Find something you love doing . . .
This is difficult no matter who you are. You’ll always second guess yourself even if you’re a master of your craft. Which is why I feel it’s important to find your passion as soon as possible. I found my passion for Music when I was eighteen. I’m far from prodigious so I’ve spent thousands of hours learning my craft.
If you’re still unsure about your passion and you find yourself jumping between different things trying to find a spark of creativity, my suggestion is to just pick one. You can’t force inspiration and each failed attempt will demoralize you even more.
If you were born a prodigy and can play piano perfectly but hate Music, don’t force yourself to keep doing it just because you’re really good. If there is something else you love then I say go for it. This doesn’t mean you have to stop playing piano. That could be your job.
. . . and do it as much as you can.
Start putting time into your passion whenever possible. This could be a fifteen hour session or a twenty minute brainstorm. It could even be a mental recap of your current project while you’re doing something else. Sometimes I’ll get a song stuck in my head that I’m writing or recording and my brain will work on it 24/7.
They say to make your goals achievable but I think that limits your potential. I say, make your goals impossible. 99% of the things you achieve are done while pursuing a goal not when you’ve completed it. What’s the rush anyways? This is your passion. You should be enjoying every minute of it.
Don’t wait for inspiration . . .
Waiting for that perfect moment to start will never happen. I’m not saying you won’t experience inspiration that moves you to creation at some point during your life but don’t make it an excuse not to push forward today.
. . . and don’t aspire to perfection.
I came across an individual who had never finished any project they started. They were interested in lots of different things and felt like they were good at these things but when it came to an ending they couldn’t think of anything.
I sent them a message “Try purposely making a really bad ending.” They replied with “Why would I make something that isn’t good?” I knew why they were having problems finishing their projects. They were terrified of failure and obsessed with perfection.
I gave them the hard truth. This was not going to be their epic swan song. They wouldn’t be remembered for whatever it was they were creating after they died. Unless they accepted that and started finishing projects (that might actually fail) they would never get a chance to create what they really want.
It’s OK to fail from time to time. We can’t learn without failure. And we can’t progress without learning.
Be patient, . . .
Do something involving your passion every single day. Learn, practice, write, create, share, etc. Take the time that each of those require. Sometimes it takes weeks to learn a new concept or write your next part. Each day is equally important and you should enjoy it that way. It doesn’t matter if it’s day one, half way through or the day you finally finish a project. Be patient and precise through each phase of development.
. . .original,
I’m always trying to think outside the box and come up with new ideas, sounds, riffs, and layouts. The trick is to make something different enough to make it yours while still retaining traits that are familiar enough to click with the listener. The listener is usually me.
. . . and honest.
Be honest about who you are when focusing on your passion. Some might say their passion is an escape from the person they are. I think this is a dangerous thing to do. The whole point of living a passion driven life is that you’re able to cope with real world issues because you’re focused on your passion. If you hide who you are and use your passion as an escape, you will burn yourself out and lose interest.
Don’t do it for money or fame.
Do not measure your passion’s level of success by how much money you make when doing it. This leads to demoralization and insecurities when you can’t make enough money right away. Not to mention the stress it puts on your friends and family because you’re always broke. And when you’re broke because you’re trying to make money off your passion, you’ll blame your passion for all your problems.
Someone once asked me if my ultimate goal was to make a lot of money with my Music. I told them “If I wanted to make money, I’d get a job.” Which is exactly what you need to do. Get a job. Separate your passion from all financial responsibilities. Being successful with your passion has nothing to do with money.
Do it for yourself. . .
I make Music that I want to hear. I’ve finished five albums and a lot more individual tracks that I listen to it all the time. I think that’s amazing. I could care less what anyone thinks about my Music. I know if it’s good or not and that’s all I care about. My ultimate goal each time I produce a new song is that I’ll enjoy it enough to keep it in rotation.
Let it define you.
Instead of letting your job or career define who you are, let your passion do it instead. Tell people you’re a Musician, Artist, Painter, or Composer when they ask what you do for a living. People only ask follow up questions about money when you tell them about your career because their isn’t anything else that is interesting to them about your job.
I’m a programmer which I find immensely interesting but most of my friends and family have no idea what a programmer does. If I tell someone I’m a musician that records albums at home they can usually put together a better response than “Oh yea? . . how much they paying you over there?” which ultimately leads to a much better conversation and a much better representation of who you are.
You’ll be able to live life as the person you actually are instead of the person you want others to see. People will respect you for pursuing your passion so intently. And you shouldn’t care about the ones who don’t because other peoples opinions and emotions can’t effect our passion one bit.
If you’d like to check out my passion for Music, you can listen for free at https://www.reverbnation.com/etdeubner — If you have any questions about my Musical journey or would like to share stories about your own passion driven life, please leave a comment, send a message or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org — Thanks so much for reading!