Whenever I play with you, there is a part of me that is a little bit jealous. Life hasn’t jaded you yet. Your curiosity and innocence overflow, since there is no counter-acting force holding them back. You don’t know cynicism or sarcasm.
And the result of this is that your joy is pure (your anger and frustrations also, for the record). So when a game or activity grabs your attention, you throw yourself completely into it. Yes, your attention span is brief. Very brief. But when it’s there, you absolutely love whatever it is you’re doing. You’re passionate about it.
You should never lose that. Passion in what you’re doing, I mean. Work is going to be a significant part of your life and if you’re not passionate about whatever it is you’re doing… it’s like trying to swim with your hands tied behind your back.
Some people seem to know at an early age what it is they are passionate about. My feeling is most don’t. Maybe you’ll be one of those that since they were 5 years old knew they wanted to play the piano. But again, probably not. And if not, don’t despair. It’s ok not to know. Actually, I would argue it’s probably even better.
You see, to be able to answer the question, “what are you passionate about?”, there are 2 journeys that need to happen.
One is internal, and is about finding out who you are as a person. What kind of things do you like? What challenges you? What scares you? Why?
The other one is external, and is about exploring the world. What is going on around you? What are the different types of work to do out there? What are the different problems society needs to work on? What topics do you care about? What is life like in Australia? Vietnam?
And don’t put pressure on yourself to come up with answers quickly. You’ll find out that doing is part of the learning process, and you’ll have to experiment down different tracks. Also, the thing you’re looking for (passion in what you do) is most likely a moving target. What excites you today might become dull tomorrow. That’s not a setback, it’s growth. Cherish it.
You might also find out you’re passionate about more than one thing. In that case time and the human need to sleep might seem like impediments. If that happens try to be creative and find something to do that combines some of these passions. And relax, there will never be enough time for everything. That’s the price of curiosity.
Make your professional life a continuous search for passion. Don’t worry too much about whether each step makes perfect sense. Search for passion and in the end, it will all rhyme.