You’ve found your passion – great. But it’s important to keep facing real life. Sometimes it might be better to not start living for your passion straight away.
Say, your passion is writing (this now becomes very autobiographical, since this sure as hell is mine). Working your 9-5 job for 40 hours a week, you frequently fantasize about resigning to fully focus on pen and paper, on producing long articles and a book or two. A longing overcomes you, to start living this seemingly perfect life Now. To wake up every day, filled from head to toe with passion. Not your everyday reluctance to get up, drink an entire pot of coffee and sit behind a desk all day, typing the hours away.
A person very close to me, keeps repeating his mantra; if you’re unhappy in your job and want to follow your passion – just do it. Quit your job. Go for it. At first it sounded great. Thoughtful. But in the end, I’ve come to disagree with this advice because of various reasons.
1. As a quarterlifer, I find it a very good lesson to work for a medium- to big-sized company for some time. It gives a sense of how business works, what lives of a lot of people look like. It gives you a chance to find out if it’s for you as well. Without knowing the workings of office life, you cannot have a good opinion about it. If your passion involves working in a company, or not, this experience is always good for personal growth.
2. You have to give your passion some time to develop into the direction that feels truly right for you. As said, my passion is writing. But one day I favor short stories, the next I want to become a reporter. The week after I want to write personal essays. It might be that you just don’t know exactly. And that’s totally fine. Give yourself some time before diving into a new adventure, before following your passion full-time.
3. Keep it real. You might like the security of a roof over your head, the ability to put food on the table and to go on vacation once in a while. Quitting your job to set up your own company or follow some other passion involves a lot of risk. Think it over. Same holds true for a trip around the world. Plan a bit. Passion doesn’t rule out the need for some serious planning most of the time. It causes headaches, it causes insecurity. Sure, it might provide you with a lot of satisfaction and happiness, but try to avoid losing your sense of reality.
To be clear, I totally applaud people who follow their passion while in the mean time still keeping both feet on the ground. Who make it work, how difficult that sometimes might be. But I want to get rid of the idea that when you have (even the slightest hint of) a passion, you should start to pursue it asap. We quarterlifers, midlifers, don’t need to rush. View your passion as you would view a garden. It needs time, attention, energy and a lot of time on its own, to develop and come to full bloom. And that’s what gives it its beauty!
How about you, what’s your take on this?