Recently, I checked this LinkedIn survey while I was just scrolling through my feed, which asked if given a chance would you continue in the career that you currently are in or do something else. While a big 65% still said yes, they would continue on the same path including me, there was a sizeable 35% which voted for change – that is, they would change tracks and pursue something else. I think this is the big change in mindset post-COVID and this kind of a two-year pause, or a semi -pause, has really made people reevaluate their careers and probably their entire lives. We are now thinking about what matters the most and how we would like to spend the rest of our lives. So, in this issue, let’s talk a little about what it means to pursue our passion and how to go down that road of discovering what our passion is.
I know that there is a lot that has already been spoken on this topic. There are some very well researched books out there like Ikigai, which talks about finding your calling, or what is called in the Bhagavad Gita as your Swadharma – what is it that you were made for and what’s your essential nature – that which defines you. Loosely translated, what is it that you can immerse yourself into for infinity and not get bored or tired ever! Yes, that does sound like a utopian state to be in but what I mean is to get to a stage which is very close to ideal.
Sometimes we might feel we have multiple passions rather than just one; in my experience, that just requires deeper reflection on our part. This identification is the most critical part of the exercise.
The next step would be to figure out if our passion can ensure livelihood expenses are taken care of and what other impact it may have on other aspects of our life. Sometimes our calling may not seem suitable to our family and friends and they would have their thoughts on its pros and cons. It may be a good idea to bounce it off a few people you trust and then see if you are still 100 percent convinced about your career choice. If yes, you are most likely on the right path.
We recently had a young engineer join us who obviously had a corporate job but would do standup comedy on the side. He realised that it would take time till he could earn enough from his side hustle to go mainstream and maybe that was the right decision for him. This brings me to point three. Once you have figured out what your passion is, and if it doesn’t seem like a feasible core option given any sort of constraints, you can still practise it at leisure until you go full time. Leaving it completely would be injustice to yourself and more so to the ‘passion’.
Hence, find your passion, get convinced and then practice it in partial or full – based on your life stage and needs at that point in time. And there is no right time, right age or right way to go about it. Whatever works for you, make it work. Just don’t give up on it.