Since the time we are born, our parents, teachers, and friends wonder what we will be when we grow up. For many, their passion is evident early enough that the thought of finding themselves doesn’t really come into question.
As a child, you might find pleasure in helping others, biology, or have a curiosity for how something works. Great, you decide you want to be a doctor when you grow up and never look back. Easy enough, you never really had to figure out your passion, because you already knew what it was. You also knew what profession you wanted to be in, in order to fulfill your passion.
What about the rest of us? As a child, there were myriad things I wanted to do: Be a cop, astronaut, truck driver, railroad engineer, etc…. While in school, I avoided anything that had to do with math, since I was horrible at it, so astronaut was out the window. Still, I had a hard time choosing, because I never really had a passion that guided my decision of picking a profession.
My indecision, led me to skip college after high school, and join the Military. I had always liked the thought of going into the Army, and it was a way to avoid making a decision about my future plans. At least for four years.
After being discharged honorably from the Army, I went back home, signed up for college and started attending. My first major was Business Administration. I figured it was a safe bet, well, because most everything is a business and they needed to be administered. But again, it was a profession, not a passion. For countless months, the thought of finding a passion lingered. I even attempted to read the book everyone recommended, “What Color is Your Parachute?” I thumbed through it, but could never really get into it. I mean, come on, and if you have to read a book to find your passion, chances are you don’t really have one.
While attending college I changed my major countless times, I honestly lost track, somewhere around seven times. The majors ran the gamut, from Liberal Arts to Political Science. I finally settled on Information Technology, but only because I was running out of time and I figured I liked computers. Still, no passion to be found in sight.
After graduation, I attempted getting into the IT field, the offers I was getting though were ridiculously low and I had a fairly decent full time job in sales, (which as of this writing I still do). I still wrestled with the thought of finding a passion, but to a lesser extent. Both my wife and I found ourselves to be in the same quandary about finding our passion. We both admitted that we were eclectics and liked everything.
As I consulted part time in IT, I also started creating my own websites. I found this to be enjoyable and the possibilities were endless in what I could create. I enjoy politics, so I created a political forum; I enjoy learning and techy stuff, so I created a tutorials site, so on and so on. Building websites gave me an outlet for my different likes (notice I didn’t say passion). Along the way, something happened.
It was a slow and steady transformation, but before I knew it I was obsessed with my websites. Or at least that is what my wife would tell me. I would wake up earlier and earlier to work on them (I started this article at 4:15 AM) before I had to go to my regular job. Over a two year period, I have become increasingly passionate about my websites, and I can now say that I have a passion.
It seems weird, when we think of passion; we think one thing, one subject, one field. But the mere fact that I have found my passion doesn’t mean I’m not an eclectic anymore. I still like physics, history, gardening, running, the list goes on and on. Recently, my wife and I had a conversation about all of this, as I mentioned earlier, she too suffers from being an eclectic. We concluded that one of the main reasons that we hadn’t found our passion growing up is because there was no internet at the time.
Obviously, there is more to it than that. Creating websites in subjects I enjoy is merely a way of building something. Perhaps, architects have the same feeling when drafting blueprints and then seeing the buildings go up. I believe the reason I like having websites so much is because they tap into many fields that I’m interested in; technology, business, marketing, creativity ,and it challenges me intellectually.
Now, how do you find your passion? Well, I hope having relayed my story helps you along until you do. There is no simple answer, as I mentioned, I basically muddled along for years until it just grew on me. Still, keep in mind, there are days that I can’t stand to see a computer and the thought creeps into my mind again…”What am I destined to do on this earth” …if something of interest comes to mind , I usually put in the “build a website about it queue.”
My best advice for anyone trying to find their passion is, find something you like (not necessarily love) and do it, delve into it. Human beings learn by doing and by doing what you like, you might just start loving it. The worst case scenario is you might learn something new. Hey there you go, that can be a passion…finding new things to do!