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How To Find Your Passion, No Bullshit


Follow your passion, follow your bliss, once you realize why is that you’re in this world, everything will be easy. God, every time I hear this bs I feel like vomiting. 

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”― Mark Twain

This kind of advice does not seem to be fit for the 21st century or any century really, or maybe it has some truth in it, but later in life, once you’ve realized a few things, but first, you need to realize a thing or two about life. 

It must be fantastic to wake up when you’re 15 years old knowing that you want to be an astronaut and that’s it, decision made, you’re going to be an astronaut.

But this is obviously not how it works. First, you need to throw in the fact that you’re more highly or less likely to become an astronaut depending on your household’s income and the thousand other factors that don’t determine, but that do influence if becoming an astronaut happens or not. Like when I was in 4th grade and decided that I wanted to build a spaceship. Some of my friends hopped in and began drawing the interior rooms, some others were planning the food supply for the trip to the moon (hey, we were being conservative on our goals) and so on until… Other kids found out about the idea and laughed about it, real hard. People don’t like to be laughed at, so most of my friends backed down and left me alone with my spaceship. I’m 29 now, and I still remember everything, it stung real good. 

Now that I remember, it’s funny how at that age, I couldn’t conceive the possibility of my spaceship’s plans not happening, I just had to put the time and the effort and that was it, right? 

But no. Look, the point I’m trying to make here is that, although you have tremendous leverage over your life and the way it is headed, you’re still going to experience things that are going to mold it. For good things or for bad things. You’re going to be given scripts that will stop you and scripts that will encourage you. 

So, knowing this, being able to tell what your passion is, is really not that easy. What if it’s something as stupid as the spaceship and people laugh about you? 

Something to take into account. The answer to that? 

You’re gonna have to deal with it. It’s not your fault, hell, it’s not even their fault. Just realize that ultimately, the decision to believe your shit falls on you, not on others. 

Growing up

I really love growing up. Growing up functions like a bullshit filter. You begin to realize the shit that you like and the shit that you certainly don’t like. 

And this is key. 

When you’re young, and people tell you that you need to find your passion, it’s really hard advice, because you don’t know shit. 

I remember that whenever my ex-girlfriend asked me what I wanted to do, I got pissed off. Because I didn’t know, and let me tell you a secret, I still don’t. Now, as back then, I have an idea of where I want to go, but it’s hard to articulate, but at the same time, I know for sure what I don’t want. This is the filter of growing older, getting to know those things that you don’t like.

There comes a point in life where you have to begin to pay your bills. This day is not going to wait for you to discover what your passion is. It will just ask for bucks, and if he doesn’t get them, he gets pissed off. 

So, you go and do what all of us are doing, because really, you don’t have any other choice, you get a job. It can be a fancy one, or it can be a shitty one. Either way, you’re going to find out what you like and what you don’t like. If your job is pretty shitty, hey, everything else at least is better. So, you’ll strive for something else. And you will fall into the trap. The trap of money.  

Money is great, there’s no denying it. I prefer having it than not having it. But it still is a trap. It will feel good for a while, but once it becomes normal, you’ll begin to wonder what the heck are you doing with your life. Don’t worry, this existential crisis is good. What you do with this crisis, is extremely important though. 

A decision

I want to make a slight pause here to clarify something. There are two kinds of people in the world. 

“Often a very old man has no other proof of his long life than his age.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

The people that live, and the people that just surf through life. I’m expecting that you are one of the people who live, or that at least wants to live. 

Here comes a problem. When you feel that you haven’t found your “passion” yet, you might feel that you cannot begin living, like when my girlfriend asked me what my passion was and I didn’t know what to respond. So you can be wondering for ages about what your passion is. 

Do you know something? Fuck that. 

You don’t need to have a passion to live greatly, right now. You don’t need to be ashamed of a passionless clerk job either. Life is hard without a job, so getting one is the first step. 

Stop trying to find your passion, instead, let it come to you. 

Move 

“Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.”
Alfred Adler

You need to move. Staying static will only make you go into your head and wonder for hours and hours about what your passion is and what’d be cool to be. 

But there is a far better and more efficient way. Get your ass on it. 

“If you wish to be a writer, write.”

Epictetus

Give it a go and see if it’s for you, if not, eliminate. 

Another way is getting a job to pay the bills and become financially independent. I’d say this is a terrific way of doing it because once you see what work, real work is, your mind is going to stop wandering and will instead begin to find solutions. Fast. 

Why do you think I’m writing this right now? It’s already my sleeping time and I have to get up early tomorrow, plus exercise and everything else. But, I haven’t written in Stoic Answers for about a week now and not doing so makes me really sad. But today, honestly I felt angry. I love writing here and will not let my other responsibilities win over. Plus, I now realize something that I do like by doing other things that I don’t like. 

I’m happy right now for my path is getting clearer. I know now where I want to go. But for that to happen, I have to keep moving. 

So how do you find your passion? The way you do it is you give it a finger and you begin to move instead. 

If I’d ask you, right now. What’s the next step, I’m sure you could come up with something. There is always something. We always know what the next stair is, you just need to take that step. 

“Can anything be more idiotic than certain people who boast of their foresight? They keep themselves officiously preoccupied in order to improve their lives; they spend their lives in organizing their lives. They direct their purposes with an eye to a distant future. But putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining?”
Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

Please, please, stop looking for your passion, let it come, and it will come, but only if you move. 

One last thing. I need to clarify, again, that all the information that I provide in Stoic Answers is nuanced and subjected to further discussion. Read the blog with that state of mind and you’ll gain a lot more from it. Nothing said here is final. If it serves you in whichever point of your life you’re at the moment, great. If not, leave a comment below so we can discuss it!

Thanks for reading,

Ricardo Guaderrama

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4 Comments

  • In my opinion we become passionate about thing’s that we’re good at.

    Which of course can be tricky because much of the time we only want to bother with getting good at something that we’re passionate about.

    I think a lot of the people who are lucky enough to be working in an industry that they’re passionate about, found out that it was their passion only after they had broken through to a level of higher competency in that line of work. What drove them or motivated them to go all in without knowing that it was their passion? The answer to this depends on the individual person and situation.

    I know that’s what happened with my father who is extremely successful and I know that the only jobs I’ve enjoyed were the ones I was really good at.

    • Yes, you’re definitely right. Actually Cal Newport discusses your point in his book Deep Work. If you become good at something, you’ll eventually start entering the state of flow, which we as humans find exhilarating. The point of my article is to convince you to work and do instead of waiting for you passion to magically find you. Once you do this you’ll start to become good at things and enjoy them as you say.
      Cheers Michael,
      Ricardo

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