Follow Your Passion. Or Not.

Have you seen the movie “Crazy Rich Asians?”

I know, stay with me though.

There’s a moment in the movie when the young Chinese-American love-stricken girl is trying to win over the approval of her crazy rich boyfriend’s mother. The mother, who has dedicated her life to family, makes a jab at the girl about “following her passion,” judging it as selfish and non-family oriented.

So let’s talk about following your passion. It’s big talk these days and is often proclaimed as the way to experience happiness. I’d say it’s gone as far as creating stress in the lives of those that don’t know what they are passionate about, let alone, following it as a path to happiness. So let’s pause and breathe for a moment. (inhale, exhale).

You already know, just listen.

Passion is something you have, not something you do. To feed the homeless is not your passion. But to believe that everyone on the planet deserves food and a warm meal is something you’re passionate about. Feeding the homeless is the best and perhaps most rewarding route you have found to fulfill it. Passion is to have a powerful emotion about something. You can have passion and not do anything with it, but it’s when you are simultaneously compelled that you take action.

You can be passionate about anything, just find a way to express it.

Many dive into the career world thinking they need to love what they do. For instance, if you love travel, you may think a road warrior job would be “following your passion.” Or living out of an RV and blogging as you travel across the country. Both are viable ways to to fulfill what you’re passionate about. OR, you may find a job that compensates well and provides ample time off for leisurely travel, without the stress of finances or working on the road. Again, another viable way to fulfill your passion.

All of us are passionate about multiple things. It can range from connecting with people, playing an instrument, or sharing a message we believe into the world. Often our passions conflict, so we each have to do the best we can to fill ourselves up in a way that makes sense. Let go of the noise of what you need or “should” do. Listen to what you love and then find the most rewarding (and perhaps reasonable) way FOR YOU to fulfill it.

Justina and The Ignite Team

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