So, you are a business analyst, but your passion is painting? Or, are you an attorney, but it is music that stirs your soul? And when you see those people who have made their passion their profession, which they announce very proudly, you feel moved and motivated?
But passion and profession are seldom found together when we look around at our own level. How often is it that people find a concurrence in the thing that they love and the thing that they do? Not too often. Isn’t it? So, I guess this is the precise reason why not many of us get inspired to go for it. The truth is that most people who narrate their success stories do not forget to make a worthy mention of the struggle that went in the making their passion, their profession.
Here, I am going to talk about whether it is actually possible to merge your passion and profession to make you a satisfied and motivated professional.
Passion and Profession
I Begin with My Example
Why this amalgam seems so magical to me is because I never left my passion behind; began with the passion for playing chess; discovered my passion for entrepreneurship; and here I am today, pursuing my dream of being a successful entrepreneur.
It was long ago when I first found my passion. A sport that my father and my uncle had taught me, soon became my passion, and stayed with me all my life, leading me to move ahead and follow a profession that I love. Yes, at the tender age of 12, I was introduced to chess and soon it started living it.
And it was for years to come that I kept making a good livelihood out of playing and coaching for chess. And here is where I learned my first lessons in entrepreneurship. And my ardent dream, without ever having given up the love for chess, became to make it big as an entrepreneur. And, it is primarily because I found chess and entrepreneurship strikingly similar.
But yes, as I already said, the struggle part is usually present in all roads to success, and my journey was no exception. I started with paying tournaments, providing coaching for chess, even started a chocolate business which ultimately did not quite pan out. All these phases were not of constant stable financial ease. Sometimes, I had ample money that I could afford a lavish date with my girlfriend, and sometimes not enough to make my business thrive. I tried, not just once, to create a website, at which I failed more than once. But I sure did learn my lessons, and I never gave up. All these ventures and adventures, helped me realize one and just one thing, I was born to be an entrepreneur.
And here are a few pointers that I wish to mention; the ones that made me move ahead; the ones that kept me hanging on; the one that helped me find the secret of merging my passion and my profession.
1:Don’t Go by Conventions
And who ever thought that Socrates would be considered a great critic? That a college dropout like Steve Jobs would create Apple Inc? And there is whole list of people who dropped out of mainstream, and pursued their passion.
The idea is not to get caught in the trap of convention, because it will tell you get a 9 to 5 job that pays you well and secures your future. But when it comes to passion, you must know no convention.
Though you may start with a traditional job, or even an enterprise to make a living first, collect some substantial funds, and then move on to pursue you passion as your profession. It usually does work very well like that.
2:Blowing the Trumpet? Nay!
I know, the entire idea of pursuing the thing that you love sounds romantic. And it does feel like the world should stand testimony to your love. But, thou shalt refrain!
Yes, you must know that your pursuit is your personal, and it is only you who has the comprehensive sort of ability to understand your scheme of things. The first thing that one needs to realize before it can be shared with anyone is, whether you really wish to pursue it.
Sometimes, we start off, and somewhere in the middle come to the realization that it may not be our passion after all. So, when you go about passion hopping publically, you definitely lose credibility, and people stop taking you seriously.
By suggesting this, I do not imply that being secretive can take you any closer to your goal. Once you think that you have a considerable level of seriousness for a craft, do share it with someone, a confidante, a mentor, or a complete stranger may be. It will offer you the benefit of getting some valuable opinions.
3:Obsession is the Key
Right! Obsession is important here. Letting your the love simmer in the back of your mind won’t really help. So, bring it to the foreground. Start thinking about it consciously. Apart from dreaming, make plans and strategies; figure out where you wish to proceed with your passion. In short, start living it.
Wake up with it, live with it, sleep with it. That is how it works. Make it your priority. You have to do it if you wish to pursue it.
4:Do It for Your Love, Not Someone Else’s
Okay, here is one mistake that many of us tend to make. The love should be your very own; not your friend’s; not your father’s; not anyone’s.
Let’s look at it like this. You have a group of friends and all of you like to create music. One of your friend dreams about being a rock star, and so he decides to pursue his dream. You automatically become a part of it, but did you introspect enough? Are you pursuing your passion or his? What if engineering interests you more than music, and music is just a hobby?
