What is your passion in life?
Growing up, most of us were asked like a million times as kids: “what do you want to be when you grow up?” And as we answered with things like astronauts, authors, actresses, singers, veterinarians- our parents usually gushed at how cute we were at our little dreams.
But as we got older, it started to become apparent that not everyone can actually follow their dreams. There is usually a lot of compromise as you find a field you may or may not enjoy, as long as it is lucrative and pays the bills. When you start researching college, you realize how expensive it is and then you start to realize you’re going to have to change your dream to something that is more practical. The pressure of success and making money hits us at such an early age and creates a huge stress pattern, and for some a huge obsession with money. We become more worried about pleasing our parents and what others will think about us if we choose to pursue our actual dreams instead of taking the “safe” route.
While I don’t exactly believe that “if you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life” (because let’s face it- everything has its own stressors! It will just be MUCH less stressful when you’re doing something you truly love but it’ll still have ups and downs), it is important for our physical and mental health to have passions! Integrating your passion with your career is ideal as an adult though. Working just for money is soul-draining and honestly- how many people are actually happy just making money? Money might be necessary, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your happiness just to pay bills. But if this is the case for you and there is no ability to leave your career, then at least pursue your passions as a hobby!
Why Passion is more important than money
I read a quote the other day that perfectly encompasses what I truly believe people need to start realizing:
“The mechanical nature of human experience revolves around the work day. For most, the continual struggle of surviving paycheck to paycheck is working within a system that has thrown its passengers under the bus decades ago. In a very real sense, modern society is experiencing a cataclysmic spiritual crisis.
As individuals struggle to find meaning in life, they are often simultaneously burdened by generations of familial trauma. The ravages and barbarism of war, poverty, familial abuses, child abuse, murder, suicide, rape, alcohol and drug abuse and pharmaceutical dependencies are all products of a society with deeply rooted spiritual crises.” (source)
Society needs change. Existing to work is not existing. Literally everyone is exhausted! And then we joke about this in memes, or we condone nightly drinking to cope with the reality that is the burnout that most people are experiencing. Or even worse, we just tell people to deal with it and make no change whatsoever. The saddest part of this is that most people are burnt out already by the time they hit college because of the massive amount of stress put on them in high school.
Colleges, GPAs, grades, student loans, scholarships, the future- kids are being forced to plan their lives out before their brains are even fully developed (which is at age 25, by the way). And why aren’t we concerned that 44.7 MILLION Americans have student loan debt these days? And that this debt is around $1.56 TRILLION!?!? Hello! The system is broken and it’s time to realize that money has become more important than happiness at this point.
Why I am finally concerned about passion
I just turned 30 mere days ago, and I had a very tumultuous year to say the least. Everything that has happened has made me realize that I was very unhappy in some big parts of my life. I needed to change but I needed the strength to admit that. I’ve spent so long just trying to make everyone else happy that I completely forgot about myself. Now I’ve been thinking about what I actually want in life.
And yes, BTS has also played a role in helping me to learn about self-love and why following your dreams and passions are important. Although they also tell us it’s ok to not have a huge dream too- as long as you’re happy with what you’re doing!. The quote below is from a speech that BTS gave at the United Nations last year. This was part of a UNICEF campaign called Generation Unlimited that is dedicated to helping young people get the education, training, and employment that they desire.
Namjoon (or RM as he’s known in BTS) is the leader, and he is the one that gave this amazing speech. He spoke about how we all grow up wanting to just please others, or we get shoved into molds that others make for us. But it’s OK to have passions and to want to pursue them. It’s OK to have your own voice. You can watch the whole speech here.
Integrating your passion with your career
What do you LOVE? What makes you happy? Start with a list of all of the things you absolutely love and then narrow down which items could be made into a career of any kind. Could you start a business? A blog? A YouTube channel? Is there something you can teach others like a language or a skill that you enjoy?
If you pursue a passion instead of a paycheck, it will be easier for you to work more with less stress. It’ll be easier to come up with more ideas as well, whether it is how to improve your career or just to find new ideas to try out. It’s so much more fulfilling to get results out of something that is your passion instead of something that you absolutely hate.
There is no getting around the fact that we all need jobs to make money. But if you’re sacrificing your well-being just for that paycheck then it’s possibly time to reevaluate things. Even if you can’t just up and quit your current job right now but want to- make plans! Make small changes to figure out how you can reach your goal.