Today’s blog post topic is something I have been struggling with my entire life. Actually, let me correct that. I’ve always known what my passion was, but it took a long time to accept it. Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I love to write. It brings me solace and my life some self-awareness to be able to put my thoughts down in written word. However, there was a time when I wasn’t quite sure that this was an acceptable passion. Passions to me were synonymous with sports or the media arts—never something as mundane as writing. Back then, the journals I kept were the working of angsty pre-teens and the stories I wrote would be nothing more than a brief escape into my own made-up world. Today, writing has helped me through so many difficult decisions and even proposed a career option that I never would have considered viable before.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what you’re passionate about or if your hobby is truly a passion, I’ve created a short list of telltale signs that you can and should pursue what you do for fun as something more serious without shame or apologies.
1) You think about it more than anything else
Writing envelopes my thoughts. It’s what I think about when I wake up in the morning until I go to bed at night. The high I get from it is sought after in every activity, but they never quite match it. If you feel this way about something you are currently doing, then most likely it is your passion. I know it can be a bit hyperbolic to call something a “passion” just because you really enjoy doing it, but when that activity is as frustrating as it is enjoyable and yet you still do it, that's when you can call it a passion, in my opinion.
2) You feel better when you do it
Maybe you’ve had a bad day at work or an emotional strain is affecting your perception of life—whatever your troubles, you know they can only be shaken off by that one thing you love to do. Of course, there are many things that can help you overcome your troubles, but when there’s always one thing you always find yourself turning to, I think it’s safe to say you have a passion on your hands. Embrace it, enjoy it, keep doing it!
3) You get into a state of flow
I have been writing for my entire life (or as long as I could write) and only rarely have I gotten into the aforementioned state of flow. It’s hard to describe it other than feeling yourself becoming immersed into your work/artistry/ activity so intently that you forget all space and time. It's important to take note when this happens, especially if you are experiencing this purely out of your own enjoyment and without any monetary compensation.
4) You are constantly trying to improve, just for yourself
As mentioned above, if you are constantly working at your craft despite not making any money from it, then I would consider that a passion. However, getting some sort of feedback is important to keep your passion alive when it may start feeling hopeless, so I would still recommend putting it out there for others to experience it. It might be scary, but the right people will appreciate it, despite how much time it may take to find them.
5) Even when you say you’re taking a break, you always find your way back to it
And finally, when your hobby is like a toxic relationship, then more often than not, it’s your passion. All joking aside, when you feel lost without it or that you’ve lost some purpose you once had doing it then I would categorize your activity a passion as it exemplifies the very definition of the word:
- “a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept”
- “an outbreak of anger”
I hope this post helped you on your quest to find your passion. Let me know if you’re struggling with this, or how you’ve found what you’re meant to do. I love hearing everyone’s experiences.