Passion – The Elusive Dream
As an ambitious and free spirited woman, I always lived my life on my own terms. I travelled the world, moved up the corporate ladder, met amazing people and lived wonderful experiences. On paper, I truly led an extraordinary life. But one thing always kept eluding me; although many labelled me passionate, I actually did not have a passion!
You know, that single minded focus. That driving all consuming force that brings up visions of Beyonce on stage, Mozart on the piano, and that twinkle that is oh so present in the eyes of the hopeful contestants on “American Idol”.
For me, passion was that one degree of separation to truly living an extraordinary life. This was especially true considering we live in a society that glorifies passion; where authors, celebrities, and billionaires alike, all sing to the same tune: “To be happy and successful like we are, you have to follow your passion!”
It seemed so simple and easy. And yet here I am, a seemingly successful and intelligent woman in mid-life feeling inadequate at first and then resentful because finding my passion seemed so out of reach. But mostly, I was afraid that I was doomed to live a passionless life or worse an ordinary one.
The Quest For The One Passion
So I set out on a quest. I was determined to find the passion that eluded me all these years; the one passion that will change my life. But I had so many questions and so many hurdles stood in front of me.
Where do I find my passion?
Can I find my it online? Amazon surely has millions of books on the topics. I bought a few of them.
Maybe, I will discover it at a seminar in San Diego with Deepak Chopra. I tried that. It was an amazing retreat but my passion was not there.
Could it be that I would find it sitting at Starbucks sipping a grande mocha? Many a writer found inspiration in a coffee shop. Nope, it was not there either.
Better yet, it might just come to me sitting on my couch. I could meditate and wait for a divine revelation. That also did not work.
How do I recognize it?
Will I get butterflies when I see it? Will I feel a flutter in my heart? Or maybe I will just know it’s the one. Unfortunately, I experienced nothing of the sort.
How do I know it’s for me?
Is it age appropriate? Can I bring it home to my parents? And can I introduce it to my friends?. Well, I never revealed my passion to anyone, because spoiler alert, I never found it so I couldn’t answer this question.
What am I willing to give up for it?
Do I quit my job? I tried that a few times. I left many a job in pursuit of the illusion of passion only to be disappointed and back to square one in my quest.
Would I sell my car and move to LA for it? Ok this was just for fun.
Is it till death do us part?
This one question really gave me a lot of trepidation. When I do find my one passion, could I commit fully to it? What if I fell out of love with my passion? What if it turned out not to be the one and I made the wrong choice? And now I’m vested and stuck with what I thought was my own passion.
I Tried Everything!
If my journey to finding my passion sounds more like a modern dating conundrum, it’s because it was.
I spent thousands of dollars on books and self-improvement courses and I followed many “false” passions only to find out after months, they were not the one. I moved across the country looking for it and made major career transitions that required starting over again and again. Yet still….I could not find it.
In the process, however, I encountered my worst fears, my limiting beliefs, and my self-sabotage patterns; I met the forty year old me that was still saddled with the eight year old me. There were many amazing teachers that crossed my path along with challenging people and circumstances that tested my resolve and expedited my growth as a human being and as a professional woman. Not so different from dating life.
I Ended The Search
In 2019, I stopped searching. Not because I found the one passion nor because I have just given up. I ended it because I found something much more.
I came to the realization that I was not driven to find my one passion. What I set out to find all along was my life purpose disguised as the one passion; passion monogamy was also definitely not my way.
So in the quest for the one passion, I found many passions. I was passionate about discovering and experiencing new cultures and new lands. I was passionate about consuming knowledge in many fields and fascinated with ancient cultures and ancient sites. And in the process of this quest, I also discovered who I am and what I am here for. And now I am sure that although I might not have taken the most popular nor the most direct route in my life journey, I certainly went about it my own way….
The Hummingbird Way
As Elizabeth Gilbert so eloquently put it: “The world is divided into 2 kinds of people: the jackhammer and the hummingbird … Hummingbirds spend their lives doing things very differently. They move from tree to tree – from flower to flower, from field to field, trying this and trying that. And two things happen: they create incredibly rich complex lives for themselves and they also end up cross pollinating the world. That is the service that you do if you are a hummingbird person …. that is what the path is that you’re supposed to lead”.
This post is dedicated to all hummingbirds out there. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the one passion to follow. Heed the call of your curiosity instead. Follow the path to your purpose and you might just be surprised with what you find.
Keep flying, keep trying, keep learning, keep cross pollinating. The world is a better and more exciting place with you in it.