Why Following Your Passion Is Not Always Useful Life Advice

Why Following Your Passion Is Not Always Useful Life Advice

Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

Digest that for a minute. A pretty powerful statement no? Especially coming from one of the greatest minds in history.

I don’t know about you, but that quote really resonates with me.

I consider myself a fairly intelligent guy, but I wasn’t born a prodigy, nor was I blessed with any profitable natural talents. Throughout my life, I have always had to put in the work to become good at something (like most people).

Like every kid growing up, I loved to daydream about being an astronaut or maybe a movie star, but when the time came to hone in on what my “passion” is, I came up staggeringly short.

To be honest, I still don’t know.

If you think about it, at an extremely young age, we are taught to find our life’s passion, to discover that one thing we were destined to do, and everything else will fall into place.

And that’s great advice, I can totally appreciate it. The idea that we were born to do something gives us something to believe in, something bigger than ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but at times, that can sound like a tall order. In times of confusion, loss, boredom, or insecurity, the idea of finding your “passion” can feel pretty inaccessible. So when someone dismissively tells you to just “follow your passion” in times like those, you have to fight the urge to give them a swift kick to the stones.

What if you aren’t one of those people that knows exactly what their passion is? Then what?

Take it from someone who knows, this can often lead to feelings of inadequacy.

My brother has known since 9th grade that he was going to follow in my father’s footsteps and become an attorney. And you know what? He’s damn good at it, perhaps he was born to do it, and I’m super proud of him for it.

Myself on the other hand? I haven’t yet discovered my “passion.” And I allowed this to eat away at me and make me feel like an outcast for too long. But I have now begun to challenge my prior outlook on this.

A few years ago, I was listening to my favorite Podcast, The School of Greatness. The host was interviewing Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love.

During the interview, she articulated something that really struck me at the time. She said she believes that one of the most essential ways to live a blissful life, is to follow your curiosity. NOT to be in constant search of your passion — especially when you don’t know what your passion is!

“You spend a lot of your life having people tell you to follow your passion.” Gilbert stated. “It’s nice advice, it’s heartwarming advice, it’s great advice — if you happen to have one that is very clear and obvious.”

This brings me to my main point: PASSION IS NOT ALWAYS OBVIOUS.

Thus, if you’re like me, and don’t know exactly what your passion is, try following your curiosity.

Ask tons of questions. Some of life’s greatest ideas come from great questions. Using questions can be an extremely powerful tool in getting the life you dream about. If you don’t know the answer to something and it intrigues you, follow up, who knows, it may take you some place you haven’t been before.

The more you look around and expose yourself to different people, places, and things, the more curious you will become. Therefore more questions will come to you that you may want to explore.

Push yourself to see the unseen, hear the unheard, touch the untouchable. Open yourself up to the universe; it will create endless possibilities for you. You will be taken to places other people don’t even know about and exposed to things other people only dream about.

And if you keep exploring, and trust your curiosity to lead you, I guarantee you will make some interesting discoveries.

Every so often, your curiosity will develop into interest, fascination or enthusiasm and once in awhile, you’ll discover something amazing. Who knows you might even discover a passion you never even knew existed.

Content creator and angsty millennial trying to inspire other fellow millennials to live a meaningful life.

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(Content developer, blogger)

Content creator and angsty millennial trying to inspire other fellow millennials to live a meaningful life.

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