This is where many of us can go wrong. And we do, as a matter of fact. To be able to pursue your dream with full dedication conviction, it s imperative that it be your own baby. You cannot foster other’s baby and be a terrific parent. So, do it only for your love.
Here comes destiny’s favorite part. Sacrifice is something you must make, whether you are a king or a pauper.
With personal experience, I’d say that money does play a very important role in easing the tortuous way to your dream, but cannot and doesn’t make sure that you make no sacrifice.
Odds are that funds would usually be a big issue. In that case, you, my friend, need to pull up your socks, and tighten your belt for you will need to learn postponing, procrastinating and even striking off some expenses.
Here’s what, you will always need money to come to a platform that leads you to success. Whether it is writing, entrepreneurship, showbiz, or anything under the sun; even pursuing higher education for that matter, needs funds. And you will have to arrange those. Let me warn you. Chances are that the “beg, borrow, steal” philosophy will not be a plausible one.
You need to save money, work extra hours; take a part time job; prioritise needs and expense; and all those sorts of things to get your finances in place.
But just in case you have enough finances, you will still need to make time. A simple example is, to spend time improving your skills rather than going out with friends. So, on thing you must be prepared fo, is sacrificing.
6:Don’t Ever Take the Shortest Route
The world is in love with this. It seems terribly awful to wait, so we take the shortest possible route to anything and everything. And that is the problem, for the fact is that taking short cuts never shortens the journey. It only gives the illusion. A half-hearted ingenious effort will only result in half the success, or no success at all.
Challenges? Thou shalt face them, no matter what. There are actually no shortcuts, and no bypass routes either.
Believe me! Success will taste the sweetest when you traverse the entire journey like you should.
7:Criticism Will Come – Learn to Use It
Okay! This is the way of the world. To tell you the truth, this is one thing that is most expected from the people around you.
Criticism will come – sometimes healthy and constructive, sometime bitter and destructive. What will help you here is reason and discretion. Neither is all criticism is meant to discourage you, nor all meant to be for your good. You need to make a distinction.
Naysayers will always be there. I faced them too. The point is, if you believe in yourself, you are sure to make it. And yes, there is a difference between being confident and being complacent. The former will always be open to suggestions and closed to negativity, but I am really doubtful about the latter. I have always been the former case.
8:Be Hopeful, Not Apprehensive
Everyone gets nervous; everyone feels unsure at one point or another. Since challenges are not going to budge until you take them by the collar, being hopeful is what you need.
The entire “half-full, half-empty” logic is pretty important here. If you are only going to notice the glass as half empty, things may not work out really well for you. I have known people who believe in finding the negatives and totally scrapping off schemes, because the apprehensions ultimately start weighing heavy on the mound of hope that they fail to see. Those who see it half full stay happier. And if you ask me, the glass is always full, even if with half water and half air.
Looking at the odds of failing first can eclipse the odds of success from your view. Positivity only comes from looking at the brighter side first.
I don’t mean to say that you turn a blind eye to the risks. Do look at them, and plan to avert them. This is what following your passion is about.
9:Do Not Compare
I still remember the movie Office Space. I had a chance to watch it when I was still in school. And the lesson that I learned there, I never forget it. The scene that I am talking about may have been an experience of utmost frustration for the character, but it did teach me something very important when I reflected on it.
I am going to describe the scene here. Ajay Naidu, playing one of the three colleagues who play main parts in the movie, is travelling to work in his car. Here seems to be a traffic jam and the two lanes are jampacked. Much to his frustration, it is only the other lane that keeps moving. As he swerves to secure a place in the lane that is moving, the lane which he has just left, starts moving.
This is what happens when you compare. The grass on the other side will always seem greener. You will reach your goal only when the time is ripe. So, stop comparing and start making efforts to achieve your goal.
Well, this is probably the part that you have been dreading. After having take you to the Eden Garden, I say “but”. That is indeed a nasty thing to do. Isn’t it?
No, I say. There are millions of people who get inspired by heart-led people every day. But does everyone succeed? Does everyone even get to the part where the struggle starts paying off in some measure?
