The Value of Passion
A life without passion is hard to come back from and unlike many of our contemporary health issues, it is an illness that cannot be cured with medicine.
We live in a fast paced, busy, and ever-changing society—we experience changes that happen so quickly, we get overwhelmed in the process of trying to mend the past and present together into a reality that makes sense. We’ve reached the point where we need to start asking ourselves if our reality is one that we even participate in creating.
Our generation of millennials seem to have all the opportunity in the world, but half the confidence in knowing what we want to pursue; external forces play such a large role in crafting who we become that we feel deprived of pursuing our own passions and dreams. Advertising, university, parents, societal norms, and increasing competition in the job market all play a role in the pressure to succeed in life. We’re relentlessly asked questions like, “What are you going to be doing five years from now?”, “What will your career be?”, “How will you afford to buy a house?”, “Will that job make enough money though?”—lost in the flurry of all this chatter of the future is the tiny voice in our heads that raises the question: but what makes me happy?
Up until this year, this is a question that I had never asked myself—not even once. And it wasn’t until I convinced myself of the value of such a simple question that I discovered my passions. Passion makes up such a critical component of our lives, but the problem is, we’re often unable to determine the difference between what we’re passionate about and what other people tell us we should be doing with our lives. This is a sad, but incredibly accurate illness of our culture and it seems to be more common among my generation than any other.
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
The outdoors are not just a source of sanity for me, they’re my passion. They’re a way for me to escape what I have come to call “reality” (which for me, consists of university classes, job applications, volunteering, and studying), and they’re a light into a world that I want to be a part of all the time, not just when it’s convenient for me. For now, university is my reality because it’s one I’ve chosen to commit to, but I would be lying if I said that this reality completely fulfills my passions and is one that I’ve had 100% say in creating.
I never want to settle for less than what I’ve dreamt my life could be. I imagine my life as a simple one, primarily built on the things that will make me happy and allow me to inspire others to do the same with their lives. The fear of failing to meet the expectations of others is not a signifier of personal inability, it is actually a red flag that you’ve allowed other people’s visions to become your own.
I’ve spent so much of my life worrying about what I should do in the future that I’ve only just started to figure out what makes me smile, laugh, and light up with compassion. Are these not far more invaluable than finding a job that produces a stable income? The professional world is incredibly competitive today, and when this is combined with steadily rising living costs, a trend of monetary obsession is bound to occur. Why chase your dreams to be a starving artist when you can be the CEO of a company and earn more money and supposedly, more respect as well? With more money, you’ll have time to do what you love in your free time, right?
We need to change this mindset before we produce a generation that becomes bored of their lives because they lack passion and regretful of their pasts because they never risked doing the things that brought them true joy. A life without passion is hard to come back from and unlike many of our health issues, it is an illness that cannot be cured with medicine.
I’m not saying that I’m going to be a professional camper for the rest of my life by any means, but what I am saying is that I will try my very best to incorporate what I love into my future career and life to the best of my ability. If I don’t, I’ll be neglecting myself of one of life’s best kept secrets. My passions are travel, writing, photography, hiking, skiing, animal rights, and environmental sustainability. Where these passions will take me, I can’t say for certain, but the unknown no longer frightens me. So long as I let my passions guide me, there’s no way I can stray to the wrong path.
What are you passionate about?
Follow your bliss,