I very much dislike sayings like "Do what you love" and "Follow you passion", because they lead you down the path of seeking pleasure and not taking on serious challenges. Or perhaps it leads you down the path of feeling sorry for yourself, because you have no single passion? Books like "So Good They Can't Ignore You" make it indeed is not great advice. Recently however I've changed my mind - just slightly.
This blog has been left unmaintained for a long time. I love writing, and was doing it regularly. At one point I followed the great online advice of writing every day to gain an audience. Well.. While I was proud to have completed the challenge for a month I wasn't proud of my writing and it became a job - killing all excitement. For a long time I knew I wanted to continue, but was searching for a reason to do so. Only yesterday did I realize that enjoying the activity is probably the most valid reason of all.
Another great example are my confused years of doing my best to keep whatever job I had landed. My longest job has been a single year. Other jobs I've only kept for a few months. I love doing work - but I hate doing things I don't believe in. Like writing software for a bank through a fine tuned pipeline of product and analytics people - I had no say in what I thought we should work on. All my energy went into just keeping the job thus I never got anywhere. Freelancing was just boring, because you can only do so much alone. Things started looking up when I found a like-minded team. All we do is develop software for clients (doesn't sound exiting), but it is crazy how good I feel in this environment. I do good work, we have interesting clients. It really feels like I get to have the cake and eat it too. It's so opposite to conventional advice that "work can't always be fun". I mean, it's not always fun, but it for sure never gets boring, I never have to do what I don't want (since we have an actually cooperating team) and financials are working out pretty good. I love the feeling of finding my place and that there's nothing wrong with me after all.
My last example is much more personal. Excuse my openness, this example I think explains the emotional background why this works really well. It's about sex. At some point in my life I decided to learn the Tantric way of sex (I'd rather go to an ordinary sex school if there was one). For a long time in my relationship holding back myself from climaxing for longer pleasure never worked out. I tried every technique and trick in the book. Yet in the end of the day either I didn't feel satisfied or sex actually became boring. At one point we went back to "normal". This brought excitement back, even if it didn't last incredibly long. Yet after a while pleasure faded and sex became just sex. One day I just felt like I wanted to not climax out of curiosity and it felt enjoyable. So much so that it has a completely different vibe to it. Now following the Tantric way needs no effort at all and we both get super high from the experience with no downsides. It's kind of strange. Maybe I didn't need the Tantric methods at all? Maybe I could have it out on my own in due time? In any case following my gut helped me out a bunch.
My diary knows of many more examples of excitement beating effort. Like finding my greatest love was more about letting go of ideas than putting effort into looking for someone or fixing an existing relationship. Like making more money switching my career into the education field (which I love) than working jobs at fancy companies. Like finding out I love to read books, but only if I actually learn something from them (and learning excites me)! Like letting my instability work for me by being super impulsive and landing a very much VIP client at a conference but just walking up and chatting with the guy.
My important takeaway for myself is to keep writing this blog! Not because it'll bring leads (not a great focus point), but because writing is incredibly enjoyable :) So here I am and here you are (you reading it). If you've enjoyed this post - make sure you enjoy the stuff you do. Don't "follow your passion" (because you may not have one), but rather just do whatever is most exiting as much as your financial situation supports :)