Stop wasting your time with stuff you don’t care about
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”
Do you remember as a kid when people kept asking you: “ What do you want to be when you grow up?”?
Do you know now? No? Welcome to the club.
It would be wonderful if we could know exactly what our strengths and our passions are from an early life. That will save us a lot of time and misery. Finding that intersection between skills and vocation is the holy grail of a fulfilling life.
Unfortunately most people never find it.
It’s too easy to be practical, to chase after money of comfort, to use common sense and to keep reminding yourself to forget your dreams and “get real”
Getting real is a cop-out
You’ve been told from an early age that there are dreams and there is reality, and the sooner you see the world as it is, the better you’ll do in life.
There is no such thing as an objective reality. We create our own reality every day, the moment we open our eyes.
Your reality and my reality are completely different, that’s why trying to impose a blanket rule to suit all just doesn’t work.
Some people can be very happy as an accountant or middle manager but most are just being practical and settling for a “real” job.
Why is important to do what you are?
Because when you find your vocation, not only you’ll be a lot happier and more productive, but you’ll also achieve mastery status quicker.
You won’t have this false dichotomy between what you do and what you love, between your job and your hobby, between your career and your passion. All will be one.
You’ll spend 16 hours a day working at your thing and getting really good at it.
Passion creates focus and focus creates momentum
Compare that to that marketing technique you learned, or that project management course you enrolled in just because it looked good on your CV. Did you learn much? Are you any good at it? Probably not.
It’s very hard to master anything you don’t like. It makes sense to do only stuff you love, it’s more effective and the results are guaranteed.
In the past, this advice would have been deemed as risky — it was difficult to make a living outside “recognized professions” — but now, it’s not only possible, it is safer.
The thing is, starting now, more and more jobs are going to disappear to AI. That secure job as an account manager or legal counsel, that you took because of job security, might no longer be relevant in a few years. But if you are doing something very specific to your personality and your passion, that will be so niche that it will survive automation. No Robot can copy you.
It’s not practical to be practical
Your passion is very niche
You are unique, there is no one like you (unless you have an identical twin, then, you should get rid of her, quick. Just kidding). Chances are, nobody can do the creative work you do as well as you. You have no competition.
Who can compose like Mozart?
Who can paint like Picasso?
Who can play like Coltrane?
Who can do what you do?
Nobody can’t beat you at being you.
By finding and following your passion you’ll be doing what you love, you’ll get really good at it, you’ll enjoy every minute of it, it’s future proof and you get no competition.
What’s not to like?
Before you get all excited you need to find out what is it that you want to do.
4 ways to find your passion in life:
1. Examine yourself
Chances are, you already know what you want in life, you are just afraid to admit it. To bring it to the surface, you have to reflect on a few key questions:
What kind of books you read?
When conversing, what subjects you can’t stop talking about?
When you go to a bookshop, which section you feel drawn to?
What do you search on Google?
What conversations do you have with yourself? And What do you talk about?
Ask yourself these questions daily, give it some time to sink in. Write your thoughts in a dairy and before you know a pattern will emerge and you’ll start seeing things clearly.
2. Get feedback from others
Sometimes, others can see the obvious in us well before we can.
Ask around; friends, family, coworkers. Get them to tell you what aspects of your personality are more salient, what are your talents and what do they think you are passionate about.
Then, you have to filter that a bit. Sometimes people just try to be nice or polite and tell you what you want to hear, others just don’t have a clue. But if you ask enough people, you will see some patterns emerging.
Listen to the positive and the negative. What you excel at and what you suck at. Both are important to know.
I’ve always seen myself as a technical person with a scientific mindset. However, the unsolicited developmental feedback I was getting was the opposite: “Math is not your forte”, “ you are not detail-oriented” and” that’s not scientific”
I got very defensive with these comments and my response was kind of rude.
But they were right. They saw it better than me. I was blindsided.
So, listen to people, filter the feedback and let it sink in. It’ll give you a clear direction to follow.
3. Examine your childhood
What sort of subjects did you enjoy at school?
What were your hobbies and interest as a kid?
What did you want to be at age 14?
Again, you have to filter this out. We all go through phases and what was appealing at 14 might not be relevant today, but don’t discard anything too quickly. Read between the lines, what patterns can you extract? Forget about specific skills, what common threads can you find between your 14-year-old and your current self?
For example at 14 I was interested in computers and I taught myself coding, then after a couple of years I quit. Sometimes when I think about the past I reminisce and tell myself I should recover that skill. No matter how times I try, I can’t force myself to code again. It’s just not my thing. It never really was. I did it because I’m very curious and always had an interest in technology. I’m always eager to learn anything (still am) but I don’t have what it takes to become a full stack developer.
In this case, the specific skill (coding) didn’t matter, what was relevant was my interest in technology and how it can help me be more productive.
The sooner you realize something it’s not for you, the less time you waste.
If you have some interests and want to explore, take an online course and in a few days you’ll realize if it’s something you should pursue or just a passing wish.
If you don’t like the road you won’t like the destination
Another way to get to know your interests and abilities is by taking tests.
I have done these two:
These types of tests won’t point exactly what you should do with your life but they will reveal aspects of your personality that you might not be aware of.
By doing the strengths finder test I confirmed that I am a learner, a collector of information and a problem solver. That I knew. But then I was surprised to discover that I am big in Intellection (thinking, speculation, and philosophizing) and Futuristic ( imagining the future and overlooking the pains and problems of today)
For me this was a big revelation and has helped me find my passion in life.
With the Briggs Myers test I found out that my personality type is INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Prospecting) meaning that I search for beauty, virtue, fantasy, harmony and honor. INFP tends to be good with words and look for the beauty of the written language. So here I am, writing.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes or if it cost you some money and energy, finding your passion and making it your living is the most important thing you can do for yourself and the world. It’s totally worth it.
Stop being practical, drop that common sense palabra and live the life you were meant to live before it’s too late.
It’s never too late.