Finding Your Passion

Some people know exactly which job they want. They want to be a doctor, or they want to be a writer, or they want to be a politician. Some people know what they want to study, and their job will follow on from that. Someone is interested in law, so becomes a lawyer or barrister. Someone else is interested in cell function, so goes into research. Some people just don’t know.

I was in that last category. I had no idea what I wanted to be or what I wanted to study. I ended up studying computer science for a term because I was able to do it and thought it would get me a well paying job, even though I knew full well that I didn’t want to work in IT.

Luckily, I had a moment of revelation. I realized that I wasn’t enjoying computer science, so I switched to philosophy. In doing so, I closed a door for myself. And in doing so, I realised actually how many doors were open to me. I could do anything. I was young and able, I could learn and I had the world’s resources at my fingers. I discovered and deepened my interests in what had been my hobbies, coffee, exercise and psychology.

I now know what I want to do. I want to be a coffee buyer. Or I think I do. The fact is, the people who say they know what they want to be, the people in the first category, only know what they think they want to be. Only when you actually become what you are trying to be will you discover if that is what you want to be. It may be completely different.

So if we don’t really know what we want to be, what are we to do? Well, it turn out that the people in the middle category are the ones with the best approach. Follow interests, keep learning. If you always do what you are interested in, you will always be interested by what you do. Its tautological.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Mahatma Gandhi

From subjects we study at university to late career changes, we need to always be looking to learn. If we stop learning where we are, if we start to stagnate, how are we to be happy? I remember learning a while back that the career you follow should be the one where you are constantly learning.

How is this supposed to help us find our passion? Essentially, this means “Don’t worry.”

We don’t need to know what our passion is, we only need to know what we are interested  in. If you know that, explore. Read books, watch documentaries, read blogs. Ask questions, try things and fail. Be bad at something, get excited, and practice. And if you are lucky, when you get good enough, someone will pay you to do what you love.