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Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Importance of Passion

Despite the fact that I'm only in my mid twenties, I have had a fair few jobs over the years. I've worked in bars, shops, libraries, hospitals, and I've also had a variety of jobs overseas. But there has only been one job that I have been truly passionate about: writing.

I have always written. Mainly just for fun but my book's readers will know that I kept a diary while travelling Australia, and I did this to keep the memories vivid.

I think most people will agree with me that you always excel in things you are passionate about. You have a constant stream of enthusiasm and feel the urge to keep working on the projects you know you need a rest from. But you're so passionate about whatever it is that you're doing, you never want a break from it because you will miss it too much.

This is how I feel about writing. I do have the occasional day off from time to time because without it, my brain would explode, but I'm never far away from writing for that long. Sometimes I wish I had the passion for other areas of my life as I have with writing because if that were the case, I could probably take over the world! OK... maybe that's a little extreme but you get my point.

I see other people in what I call 'normal' jobs. These people usually work for someone else and they see what they do as just a job that will pay their bills. Their job is just a way of receiving income so they have a house to live in, food in their stomach, and clothes on their back.

But one thing is missing from their life - the ingredient that makes people feel happy: Passion.

If you feel passionate about your job, it's almost inevitable that you'll do well in it. You'll want to put 100% effort in all of the time because you enjoy what you do. People who see their jobs as only being that are more likely to feel lethargic about things. They don't get the same level of enjoyment because they're not passionate about what they do. Of course, there are times when I struggle to write but that doesn't happen often - 95% of the time it's great.

Even if you don't earn a fortune from the job that you do, if you enjoy it then it makes all the difference. I know I'd rather have a low paid job that I loved rather than a high paid job that I hated.

So... what are your thoughts on this matter?

1 comment:

  1. Passionate is not a word I would generally use when talking about myself. Us cerebral types are not known for our passions. We prefer words like ‘dedication’ and ‘commitment’ but that’s really me avoiding the issue. I, too, have had a variety of jobs in my life and despite their diversity I have always excelled at whatever I have done and there’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from being good at something. My approach to jobs was always the same and that was to impose as much of myself on the role as possible, to make the job my own, which is how I made them bearable.

    Nowadays our circumstances have changed and I no longer have to work as long as we live frugally which we do. I can devote all my spare time to my writing which is hours and hours every day. Writing has now become a job of work and, of course, I approach it with the same seriousness as I did all my other jobs. I’m still not comfortable with the word ‘passionate’ though. I’m getting to do what I imagined I always wanted to do. Of course now it is effectively a fulltime job a lot of the glamour has gone and I think that’s one reason why I feel at odds with describing how I feel about my writing as a passion because my experience of other passions is that they lose their intensity and often very quickly. If passion alone was what brought my wife and I together I’m sure we would have parted company a long time ago. Passion is a great motivator, the thrust you need you get you off your arse, but once the momentum is going then I’m not sure how much passion plays. It’s all semantics of course. I still get a great deal of pleasure from writing even writing a simple comment like this and I can’t see that ever dissipating but it’s a quiet pleasure the same kind of pleasure I get sitting here listening to Prokofiev and watching my wife on the couch opposite moving her feet in tune to the music.