Why you Should NEVER Chase your Passions

Ever since I was a kid, I was quick to act on what I thought were my passions. I guess you can say that passion-chasing was in my blood. At first, I wanted to be a professional hula dancer. Then I thought my calling was baking. And after that, I wanted to become a marriage counselor. As soon as I got excited about an idea, I made the moves I needed to make and took the risks I needed to take in order to get the idea off the ground. Yet as rewarding as it felt to know I was the main contributor behind a profound initiative, I felt like I had nothing to show for all the work I’ve done. Sure I might have started a Baking Club in college and helped to found one of the first Bitcoin companies in Hawaii, but all I had was a title with no testimony. I felt like a fake Louis Vuitton bag. Pretty and prestigious on the outside, but worthless on the inside.

Now that I look back on things, I realized that I not only had this mentality with careers, but also with relationships, hobbies, diets, etc. I was always quick to get excited about something and just as quick to start looking for the next best thing once that excitement was gone. I’d find myself starting but never finishing because I lacked the patience to reap the rewards of persistency. I’m the girl who started a bunch of projects, but never saw them to their full potential. I’m the girl who always felt unsatisfied in a relationship because as soon as the passion was gone, so was my commitment. Was I addicted to the feeling of something new and exciting? Or was I just scared of commitment?

After speaking with a bunch of millennials on this topic, I realized that I was far from being the only one to have these erratic shifts in passions. The paradox of choice indicates that we as Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, yet we don’t seem to be benefiting from it psychologically. Having more choices diminishes the value of commitment, which in turn primes us for failure whenever obstacles arise. We’ve all been taught that if the situation is hard or difficult, you have the choice to leave because there’s always something better out there. Take a look at dating apps for example. If it doesn’t work out with one match, you can always go back on the app and try it out again. However, the faith to step out means nothing without the faithfulness to stick it out. It’s like going to the gym once and wondering why you aren’t seeing results.

The gap between where you are and where you want to be is the gap where most people find themselves quitting. It’s in this gap where the safer option starts becoming more appealing. And it’s in this gap where you realize that maybe your passion, wasn’t even a passion to begin with. The minute it gets hard, the minute you feel people starting to judge you, the minute you start believing all the excuses you’ve been telling yourself, is the minute you’ve convinced yourself that your passion is no longer worth pursuing. And just like that, you’ve abandoned the promises your purpose was supposed to bring and you’re onto the next best thing.

Now I’m not saying you should stick it out at your mundane 9 to 5 job that brings you no sense of satisfaction or fulfillment whatsoever. And I’m also not saying you should persevere through an abusive, soul-sucking relationship. Don’t be naive in the pursuit of your purpose and settle because you refused to listen to your gut. You might need to go through a few bad ones to get to the good one, so it may very well be a trial and error process. But once you feel like your talents are being utilized for your calling, eliminate quitting as an option.

There’s a fundamental aspect about passion-chasing that isn’t being communicated to the millennial generation. We’re all taught to chase after our passions, but we’re never taught that there’s a deeper layer of passion that’s the driving force behind success. What people fail to realize is that passion isn’t a feeling. It’s not a sensation or an emotion. It’s the dedicated pursuit of a purpose. It’s having an unequivocal understanding of what your purpose is and deciding to search for solutions rather than substitutions when times get hard. What this teaches you is that rather than trying to find the best, you become the best. So if you’re sitting there asking yourself, “Why don’t I feel passionate about this anymore?” tell yourself that the true proof of passion is perseverance.

Until Next Time,

Sharon Kim

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