I wrestled with this idea for a long time because I thought that I was changing. But in fact, I was just shifting mediums to convey my truth.
Some of the people I know are lucky enough to have figured at a young age the things that they’re passionate about. But for most of us, the journey to discovery wasn’t easy.
A mentor of mine once said that if you’re into music and thinking about learning to play an instrument, you have to experiment with at least one from different classes: percussion, wind, strings, electronic, and determine which one feels more like you. Playing an instrument is supposed to be an expression of the music in you, so you have to pick up one which best translates the colors and shapes you silently see or the symphony that rings beautifully in your ear.
Once you have chosen an instrument, you have to go on full gear. Work on learning and improving your skills and fend off any temptation to be good as well in any other instruments. Good is the enemy of the best. Remember that. Don’t try to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. If you want to command a high level of proficiency at playing one instrument then dedicate all your time, energy and wits to it. That way you get to focus on one thing and one thing only. This is the way of the champions and the path of the people we call experts in their chosen fields.
Proponents of multitasking teach us to do so many things at the same time. While this may fit in some circumstances like household chores or tasks which are more routine, mechanical or predictable, this won’t work if you want to immerse yourself in deep work. The latter would require intense focus to a point where you are oblivious to the world around you. This is where you get to experience the flow– a state where you are no longer outside of what’s happening, rather, you are in it, intricately woven into the fabric of what’s unfolding: the process of creating, learning, imagining and expressing.
The flow, is more like being, instead of doing. Any deep, meaningful work would give you that experience. If any of your work gets you in the flow that reveals one simple truth- that is where your passion lies, the one thing in this world that’s true to you, that speaks of who you are, what’s important to your soul, and what your very core is truly made of.
Discovering your passion takes a lot of time and a lot of trial and error. But the more you open yourself to possibilities and explore the world around you, the sooner you will find your calling. Allow yourself to get lost so you reach unchartered territories. Your inner compass will point you home. You see, passion is like a homing device. It will beckon you like a lighthouse when you’re caught in a sea of options, desires, wants or wishes.
Explore. Get out of your comfort zone and your limiting beliefs of what you can or cannot do. It’s only in the process of discovering, that you will liberate your true self. Once you find your passion, know that it is your gift not only to the world but to your self. So take responsibility to nourish it, hone it, and refine it ‘till it feels like you’re holding ounces of silver in your hands.
Five years ago, I had a couple of friends who would come by my place to jam. With guitars and portable amps, they would arrive at seven in the evening. We would catch up a bit before kicking off our sort of rehearsal with “Hosanna”, a song by Brooke Ligertwood, and play a couple more pieces. That makes three songs in a row, played and sung on repeat mode. Call it passion in action.
These sessions went on for almost two weeks and every single night, we’d finish past midnight. No breaks but just focused work and the occasional exchange of ideas on how we can deliver better. My roommate would quip, “You guys are definitely in the zone. Anybody could see it”!
In the zone. Wow! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to experience that every single time? Unfortunately, we don’t.
Many people don’t get to find their passion as easily as maybe you and I. So for us, we have a responsibility to keep it alive and burning. To have the constant eagerness to strike while the iron is hot.
A good friend of mine told me once, “If you stop singing, you’re going to explode. So don’t ever think about quitting”. She was right. When I did quit, I exploded.
Letting go of your passion, may not cause you to burst into pieces as fast as fireworks vanishing into thin air. But slowly it will leave you dry, dull and bored. Imagine a canvass with nothing on it, no lines, no shapes, no color, just plain, white, empty space.
Yours can be the hand of a painter who could bring colours to life.
Yours can even be the wits of a comic who could make people laugh with peculiar jokes.
Yours can be the words of a poet who could melt any maiden’s heart with a lyrical prose.
Whatever that passion is, you are alive because of it. It’s your GIFT, and it will lead you to you’re unique CALLING.
We are all pieces of a puzzle. If we don’t fit in our piece, the whole puzzle will never be put together. Think about it, in God’s grand design, you are part of it. Quite a responsibility isn’t it? But quite an honor too!
Friend, my desire for you is to find your passion. Nurture it, and share it with the rest of the world. We’ve waited long enough for you.
“How do I find my passion”? You ask.
Get to know your self.
Explore the many things you’re curious about.
Try. Make mistakes, and fail forward.
Be true to who you are. Stop pretending to be someone else. Stop living somebody else’s life.
Go out there. Get out of your comfort zone.
Get a coach, a mentor or have a role model.
Talk to people you trust and ask them what they think are you good at.
Take heed of compliments freely given to you.
Fill a gap, a void, a lack, or solve a need, a problem, or answer a call.
And to nurture it?
Find your tribe.
Focus on your WHY.
Yes, it’s always hard at the start. There are many roads out there and it can be confusing and frustrating. But the one who searches, the one who looks, will have increased his chance of finding his true north.
Passion. Let it burn you. Leave a glow or better, dazzle the world!