Because, this “but” went missing. No matter how much the dream of making your passion your profession lures you, you cannot close your eyes and keep trying. You do need to put on linkers and focus but before that you need to be sure.
Here are three things that may make your idea of following your heart a terrible idea after all.
1:Just Because You Love the Idea of It
Most of us have the tendency to love an idea. For example, i’d love the idea of being the President of the United States of America, but, would I actually love to be one? Here lies the difference between being in love with and idea and actually loving something.
There lies a world of difference between the conception of an idea, and its execution. Taking risks is what makes all the difference. No dream is unrealizable, of course, but you need to figure out first if you are only in love with an idea, or are actually willing to execute it.
You may take your inspiration from the others who have dared and succeeded in finding ways to turn their passion into their profession. But that doesn’t mean that you can succeed with a formula that they used. You need to devise your own formula.
Do not rely on just the idea, since most of us tend to have many, but lack mostly in execution. Bank on your strengths; see if those very strengths can take you ahead to delve and emerge victorious.
2:To Get Paid for What You Love
Let’s face it. Your passion, in most case may not pay well, at least for those few initial years when you get to the brink of returning to your run-of-the-mill job.
If you are thinking and wishing that you must get paid for exercising your passion, you are sadly weaving a dream that may only leave you broke.
There is no dearth of people who fail to perform when they do it for money. They may do very well till they do it for self-satisfaction, and may fail terribly if doing for money. I think I too have gone through that.
I will tell you this one important thing. Today, following your passion doesn’t mean just playing your guitar, painting your canvas, or running your business. It means constantly making it sell, marketing it aptly, and promoting it. It is much more than the talent for your work. It is also about how to be able to encash it. I may sound a bit paradoxical here, but yes, unless you know how to turn it to your benefit, don’t think that money will come pouring in.
3:Because You Don’t Like Your Job
“Ugghhh! I hate my job and my obnoxious boss. I quit! All I shall do now is travel and become a travel writer. That is what I will do.”
Sounds familiar? This happens every time your company fails to give you a raise; every time you get a bad appraisal; every time another smarty pants is promoted when it was you who deserved it; every time your boss told you that you are not good enough.
You hate your job and are ready to quit. What is going on in your mind are movies like That Thing You Do! when you would just quit a job that sucks and follow your dream. We think that by giving up a pain-in-the-neck job, you’d have all the time in the world to hone in on your craft.
What we forget is whether or not we have conviction that is needed to carry on with our newfound love. What we are ready for is giving up a job, not yet ready to do we actually love. Deciphering this difference is very important. So, when you end up voluntarily unemployed, you will still not be able to find time enough to follow our craft. You may feel unburdened for a day or two, even triumphant for having kicked the job like a true hero, but then you will start worrying about the bills.
What you will find true about a lot many people who practice their passion don’t really mind sticking to their jobs. Not that they may enjoy it to the hilt, but the funds keep pouring in.
To be honest, I never did a real job. But what I do know is that it is not really your work that stops you from merging your passion and your profession; it is the mindset. We get stuck on either; start viewing the world as either black or white. But reality always exists in grey. So, it is absolutely possible to carry on with both. With the funds being taken care of, it is easier to do what you love.
At, this point of time in my life, I feel immensely happy that I have reached a career point that most men of my age may only be planning about. And why I cherish this joy even more is because I made all the efforts I could, to earn this success. It is never easy to follow your passion. And it is always very convenient to keep going in circles in the daily grind of work.
The kind of social and financial background that I had risen from, made it even more difficult than usual for me to follow my dream, but I made sure that I keep standing my ground. One thing I sure wish to tell all those who aspire to embark on this journey is that you should never leave your heart behind. You do need your brain, and a lot for that matter, but if your heart is missing, your brain may not be able to do much. You may even succeed, but it will no longer stay your passion, and you shall be out looking for another passion.
So, do take that journey, but make sure that you be a brave heart, and looking back should not be an option for you. There are, nevertheless, several things, except for struggle, that go into this pursuit. Perseverance, funds, and planning are only a few to name. The truth, however, is that each individual has a different passion, and a different way to succeed in it.