I’ve always looked at the person who knew exactly what they wanted to pursue with a bizarre sort of admiration and envy. Their path is clear, there is an end goal, a means to get there and the passion behind the pursuit. How wonderfully simple in terms of facing a direction. But it’s something I’ll never actually be able to understand.
I counted the other day all the things I want to pursue and the condensed list came up to 16 different pathways. So, which way to walk? Because, I’d be wonderfully happy doing any of these, but the problem is I want to do them all, or at least a few. Picking one is like the birth of something great and the death of my soul at the same time. For one is not completely right without the others.
So the result? Paralysis by passion. I’ve chosen none under the delusion that I’ll wake up one day knowing exactly which path to follow. So what do I in the meantime? Follow the one thing I know I love and that’s travelling, hiking and drinking copious amounts of red wine. In other words, regular life outside of work with the giant elephant looming over me telling me I will forever be unfilled unless I make a choice.
Truth is, the whole cufufflement in the first place is a bit bizarre. You see, I can’t actually tell if it’s a societal pressure that’s stressing me out or if it’s my incessant need to find some sort of purpose or growth within myself. Maybe it’s a mix of both. A need to prove that yes, I am in fact quite driven and have what it takes to “move up” in life and to actually feel like I’m progressing through myself artistically and honouring that person too, setting aside everyone else. Regardless of what your motivator is however, it does feel good to pursue something that aligns with your heart.
So for those of us who don’t just have a single dream, here’s a 5 steps to help you try to figure it out.
1. Write Everything You Want to Pursue Down
I regularly sit down and ponder everything I would like to do, write it down and ponder some more. It seems to be this annoying past time I can’t stop doing because it excites me one moment and then stresses me out in the same second. But the greatest thing to remember is that you are not locked into anything for the rest of your life so you aren’t necessarily giving anything up. Life is long! Let go of the unnecessary feeling that you have to accomplish everything right this instant.
2. Find the Common Denominator Between Everything
Do any of these pathways have something in common? Because perhaps you can handle multiple ones, it’s just a matter of focusing on one and building your practice with the others. Like holistic health for example. You can bring a mix of nutrition, fitness, meditation and even mountaineering if that’s what your passionate about all in one. Because every single one of these things compliments a lifestyle that you can live, teach and grow in other like-minded people.
My common denominator was art, whether it was painting, photography, digital media, creating jewellery or writing. So, with that in mind, I could sell my jewellery and paintings and use my love of photography to set up photo shoots and digitally advertise my work online.
Finding the base of your passion is key and allows you to actually follow multiple outlets.
3. Fuck Logistics, Which Ones Actually Make Your Heart Race?
This is your dream, and while thinking logically is smart, it can also set you back. Yes, if what you want is to become the next top make-up artist in hollywood, why is that not possible? Somebody has to do it, and just because people will tell you your chances are slim, doesn’t mean it’s not possible. You’d be surprised how far you can get with a little grit, passion and love. So don’t necessarily pick the logical, most attainable option, go for the one that sets your heart on fire.
4. Take a Class, Network and Get a Taste of It
So, hopefully at this point, you’ve found a few things you would love to try and now it’s time to actually move. Take a class! There are loads of free tutorials online, classes you can sign up to, and like-minded individuals you can network with.
They can give you new insights, ideas and really help you decide if it’s what you want. Because you will either walk away feeling elevated and inspired or that it’s not exactly what you had in mind.
I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t the most difficult part, but you will get nowhere without a little commitment and drive. Now, if the idea of commitment makes you want to run in the opposite direction, try integrating it with something you love to do outside of work. Like sports, a weekly wine night or your whatever your hobby is. This way you won’t feel like you are sacrificing part of yourself. Balance has to be the most simple key to life.