Now that we have all worked hard on ourselves during the lockdown and are better as expected of course, I feel that we are all living our dreams. I am fairly certain that the light flight of the butterflies of our souls is what caused the Ianos tornado. If you haven’t already caught the sarcasm in the previous sentences, you must be a very positive individual that doesn’t need to read the rest of this article. I also may be absolutely terrible in incorporating sarcasm in my texts. What is true is that we recently came across various terms pointing at the never-ending journey to happiness. But it does get confusing when you are a curious mind who is evolving and constantly willing to try new things. Should you follow your childhood dreams? Should you settle your residues? Should you follow the passion you have acquired? Should you find a meaning in life? Should you simply concentrate enough to reach a flow? How can we be happy? Is settling of any sort the answer?
When did we start to feel utterly unsatisfied with everything?
One of my recent realisations is that throughout our life we are exposed to various theories regarding its meaning. Sometimes these versions are given to us as answers to direct relevant questions we pose and other times they come as comebacks to arguments we engage with. But if one pays closer attention they are included in any means of information presented to us; that is, songs, art, advertisements, podcasts, sales campaigns, motivational quotes, jokes etc. These theories also get upgraded by the years and acquire new terminologies, like dreams, meaning, flow, passion. This often acts like a light yet constant stream hitting the same spot on a rock, that it eventually drills a hole in it. It could be that the spot was weak all along and that you do have a passion that you have been avoiding to pursue. It could be that you are simply feeling drained and that you have been repressing unrelated thoughts about other things in your life, which has resulted in you feeling overwhelmed even when you are engaging with something simple at work. The sum of the above acts as a domino and you come out of this whole thing hating everything.
How to not go about the meaning of life
Despite the fact that these pieces of information cannot literally drill a hole in our brains, they can certainly draw a question that challenges all our choices to this point, if not a gap in our vision of what makes us feel content. However, choosing to analyse it feels like a journey through a wormhole. The most daring travellers enter it until the point of picking one thing that they can eloquently justify as worthy enough for them to surrender their entire existence in. Yet this sometimes is challenged by events that appear as strong enough to take over the control of their lives. Then they obsessively continue to surrender to this occasionally eternal fight to take over. This fight has its own teachings though – as expected. One of them is that their initial choice was conducted out of helplessness, rather than a healthy need to produce and create. Another may be that they needed to include some time-off because now they are obsessively choosing to be perceived by themselves as helpless. Doesn’t this sound like a vicious circle?
Do we need one passion in life?
The answer is no. What we need is the ability to engage with what we choose to do for the period of time that we choose to do it. We also need to be daring enough to search for something else when the former no longer serves us as well as when we cannot see ourselves as willing to develop it into a whole different level. Try to assess the roots of the problems you find in your current profession and to address each one of them at your own pace. If you spot yourself seeking excuses or escapes when dealing with the option of changing them, then set a deadline for that change in order to also test whether it is necessary after all. Take care of yourself throughout the time until that deadline and make sure that everytime you go to work you are focused to the point when you enter a flow. Sometimes all it takes is to prioritise your well-being and that can be enough for everything else in your life to be less irritating. Sometimes all it takes is to devote yourself a full hour every day, away from people, devices and basically any type of external information, ideally in nature.
What if we do have a passion?
Instead of questioning if you are good enough, invest time each day to become better. Perfection and success are two relative social constructs for people to stay motivated to keep going until they cannot anymore. Research what you can do with your passion. Approach people that are doing something similar. Ask all the questions you are afraid to ask. Use the internet as a haven of information and connections, instead of a means of numbification. The worst case scenario is that you will never be satisfied with the products of your work or that you will wake up one day tired and frustrated because it feels as if it’s not going anywhere. Stay focused. Keep going. And follow the steps suggested above for people that don’t have a passion.
Have I tried it?
Well, it took me twenty eight years to become bold enough to choose to follow my passion, but I thought 2020 was catastrophic enough for me to expose my passion – art.
Here is the first step of my journey as a visual artist: https://www.facesoftheabyss.com
The quote “‘Follow your passion” is not one that serves everyone. What I suggest is “Choose your passion and/ or find passion in what you choose.”
featured image: Unsplash | Nine Koepfer | @enka80