The Path from Have to Jobs to Career Passion

mazeI posted a great quote this morning: “Talent is a pursued interest. In other words, anything you are willing to practice, you can do.” – Bob Ross.

There were a couple of comments that took me in a different direction: passion. One gentleman described his journey of 25 years from painting to building complete homes bottom to top. Another said it beautifully: “If one is pursuing an interest, be certain it is a passion. If that is the case, that interest will never be lost”

It is wonderful to hear about people following their passion, even better to hear when it is successful and best yet to live it personally.

But what if you don’t know what your passion is or feel like you will never get to live it?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind before getting frustrated if you feel this way:

Passions change
There is no straight line

When I was in college I was passionate about the criminal justice system and social change. I knew when I graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology I would be ready to change the world.

Then life offered me a different path, I met my ex-husband and we had our son. My passion was then being a full time mom to this tiny human. Later I completed my degree, but my original college passion had changed.

If you would map out my professional career history and put it next to a drawing my son did when he was 2, they would look identical.
Something like this:

With each position, my passions were sparked, doused, modified, clarified and identified. They changed and morphed until it all came together in a clear picture.

Even then, the path in following my greatest passion was not a clear-cut way marked with neon signs saying, “Do this”, “Go this way”. It was still a twisty path that I had to navigate. It also did not come to me until I was at an age that was not considered young.

Relax, you have time, you do not have to figure it all out right now. Even if you think you do, it will change. Just go with it and lighten up – it will happen when you allow it to happen for you. There is no timeline for finding and pursuing passions.

In identifying and defining my greatest passion I was taken on an amazing journey. Do you know why I can say that now? Because I suffered through the crap that I had to do, not wanted to do, and survived it. At the time the word ‘amazing’ would not have entered my vocabulary. Ok, it did, but it was normally followed by words like “…load of @#$%.”

When following your passion, more than likely you are not going to tip toe through the tulips; oh no, you are going to wade through fields of manure that comes up to your knees. Bad jobs, low pay, ridiculous hours, and having feelings of being underutilized, unappreciated, discouraged, frustrated, unworthy and many others that make you want to just give up.

Do not give up.

I had a full range of jobs from unpleasant to vile. I had jobs that had no relevance to what I am doing now. I had jobs that I would come home and think, “What am I doing? Is this what my life is going to be like forever?”

But each one was necessary. Each one taught me a lesson. What I want, what I do not want, what I will accept, what is unacceptable, how to behave, how to manage, how to lead, how to inspire, how to avoid getting thrown under the bus, how to survive being thrown under a bus, who I wanted to be and who I did not.

I had great bosses and horrible bosses. I had wonderful colleagues and people that made me question humanity. I did tasks that challenged me and things that were mind numbing. I had jobs that thrilled and excited me and jobs that sucked the life out of me.

Each one was a step to where I am now.

Do not give up.

It may not make sense now and that is okay. Each one of my jobs did not fit in my passion path. Some taught me personal lessons, not professional lessons. Do not try to make everything fit in the box. Boxes are constrictive and hold you back. I also learned to blow up boxes – it is fun, liberating and became another passion.

Look at where you are and where you have been and try to view it from a perspective of where you want to go. What did you learn? What did you like about your duties? What were you complimented on?

Start small, relax and remember – this is your journey. You will find your passion, when you are ready. Passion equates to love, and like the song says, you can’t hurry love.

No, you just have to wait.
You got to trust, give it time.
No matter how long it takes

I bet that song is now stuck in your head – you’re welcome. I just can’t decide if I like The Supremes or Phil Collins’ version better…

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