The following article was published on Medium.
I would love to sit up here and write to you about how to make millions of dollars doing something you love. Unfortunately for me, I’m not at that threshold of my life yet. But where I am at is the early stages of pursuing a passion while at the same time discovering the daunting grounds that come with monetizing that passion. And although I did write about the horrors you discover when you first start writing, I feel that my message behind that particular article was misconstrued or misunderstood.
Is life the fairy tale story we tend to adopt in our heads? Well no… I believe for the most part we tend to misconstrue those too! Upon closer look, you’ll realize that even the princes and princesses of those fairytales share the same misery we do. Similar to the real world, they too start with the protagonist having it rough while building up to the inevitable fairy tale ending. Because that’s how dreams, passions, and life are supposed to be. You’re supposed to go through the trial and tribulations before getting to the glitz and the glory. And although I did write about the demoralization -or what can be considered a hazing process- when you start writing, I found that in a short period of time, if you work hard and stick to your craft, you will eventually move up the ranks, and become a welcomed member in the club of your pursued passion.
It is just that — a pursuit. And as we try our best to close in on another lap, or stick our hook higher into the mountain so we can get an inch closer to the top, along the way, we will experience that fateful buzzing in our ear. That nagging gnat constantly drilling into our minds the sound of surrender. And that’s the other side of the coin. The side where it would be easier to quit. Not to admit, rather convince yourself that this just isn’t for you. And for those of you wondering -yes, there is a difference.
Admitting something comes after you’ve seen it all, been through it all, where you finally throw your hands up and say to yourself “you know what? I tried.” There is no harm in admitting defeat. Failure is a part of life. But quitting isn’t. And that’s what happens when you quit, you convince yourself that “maybe this isn’t for me.” That proverbial ‘maybe’ is the self-doubt talking. Self-doubt comes as a result of not exhausting every possible outcome and seeing things through to the end. And once that happens then you’ve left room for despair. Quitting might leave you with an instant and momentarily sense of relief. But you’ll soon find out the rough reality. Which is, you will live the rest of your life wondering and fantasizing, trying to find an answer to the ever so somber question -what if?
No one is asking you to quit your day job. It’s all the better if what you do is also what you’re passionate about. But if you find yourself spending your days daydreaming about another job, or of a more creative activity such as art or music, or writing; then you may want to consider investing some time in realizing that daydream. Even if you start with only an hour every day, consider those your baby steps. And who knows maybe that passion does eventually steer you to enough success where it would make sense to leave your job and do what you love. Or worst-case scenario, you stop daydreaming and start looking forward to that hour you’ve put aside every day to practice your newfound hobby.
In the end -and at the risk of sounding cheesy- life is too short. It’s even shorter for those wasting it suppressing their innermost desires just for the momentary sense of relief of not having to face possible failure or ridicule. You can pass on a lot of things in life: a questionable job, taking a trip somewhere, a significant other. But the one thing you absolutely can’t afford to pass on is your passion.
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