Having a surplus of gifts and talents seems cool and exciting. You’ll never get bored, you’ll always have something new to talk about, and you’ll always have something to look forward to. It is a dream come true for some people but how are you going to follow the advice, “Focus on you passion,” when there’s just too many things you want to do?
For most of us, this is an inevitable phase in high school or college when you’re exploring a lot of things and deciding which one is worth your time and energy. Some will be able to decide a little later and will give up on all the other things they thought were their ‘passion.’ A few will realize later on that they want to do more than one thing in their lives and leaving something behind just isn’t an option.
“You have limited time.” “Focus on what’s important.” “Why are you wasting your time in something that’s clearly just a hobby?” You must have heard these a million times and you must be tired of hearing these things already. Irritating, right? You’ll initially feel offended. These muggles will make you feel guilty about what makes you happy. You’ll be conscious whenever you put a blank canvass on your easel or take out your quill to set the mood for your weekly writing session. After several gazes of disappointment and suggestions on how you can use your time ‘more productively,’ your excitement will falter and be overridden with anxiety. It will be harder for you to find a conducive place to be creative because you’ll feel the stares of people around you. You’ll eventually reach the dangerous place of actually believing these people— that you’re wasting your time.
I only have limited time in this world. Indeed! That’s the point. You have limited time in this world. Do you really want to spend it all doing a single thing just because society tells you to? Your time on earth is numbered but life isn’t exactly short, either. If Bill Gates has time to read 50 books per year and if Richard Feynman has time to draw portraits in between his works as a theoretical physicist, then you have just as much time to pursue whatever it is you want.
But I won’t improve if I keep dividing my time. Probably. But there’s one thing more important that the amount of time you spend on working. Dedication. Dedication to still pursue your passions even if you only have ‘limited time’ for doing so. Cheryl Strayed, the author of “Wild,” said that if you write once a month, you’ll have 12 days to write. And you can make a lot of beauty in 12 days. Life is always hard and your schedule will always be hectic. Not being able to paint every day doesn’t mean you’re not an artist. Not being able to write a song in months doesn’t make you a fake musician. Building a habit to work on something you care about is crucial but a habit doesn’t need to be done every single day. It’s a matter of being true to yourself, setting time for your craft IF AND WHEN YOU CAN, being true to that promise and doing your best to pour your heart out on your art with the ‘limited time’ you have.
Don’t let the muggles in your life suck out the magic in you. Life offers a lot of random shit. It offers platters of challenges, bills, failures, screaming children, so in the rare occasion that it gives you the chance to work on something you love, grab it and leave all the doubts behind.