Quick tip to finding your passion

There comes a time in your life when you start to wonder what your purpose is. Some lucky people find out early on in their childhood, or perhaps when they’re about to finish high school, or early adulthood. The younger you are, the more likely you will change your mind a few times, but you still have a good chance at being an awesome contribution to humanity, and feeling fulfilled.

For the rest of us, though, it may happen at a much later time, when you’re considered a full grown adult, perhaps after you reach 30+ years of age. By this time, it starts feeling like a mid-life crisis, and the crisis can be scarier the closer you get to your 50's.

The sort of good thing is that you might be trying out different career options, which will yield a decent amount of experience. The bad thing is, as time goes by, if you’re still not sure of what your passion might be, the more likely you are to be very stressed out about it. Worst case scenario, you might fall into depression and stop searching altogether.

To me, this happened a couple years ago. The pseudo midlife crisis, I mean.

The Background

I had a decent job at a great company, working as an outsourced IT guy for over 7 and a half years, all the while hoping to get a big break and get hired as a permanent employee. I eventually got the job I had been hoping for so long.

Then my hopes were set on getting a management position. However, I was constantly reminded that, because I do not have a college degree, I could not be considered for any sort of promotions. But then the unlikely thing happened and I was actually promoted to management. Well, sort of.

The company was going through a big restructuring of it’s IT segment. Being a big company meant that many people in many different countries had to be considered and evaluated. My boss at the time, was moved to a different position, and so they gave me the opportunity to take the role he left behind. They did make it clear, however, that because of the restructuring, all payroll changes were blocked. This meant that I had the opportunity to try out the role, but I would not receive the accompanying salary or benefits. I couldn’t care less.

I was really excited about having the opportunity to learn through experience.

The way I saw it, I was getting free training to management.

The strangest thing happened, however. Though there was a very real opportunity to actually get promoted, and I did have my hopes on getting there, I wasn’t really able to be great at the role. For some reason, having (sort of) reached the management role I had been hoping for, didn’t feel as fulfilling as I expected. Needless to say, after the restructuring, I was fired.

No, I wasn’t that bad. I just wasn’t good enough for management, and the role I previously had, was restructured and outsourced. At least I still had a job.

So back at square one. At this point, that pseudo midlife crisis thing begins to kick in. I’m 33 years old, without a clue of what I want. Everything I thought I wanted I had achieved, then lost because it wasn’t what I had hoped.

How I found my passion

I knew I had to do something. I started reading around, researching about how one can find their dream job, or their life purpose, or their passion. However you want to put it.

I found tons of material, tips, guides and what not. Sure, they were all great, but they didn’t seem all that practical to me. Until one day, I found something (paraphrasing):

Take notice of every time you feel envious of someone who is being successful at something, or is doing something you really wish you could do. This is most likely your passion, what you were made of. What you were made for.

And it all suddenly became clear.

Now, do keep in mind, by envious, I mean a good kind of envy. I mean the kind of envy where you feel that you wish you also had the freedom, and possibility, and resources to do something someone else is doing.

In my case, I started noticing that I felt this sort of envy every time I watched tech review videos on YouTube.

I would see amazing YouTubers like Marques Brownlee and Jonathan Morrison, getting their hands on the latest iPhone or Android smartphone, often ahead of launch dates. They get to experience buying and unboxing new phones and gadgets every single month, and make a lot of money in the process. This definitely sounded like my dream job!

Just get started

So now you found your passion. Now what?

I realized I wanted to become a YouTuber. But how to start? The thing about realizing what you want to do is that you might find yourself admiring the people who already do it and see how high they have set the bar.

Take Marques Brownlee for example. He currently has 4.2 million subscribers. The equipment he uses for filming is professional studio quality. I’m talking about 60k USD cameras (that’s not even including the cost of the lens, tripod, sliders, etc). The bar is insanely high.

I don’t even have a cheap DSLR. The point and shoot camera I have can only record 480p video. Who on earth is gonna want to watch that?

This made me procrastinate for over a year. I started slowly buying equipment. A tripod, stand, lights, etc. Basically many things under 150$ each. But no matter how many things I bought (still don’t have a DSLR…), I always felt it wasn’t enough to get started.

Marques Brownlee himself, as well as other YouTubers, have said again and again. The best advice to someone who wants to get started on YouTube, is to just get started.

Easy for them to say, right? Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

I kept on hearing that advice, dwelling on it, but it was just so hard to accept and act on it. Then one day I saw a video by Casey Neistat where he started by saying “Gear doesn’t matter”. Please watch that video!

He continued on to say that even though it’s true he currently has expensive professional equipment, he started with cameras that used tape, then he explained how he used basic equipment on many of his famous videos.

At the end, he wraps it up by saying:

“The only way to learn these things and get better at them is to do them over and over and over”

On another video (which I sadly couldn’t find) he said something that was pretty much the spark that got me started (paraphrased):

“The best camera is the one you already have”

Just get started. Perhaps you won’t be good at first (or maybe you will) but you will get better and better by practicing.

So this is what I am doing now. I have ended my excuses and started my new career. I will not quit my current job (for now), but no matter how bad my videos are right now, I will keep on creating and keep on improving. You can watch my first video here, and subscribe while you’re at it ;)

Find your passion and just get started.

Don’t underestimate the resources you already have. You don’t learn to drive on a Lamborghini, so don’t wait until you can afford a Lamborghini to learn to drive. Use what you have now, the risk is much lower anyways, and by the time you have enough to get something better, you’ll also be better experienced to get the best of it.

Best of luck!!