Struggling in finding a purpose or your passion? You are not alone.

Today I asked myself what I really want to do in my life. Well is a question that I often ask myself and still the answer is elusive. I was browsing on TED.com in search for some ideas and I got to this video that now I am shearing with you. Is from Larry Smith, professor of economics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, and, says his bio, helping students finding a career that they really love.

Why you will fail to have a great career

In this inspiring (and funny) talk, Larry Smith starts listing numerous reasons why one fails in having a great career, for example:

  • Blame it on lack of luck: great careers come from a lucky moment, being in the right moment in the right time doing the right thing..
  • Geniuses are the one that can succeed in having a good career, I am not a genius.
  • Weird people are the one with great career, people with a strong passion and the strength to pursue it, the one whom would do anything to succeed. I am not one of them, I am not weird, I am normal, I am nice..

Maaan, how many times did I say or hear this stuff. Excuses, excuses, excuses..

Finding your passion

From the topic of passion, comes in my opinion, the best part of the talk. Finding my passion is something I am working on in my life now (and for a while) and I am really thankful to have found this talk (it didn’t help me finding my passion, but gave me a different point of view about it). Passion, in not the same of interest. Having an interest is something, you can have many, but is just something you like to do and maybe do every once in a while. Passion, your passion, is the one thing you love, the one thing you can’t stop doing or thinking about. Is something that can engage you more than anything else. Finding the passion of your life means you won’t settle for interesting, you will keep looking until you find the one thing you love.

But finding you passion is not enough, because, according to Smith, there is still the possibility to fail. Because, he says, “you are not going to do it” (pursuing your passion). Why? Because at this point it come a new excuse, one that involves human relationship. Yes, you may say, I would love to pursue my passion, but I prefer to be a great friend, a great spouse and a great parent. I can’t do both, I will have to chose and I value human relationship more than anything. Guess what: there is a big possibility that the bitterness that comes from not pursuing your passion, will influence all the human relationships you think you value. I think you need to be in peace with you passion to be able to live your life fully, to feel satisfied and this is the only way to embrace joy and human relationship. We all have that bitter friend that is always anti, grumpy and not really sociable (I am one, we probably all are when we don’t feel in peace with our passion).

Smiths gives an example that I find very powerful.

You know what will happen someday, [to] you ideal parent? The kid [your kid] will come to you someday and say, “I know what I want to be. I know what I’m going to do with my life.”
You are so happy. It’s the conversation a parent wants to hear, because your kid’s good in math,and you know you’re going to like what comes next.
Says your kid, “I have decided I want to be a magician.I want to perform magic tricks on the stage. “And what do you say? You say: “That’s risky, kid.Might fail, kid. Don’t make a lot of money at that, kid.I don’t know, kid, you should think about that again, kid. You’re so good at math, why don’t you –”
The kid interrupts you and says, “But it is my dream. It is my dream to do this. “And what are you going to say? You know what you’re going to say? “Look kid. I had a dream once, too, but — But –“So how are you going to finish the sentence with your “but”? “But. I had a dream too, once, kid, but I was afraid to pursue it.” Or are you going to tell him this: “I had a dream once, kid. But then, you were born.”

This was so powerful for me, powerful enough to put me at the laptop to write down a post on the blog after so many months. Because this busy life I am living in is the life that one day might bring me to that moment, when my kid will give me his precious vision of his future and I may screw it up for ever. And what’s the cause? FEAR. You (I) are afraid of pursue your passion. All this will happen if you and me will not face this fear, accept it and overcome it. But we are afraid, and that is why we are not going to have a great career according to Smith (and my guts as well).

Unless.

Unless, Smiths goes on, is a very evocative word that goes often with the phrase “if only I had“. Well if that phrase is in your mind, and often is in my too, then there is something that needs to be done. Is time to find our passion and start pursuing it. From that can come a great career, but more importantly, a joyful and whole life.

So, there are many reason why you may fail at having a great career,

unless..

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