has never made much sense to me; not even when I was little. Maybe I’m too literal but that looks weird if you try. It only looks cute when you’re two.
I feel like we might give all our credit to only the underdogs of our culture. Take for example the untalented kid who decides to join the team and when he gets a home run the crowd stands to their feet cheering. I like those scenes of the underdog winning, but why is it that we feel gross when we see the other kid who has the talent keep succeeding by literally hitting the ball out of the park every time? Don’t we resent that kid and call him lucky? Why are we not inspired by him and want to share his picture all over Facebook with sayings like “if he can do it so can you”? The other kid who didn’t seem to have what it took but did totally is cuter to talk about.
I feel like we have this idea that you need to be passionate in all you do all the time so therefor only pursue what gives you that feeling. I also feel like this idea is why most people feel guilty for what they do that doesn’t involve much passion on a daily basis. We feel that we’re the ones missing out if our jobs aren’t what people want to see on Instagram. I think we have been cultured to feel like the moments in our life that we don’t want to post about are not worthy of praise and for that reason we are on the wrong path in life. If we have a talent that isn’t from a source of passion but rather from hours of discipline and work we have a tendency to look at it as lesser grade of gifting?
Have we misplaced value with passion? Where has the word dedication gone in our daily vocabulary?
I don’t think we should be in loveless, soul sucking work. If you really don’t feel like you’re in the right place than trust your discontent because it’s your gut telling you that you have settled for something safe and that could lead to an unfulfilled life. You know when you are in the wrong place and if you are in something that has caused you to lose sight of real goals than get away. But consider what influences you in your understanding of being in a job that is right or not. Do you think public servants are in public service because service equals consistent passion, or is it that they have a dedication to serve others despite of the dispassionate moments? Do you think case workers in child protective services go to work everyday saying that they’re passionate? Or maybe do you think it’s because they’re committed despite the good and the bad feelings that arise daily?
Maybe we could trade out passion for value. What if we pursued value? I sincerely feel that if we can find ourselves in something that is pouring out into the world what we are called to give than what will be returned to us is passion and joy. Maybe we’re putting the horse in front of the cart by saying “pursue your passion”. By handing in the passion card you aren’t giving up on anything but rather you are realizing that life is about so much more than what we are feeling. Life is about choices in which we can garner feelings as a direct result of what we give. Passion comes from hours of work that is motivated by the value we add to others and to our own lives.
So don’t give up on yourself by comparing to others on social media. Don’t look down on who you are because you’re not the perpetual passion energizer bunny. Instead maybe adjust your lenses a bit to see that you have what it takes to be exactly where you need to be by realizing what value you add. If you feel like you’re in a spot where your talents aren’t being utilized than go somewhere else. If you feel like you can add so much more value than what you are than put in the two weeks notice.
Before you can feel passion, maybe you need to first give, recognize and add your value to the world around you.
With so much love,