First, I don’t mean necessarily dropping out of school and moving to a new city with no money in hopes of making it as a banjo player in a famous band (however that’s worked out for many people too).
Growing up has this insidious way of convincing us to put our passions on the backburner, or worse, away in a box of the rest of our childhood dreams. As we get older, we become focused on the real world, a world where getting ahead and making money take precedent over everything.
Truth is, following your passion isn’t as dramatic and life-altering as it sounds. You can still keep your 9-5; your benefits and graduate studies. To follow your passion simply means to begin to do what you love or have always wanted of doing, whether it be writing, painting, cooking, traveling, bodybuilding, etc.
Screw the self-doubt, the lack of confidence, the comparing yourselves to social media-famous people who have thousands of followers doing what you aspire to do.
Follow your passion because aside from the cliché “lifetime of regret” you may experience down the road from never pursuing it, you are actually hurting yourself now.
You are not engaging in that one thing that could make you feel the most alive. You are letting your supposed lack of time, confidence, and worst of all, other people’s opinions of you get in the way of something you love.
Not following your passion is doing a disservice to the world. With all the mundanities of life, it is art — pleasure, that makes us human— makes life worth living. Hiding yourself prevents you connecting with communicating with others who share your passion. It alienates others who might marvel at your work, or better, become inspired by it.
Worst, you are doing a disservice to yourself by neatly putting your passions away in a box labeled “things I’ll get to if I had more time, money, or talent,” When really, the time is now because you don’t even know what you are capable of yet.
Even if you never attain fame, by following your passion you will create a life in which you explored every crevice of that which makes you happy, fulfilled, and alive. You didn’t hold back. You didn’t live in a world of “what ifs…”
So what’s next?