Meet Tim. Tim did what the majority of people did. He grew up in a happy neighborhood. He had friends and girlfriends, a family who loved him and a endless list of opportunities to shape his life the way he wanted. Tim went through high school as many of us did. He also graduated from college and was destined for a picture perfect life in conventional senses.
However there was a gnawing feeling within Tim. He fulfilled his parents and other people’s expectations of him. He got a degree and now possessed a well payed job.
But still after fulfilling all these things it didn’t make him feel fulfilled.
It’s a great list of achievements but that’s all it is, a list of achievements. He started to feel empty. He didn’t look forward to yet another day at the office. He felt this wasn’t what he was suppose to do for the rest of his life. This wasn’t suppose to be his life work. His legacy to the world.
Tim wanted change. Not just out of boredom, but to pursue a burning passion that he haven’t quite found yet. But he knew how to find it and that was taking time to explore not only the world, but himself.
What Tim feels is something many of us go through. We’ve let society and others shape our lives and only when we’ve in it too far do we realize “wait a minute. I don’t really want to do this”. However many of us decides that even though it is not our dream, we do it anyways. We settle.
There’s nothing wrong with settling at all. I’m not saying you should quit your job and risk everything to change. I know many who can separate work from daily life. For them work is just a means to finance the lifestyle that the person dreamed of having and is currently living, if that’s the case with you, then you don’t need to read any further. Go back to your life and enjoy it as much as you can my friend. But for those of us who feels our current occupation is a soul sucking activity and feel any minute spent at that place is an injustice to yourself then continue reading.
The mirage of purpose and passion
What is purpose? What is your passion?
I really feel the word purpose and passion have been thrown around too much too lately.
The idea that you only have one purpose in life or one passion is absurd. It’s not quite that simple. We humans are highly diverse beings guided by a million of unknown factors. We are all unique. We are too big of variable to be able to set in stone in what we want to do with our lives.
That’s why I believe that you can easily do several things you enjoy or do something as a simple means to support your current lifestyle which you enjoy.
Because who ever said your passion or purpose had to be a JOB.
It’s obviously nice if your passion can earn you money. But for a lot of people their current job that they love so much didn’t start off as a passion. It just became that because they gained validation from the successes they gained through hard work.
Did you think Donald Trump loved to do business and become bankrupt multiple time because he was so passionate about what he did?
He wanted to earn money.
He wanted to be able to support his family and he knew what he wanted and how to get it.
It wasn’t a question about being passionate about business. He just wanted financial freedom and be the best in what he did. Ask Donald Trump if he would continue to do his business if it didn’t earn him a dime. He probably would stop it all together, do you call that passion?
Isn’t passion doing it for the sake of it, not the amount of money you earn. You see money can make anyone passionate about something.
Passion for me is just another word for obsession. To me Donald Trump wasn’t passionate about what he did. He was merely obsessed with the benefits that led to having a successful business.
You don’t need to be passionate about something to succeed. You just need to be obsessed with it and put in the hard work.
Fulfillment comes from within — not from change.
I’ve changed my passions and purpose a few times in my life. But I’ve simplified it to such a degree now that it hardly wavers anymore.
I wanted to be a better man. I wanted to fulfill my potential to the fullest. But what does that even mean?
For me, it boiled down to a lot of things. It wasn’t enough I was the man who could go out in a bar and pickup women. It wasn’t enough I got good grades in school or was being healthy. It wasn’t enough about being good at my job or trying to start my own business up.
It was a combination of everything that I do in my life.
But what does that have to do with purpose or passion? Let me tell you something. Purpose or passion is something you’ve decided. It’s something derived from either a spark of inspiration from someone you looked up to, or you found you had a knack for something and kept doing it, because you felt validated from it or potentially would. You see passion or purpose can be easily changed, adapted or erased.
It’s not solid. It’s not a certainty, it can easily be dissolved.
So do not look to purpose or passion to define you or be the guide where you think you’ll find fulfillment. It’s yet another mirage in the distance.
What you really want to try and grab a hold on is:
“Being the best in everything you do”.
Whether it being in school, working out, your job, your blog, your nutrition etc. Strive to be the best in it. That is where you’ll find true fulfillment.
When you can apply this to everything you do, it doesn’t matter what you do. It doesn’t matter if you want to change careers or not. You’ll have a feeling of fulfillment already. You change things around out of interest because you want to do something new. It doesn’t come from a lack like “Oh I don’t feel I’m following my purpose in life” but rather from a place of ease “Oh this could be fun”.
Don’t seek fulfillment in change. There’s no guarantee in you’ll find it there. But seek fulfillment in the daily actions you take in striving to be the best man, friend, lover and father as you possible can be. Then if your current job doesn’t interest you, pursue a new one if you wish.
Just know that life is not about finding your passion or doing what you’re passionate about. It’s about living passionately.