How do you pick a passion? Like you, I wandered through life aimlessly. I always wanted to pursue something interesting and meaningful, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out.
I had lots of careers paths that seemed promising: college professor, famous author, business consultant. But all of these appeared out of reach. Every path presented more schooling and more hoops to jump through – with no guarantee the profession I had chosen would truly make me happy.
I had, after all, worked plenty of jobs which made me miserable. Every job I had chased, I pursued hoping to fill a void missing in my life. Whether that be money, respect, or a stress-free existence.
And ultimately, every job disappointed. I could never find what I was looking for, and ended up distraught and more confused as a result.
It seemed like everything I touched was broken, and I was somehow at fault. Like I had a disease and couldn’t quite fit in like everyone else.
The lie I told myself, and society lead me to believe, was that I was a failure. I hadn’t tried hard enough, I wasn’t talented enough, or I hadn’t gone to the right schools. And the more I thought about it, the worse it got.
Pick a Passion – An Answer
It wasn’t until I came to God in a real and humbling way. I prayed. I dropped to my knees and prayed real honest prayers about what I was feeling and how I felt helpless. And I asked God to take away those fears.
He did. And he does. He continues to work in me, to mold me and use me as he sees fit. It’s an interesting journey – not exactly free of trials – but it’s better than the misery I used to create on my own.
And he lead me to write.
I had been writing for a long time. In journals, essays, internet forums, funny emails, and jokes. Any time I could express my thoughts in the written word, I suddenly felt alive.
And so that’s what I wanted to be: A writer.
Pick a Passion – A Conundrum
While praying about my life journey, I came across this pearl of wisdom: “If I forced a gun to your head and made you pick a project, what would you choose?” You have to leave the house, but can do whatever you want. What would you do with your day?
This little nugget made me think long and hard about what I cared about. And it was freeing. There’d be no responsibilities or job to go to. No bills to pay. It’s like you’re retired and can do whatever you want (even watching The Price is Right is an option).
My answer: I’d wander down to Panera and write some junk. I’d probably write a piece about the man in my house with a gun and why I hated him. That jerk.
Also, there’s similar career advice to pick a job you would do for free. Sometimes that’s hard to figure out, because money muddles every decision, but the logic is sound. And it’s actually true.
I spent the last 7 years writing fiction every day. Sometimes that was in the morning, at night, or in the middle of a lunchbreak. And no matter what mood I was in (angry, angrier, or belligerently distraught), I’d always enjoy my writing session. It made me happy.
Pick a Passion – What’s Next?
So what does that mean for you? It means you need to pick a passion, and pick it now.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, but put that gun to your head and step outside. What do you envision yourself doing?
Maybe you’re helping friends, raising a family, working in the church, or donating your time. There’s lots of excellent choices out there, and no wrong answer.
Maybe too, you just want a really good corporate job. I’ve met plenty of amazing employees and managers grinding away in Corporate America and loving every minute of it (though I don’t personally recommend it).
At the end of the day, it’s freeing to know you’re working on something you love, and ultimately affecting God’s Kingdom in a tangible way.
It’s like a weight lifted off your chest. And I promise you’ll be better for it.
Pick a Passion – Action Steps:
- Pray, because you’re too stupid to figure it out on your own
- Put an (imaginary) gun to your head
- Pick something and do it
What do you feel called to do? Do you feel like you’re stuck on the hamster wheel of life with nowhere to go? Do you feel like everyone else is chasing cool dreams and you’re a loser? Have you prayed about it?