By my second year of uni, I was firmly in the grip of the travel bug. Even so, I told Matt, I would have to finish my degree off first, then go travelling to work my shit out.
True to my word, the minute I graduated I spent all my money shooting off to Europe to backpack solo because I knew travelling was the only thing that made me wake up with a grin rather than wishing there wasn’t a gap in my black-out-blinds and putting my head under my pillow so I could sleep til 1pm, which I did whenever possible.
I was hoping that by travelling I’d find my passion and make it into a career
that I could be so excited about that it would knock my cynical socks off and make me a nicer, more charismatic, interesting and fulfilled human being.
Only, of all the careers I’d heard of, I didn’t find any of them that awesome. I didn’t really know what I found awesome at all actually.
But I just had this feeling that I had something better to be doing with my life.
I never wasted time thinking that travel might be my passion, because everyone wants to be a travel writer, so I completely dismissed it as a career option, among many others.
If I couldn’t make a career out of it, I didn’t consider it a passion. So I kept looking.
I also felt that the only way to pursue my passions (after I hopefully worked out what they were), would be to get another degree in something-or-other, and that it would probably involve doing something that paid me a lot less money than being a successful architect would have.
It’s such a life-wastingly common misconception that in order to find our passion, it must be something that we can do as a career.
So we ignore the inklings we get about the kinds of things that we enjoy.
And we end up baffled, worrying too much what others will think, and staying stuck in indecision and overwhelm. We spend our days at work wishing we felt more passionate about our career and our evenings scrolling Facebook because the overwhelm of finding our passion is just so bloody draining it warrants a nap.
This is the first of the three leashes that hold us back from finding what we’re truly passionate about.
It stopped me enjoying my day to day life, because I was just trying to find this one elusive “passion” that would make everything wonderful and sparkly.
Instead we need to start paying attention to the things that make us curious, even if they don’t obviously represent a viable career option.
If you’re unsure what makes you curious and excited, learning your values will narrow down where to start.
When I started doing things that I enjoyed in between working and earning money, (e.g. travelling, and investigating chia seeds),
I started to feel snippets of aliveness in my life again, and it lead me to finding new curiosities and new opportunities.
In my next blog I’ll explain how
following my curiosity eventually lead me to some very unexpected passions, (despite being oblivious at the time).
I’ll also tell you about the 2nd leash that holds us back from fulfilment and what to do about it so that you can get your motivation and zing for life back, Jack.