Finding Your Passion Is Overrated
I’ve been working for myself for almost a decade now.
During this time, I’ve tried just about everything you can think of:
- Starting a freelance design business
- Helping people start their own
- Creating a collective of freelancers
- Launching a summer camp for young singers
- Traveling abroad to start business ideas with people from all over
- Designing an app that allows companies to learn from customers
- Building an app to connect people with shared ideas
- Blogging (almost) every day about making your ideas happen
- Writing a book on the same topic
- Starting a professional a cappella group
If there is one thing I’ve learned throughout my past decade of “productive fumbling,” it’s this:
I still have no idea what I’m doing.
That’s right. Even after all of this time, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, and I’m turning 30 this year…
The thing is, neither does anyone else.
Like many others, I wake every morning unsatisfied, yearning for something that will help give my life meaning.
I may not have one specific passion, but I do have something else:
Ten years of trial and error.
If you ask me, this is much more valuable.
Trial and error isn’t sexy, glamorous, or romantic.
Instead, it’s real, it’s dirty, and it leaves bruises.
These bruises prove that I know what it means to try something and fail. They act as my resumé, displaying all of my experience for others to see and hopefully learn from.
This is why whenever I talk to students or young professionals, I urge them to stop pursuing some lofty vision of happiness and, instead, start taking a more realistic approach in the form of trial and error.
Knowing what you want is great. It can also be extremely hard to find.
Instead, learning what you don’t want is more attainable. In fact, that’s why as parents, the best thing any of us can do for our children is to expose them to as many different activities as possible and let them decide which path is best.*
Stop using your search for passion as an excuse.
Roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath, and start the long, messy journey that is trial and error.
*No, I’m not a parent, but I’d like to think this is still good advice