The trouble with “passion”

contentment

I recently read an article featured on Darling Magazine (if you aren’t subscribed to their blog, you are missing out) talking about why it is okay if your passion is not your full-time job. I think this article speaks to a struggle with passion as a whole. As the author shares, she thought that working a full-time job and then fitting in her passion for writing when she had time was not fulfilling her dreams. Now that she has switched to being a “full-time creative”, as she calls it, she realizes the beauty of fighting for those moments to focus on the things you love doing. The article challenges readers to truly consider if they are going to do better, more creative work by focusing on it full-time or if they can achieve that same (or better) quality by stealing away moments to squeeze in your passion.

I loved this article. I think it can hit home with so many people (and not just millennials!). Passion has become such a funny thing. It seems like we have become a society that wants to feel the “passion” 100% of the time. The reality is that we are not even wired that way. We, as humans, are emotional and have natural ebbs and flows in how we feel. Ultimately, it seems like we have confused passion with contentment. To clarify, I asked the experts to explain (aka Google Search results):

passioncontentment

Passion is defined as a “strong and barely controllable emotion” while contentment is defined as “a state of happiness and satisfaction”. I don’t know about you but, when phrased like this, I would rather be content than passionate. Passion is fleeting and overwhelming. It, ultimately, is inconsistent. It is like the friend who is a blast to be around, is the life of the party but is a super flake. Contentment, in contrast, is that friend that is always there to go to barre class with you or go to the art walk simply because they are excited to hang out. We have gotten in a habit of wanting passion out of everything we do and feel like if we don’t have that then something is wrong. I have been in this position before. I’m sure many of you have.

In thinking about your passions and finding the moments to pursue those in life, I have realized that the challenge isn’t always finding the time but is your perspective. If you are not content, do not have a basic level of happiness and satisfaction, then it doesn’t matter if you are stealing moments to pursue your passions or doing it full-time. You will ultimately feel disappointed because the expectation is that you will have a strong emotion all the time. Instead, if you were to choose to be content with the situation and the opportunities, you could truly appreciate those moments of passion that drive and excite you. And, honestly, how great would that be?!

 

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