A Peek Behind the Curtain: Passion

I get these digest e-mails from Quora twice a day now. It’s kind of exhausting, but sometimes a nice little distraction. Other times, like fresh roadkill, I can’t look away. I know I should just delete the stupid thing, but then I wonder if there could possibly be a nugget of insight… in what often turns out to be a vacuous response to an inane question. (I’m looking at you, “What am I supposed to do in my 20’s?” Maybe I should respond, “live, laugh, love.”)

But this response to the question below struck a chord with me.

Why am I not ‘passionate’ about anything?

People always say follow your passion or discover it. I say “Ever since I’ve been young, I haven’t loved anything as much- educational or noneducational.” So what? I’ve done everything from drawing, coding, investing, building,filming and I do sort of like it- but not passionate about it.

Of course, most of the answers are cliché, but the bit about the little sister who dropped passions quicker than she picked them up (as soon as she discovered she was going to have to put in a little work) made me realize how naïve it is to expect to be head over heels about anything for a sustained period of time without putting some effort into it. On top of that, it might take a little bit of effort to identify a passion in the first place! That’s my own failing point - I can stick things out like nobody’s business, but most of my life so far I’ve been too indifferent to choose that one thing to focus my energy toward.

Well, now I’ve found it. And no, it’s not such a slam dunk, and it’s tough, and sometimes it’s a little boring, and sometimes I feel like I’m kidding myself and that I’ll never do anything that really matters, but I have to power through because it’s probably the last chance I’ve got to do something really cool with my career and at some point you just have to pick something and stick with it. I realize this now, after the fact - after the Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree fell into my lap.

I guess I’m venturing into the cliché, myself, but… whatever.