Passion is an undeniable force.
It pushes and nudges. It sets us on fire and sends us running around in circles. It’s the reason we create. It’s the reason we love. It makes us believe that we have no boundaries or limitations.
But despite its untamable nature, passion is not enough.
We put so much responsibility on our passion’s fragile shoulders.
If a day goes by and no sentence is written, I begin to suspect that passion hasn’t done its job. I get anxious and ask myself if writing is really something I want to be doing. “Am I truly passionate about it? Or should I just go back to writing for myself?”
I ask the same question when I fail to wake up for my yoga practice or feel too tired to go to a climbing gym.
Somehow, every time I fail to deliver a certain amount of work, I blame it on the lack of passion.
We are a generation that puts passion first. Or at least most young people I know do. We want to have jobs that don’t feel like a meaningless torture. Passion has moved to the centre of our creative and personal lives. We choose or leave our pursuits and partners based on passion’s powerful presence or a lack of thereof.
I have a feeling we are walking straight into a trap.
To my parents, however, the most important quality of any job is its monetary ability.
When I look at them starry-eyed and say: “I want to do this because I’m passionate about it,” they look back blankly and ask: “Will this pay your bills?”
They grew up haunted by a sharp need to be educated and make money to support their family. And the best way to do that was to conjure up all the discipline and grit they possibly could. No word about passion, inspiration and rainbow-sh*tting unicorns.
If there is one thing I learned from them it’s this—discipline and tenacity are the two main qualities you will need to be successful at work.
My friends don’t believe me when I say that sometimes I don’t want to get on my mat and practice. They narrow their eyes as if trying to measure up the approximate amount of passion my body stores. Some days it equals zero.
Passion is a beautiful muse that inspires action. It’s barely a tool, never once a creator and definitely not a skill. I need to arm it with other qualities to make things happen:
Discipline—an old lady with a ruler—to stand behind my shoulder and make sure I deliver. I guess her main job is to snap at me every time I reach for my phone or attempt to watch a tv show instead of writing.
Confidence. The kind that kicks my fears to the curb and doesn’t allow them to suffocate the process.
Grit. This short four letter word is hiding behind a longer and seductive “success.” It’s there to help us through a lack of inspiration and various trials.
Through conversations with my family, I realized that passion can’t go it alone. It’s the fuel for our vehicle. But you can’t pour gasoline over a corroded piece of metal and expect it to roam.
Passion is a bright neon sign that points us in a right direction. Our job is to follow, providing it with tools and enough space to unfold.
P.S: If the roadside arrow led you to a toxic relationship, unfulfilling job and overall misery—steer the wheel in the opposite direction. Sometimes, passion is blind.
Author: Liza Kautaniuk
Editor: Catherine Monkman