You’ve seen it everywhere.
“Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”
“Follow your dreams!”
“Find your passion!”
And I wish everyone would shut up about it.
I know that sounds aggressive, but I’m tired of being told to chase my passion because I’ve been searching for it for literally years.
Career aptitude tests and every personality test under the sun- you name it and I’ve probably taken it.
A little about me so you understand:
I changed my major 13 times in college.
All the career counselors at my university knew me by name(BEFORE I started working there). I took a course on picking a major as a sophomore. My friends really thought I was never going to graduate.
I did eventually choose. It was the second semester of my junior year and I knew I was running out of time.
I chose my major on the sole premise that it was the only one I would graduate with on time and it seemed like a secure option for finding a job post grad. Computers were never my “passion” and they never will be, but they were interesting enough.
And perhaps that’s all life is — finding something that is “enough”.
Something that isn’t awfully boring or morally compromising. Something that pays the bills and sounds impressive when you talk about it at parties. But, even when I made the decision on my major and even when I found a job for post graduation, it didn’t feel like enough.
I’ve read way too many self help books for someone my age. I’m familiar with “scanners” and “multi-potentialism”, and maybe these things really are why I can’t seem to find that “one thing”.
But maybe it’s something else.
I’m starting to theorize that I’m just so damn scared of failing, I talk myself out of everything that comes knocking at my door.
My inner fight with literally every idea that pops into my head:
Me: “Maybe I should try to do marketing!”
Inner voice: “ You know that one person that does marketing and hates it, so you probably will too”
Me: “Let’s try writing!”
Inner voice: “You’ll never make a living like that.”
I realize I did the same thing choosing a major.
Me: “Maybe I should study engineering.”
Inner voice: “All that work and is it really going to be worth it?”
Me: “How about political science? You’ve always had an interest. Even though it’s not easy to get a job, you can make it happen.”
Inner voice: “Who are you kidding? You will never find a job and everyone will see you as failure.”
Maybe, we are just talking ourselves out of anything that could possibly be our passion.
Of course the little voice in our head has been socially condition to the point of almost no return, but there is hope if we can learn to let those things go.
We live in a world where we make assumptions and jump to conclusions. We are writing off things that very well could be our passion because we are afraid of failing and because we jump to way too many conclusions. All those “Top Jobs of the Future” lists are conditioning us to believe that anything it hasn’t deemed worthwhile will surely result in failure. However, we know this is far from true because we see people everyday doing the things that aren’t on those lists and are wildly successful.
Maybe the reason isn’t that there are too many options. Maybe we need to get over the idea that our skillset is too “vast” and “developed” that we can’t simply just pick one thing.
Instead, we should ACTUALLY be trying the wild ideas in our heads before we write them off as a ridiculous fantasies.
It is very possible you won’t find your passion until you let yourself fail over and over again first.