Screw Your Passion

Hi, I’m Patrick, and I suck at finding my passion. Do you, too? I’m sure you also always hear and read about finding your passion and how doing the stuff you love is so important. But what if you just cannot or just don’t want to stick to one single thing?

Let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m a software developer, former game developer, built my own indie game, I like to go on hikes and take photographs of beautiful landscapes and once or twice a week (or month) I manage to go to the gym. When I was young I tried to play the clarinet and the guitar, but failed miserably and then I thought I will be the next big house DJ. I even bought an impressive (not really, it was quite small) mix deck… of course, I never had a single gig apart from my dad’s 50th birthday.

I started and quit several gym memberships, I’ve been in a swim club for one year, I got wall bars to get fit and rarely use them now. I’m actually impressed by myself when I touch them from time to time.

Well, I could go on, but I think you got the point. The problem with this is, if you are trying too hard to find your passion, you will disappoint yourself very often and this can lead to a miserable or even depressing live.

But at some point, you just have to admit to yourself that there is not that one big passion for you. Maybe you don’t have that big vision for your life that you want to follow. And that’s totally fine!

Lately, it hit me. For people like you and me (I just assume you’re like me because you’re still here, which is amazing, so thank you very much!!), it’s not about passion. It’s about curiosity. We are curious. Curious for many different and many new things when they cross our paths. We try things out for fun because they are of interest to us. We enjoy them, and if we had enough, we move on. Nothing bad about that at all.

Not everyone has to have a big vision for her life. Not everyone has to have just one big passion. And certainly, not everyone has to change the world. Because that’s where this passion thing often comes from. So-called success stories about people like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk who found their passion and committed their whole life to turn their vision into reality.

Although great things can evolve in that process, it hasn’t always been healthy for them or their loved ones. Striving for your passion can have immense downsides and in turn can also make you unhappy, leaving your body, your mind and friends and family behind. Just take this into consideration for a second.

Try not to define yourself by one passion or by one ambiguous job title. Define yourself by you. You like many different things. One thing more than the other and that’s just great. This is your life, have fun with it and be happy with all the things you enjoy on your way of living it.

Take it this way. Albert Einstein said he was “passionately curious”. Makes sense?

So next time you feel guilty for not picking up your latest hobby (or your latest dev side project!), move on to your next one and do it with a smile.