Advertising
Advertising

Why Finding Your Passion is a Myth

Why Finding Your Passion is a Myth


    We all have read a lot of articles on how to find your passion in life. From personality tests and questionnaires to life experiences and career advice, even I left no avenue untouched.

    They say to look for hints around you, ask your friends and family for advice and put yourself out there, open to new experiences that take you outside your comfort zone and I’ve got to admit, I’ve done it all. I’ve even managed to dissect my personality into numerous letter codes like INFP and INTP, but even these weren’t good enough to satisfy my hunger to know it all.

    For the most of us, discovering our passions isn’t as easy as getting a degree or finding a job. It’s a rather tiring and patience enduring process, with absolutely no assurance that you’ll get somewhere, or anywhere as a matter of fact.

    Advertising

    Though what struck me the other day was the fact that for all these years I’ve been searching for my passion. I’ve been trying to find clues and road maps, how to guides or even a magic wand that gives me all the directions I need. Somehow the present me has been trying to find the future me, not create it.

    But how can I find something that doesn’t exist yet?

    It’s like having all the colors on your palette and a blank canvas in front of you while you simply sit still, waiting for the painting to appear.

    Sounds silly doesn’t it? But that’s the rut a lot of us are stuck in. We are constantly in search of something not realizing that all the pieces of the puzzle are within us. We can choose to put them together how ever our hearts desire, for the first time, there are no wrong answers.

    Advertising

    Different colors on our palette are simply the things we love vs. the things we absolutely despise. We know what makes us smile and what makes our heart ache instead. Our blank canvas is our entire life ahead of us starting from this very moment, simply waiting for us to fill it with our favourite colors making it what ever we want it to be.

    Therefore after years of running around in circles and being disheartened over and over again, it finally hit me: I can be whoever I want to be. A magician, dancer, research scientist, barista, graffiti artist or a bear hugger — anything. Anything at all.

    Yes, we all have limitations. And we have responsibilities to fulfill. But where’s the challenge and the thrill of accomplishment if the road is too easy, right? The problem arises when we feel stuck within and are unable to identify what it is that our heart truly desires.

    Here are 3 quick and simple ways to overcome the self critique and the endless chatter in your mind and start listening to your true self. You don’t have to do them all, just pick one or alternate from one to another.

    Advertising

    Write Everyday

    It’s called garbage writing by some and that’s precisely what it really is. This is a simple way to let the clutter out of your overworked mind once a day. There are no magical revelations to be looked for or some mind boggling truth about the world. Think of it as a mind cleanse, something you do to get rid of the old…and get ready for the new.

    Date Yourself

    Everyone needs a timeout and so do you. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy a fabulous meal with yourself or a walk by the beach at least once a week. The only rule is that you can not take anyone along. No friends, no acquaintances, only unfamiliar faces are allowed: maybe try something new like a salsa class or a martial art lesson. Its all about doing something you enjoy and having a great time.

    Be Still

    Spend 10 minutes everyday to just be. You don’t have to meditate or pray or do anything for that matter. Don’t even try to control your thoughts, but accept them the way they are. Don’t evaluate, don’t analyse, don’t create and nor should you try to erase them, just let them float through your mind, appearing and disappearing into thin air.

    These are some fabulous techniques to open the communication channel between the worldly you and soulful you, two of which are also suggested by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. All you need to do is pay closer attention to yourself and what is innately you will emerge from in between all the clutter.

    Advertising

    Just like wizards, magic exists in our fingertips. What colors are you going to add to your canvas today?

    (Photo credit: Empty Treasure Chest via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    11 Health Benefits of Black Tea that You Didn’t Know About Top 5 Things The Dying Do Not Regret Rush Hour Traffic: Get Through it Collision and Stress-Free All You Have to Do is Ask 4 Ways to Quickly Rid Yourself of Too Much Stress

    Trending in Lifestyle

    1 10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult 2 10 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Workout Motivation 3 How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck 4 8 Best Multivitamins For Men, Women And Kids 5 42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on November 9, 2020

    10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

    10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

    Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

    Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

    Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

    If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

    Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

    1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

    Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

    Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

    Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

    2. No Motivation

    Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

    Advertising

    This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

    If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

    3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

    Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

    A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

    A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

    The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

    4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

    One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

    We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

    Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

    Advertising

    You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

    5. Upward Comparisons

    Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

    The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

    These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

    Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

    6. No Alternative

    This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

    Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

    Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

    Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

    Advertising

    7. Stress

    As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

    When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

    We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

    If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

    8. Sense of Failure

    People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

    Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

    Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

    If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

    9. The Need to Be All-New

    People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

    Advertising

    These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

    10. Force of Habit

    Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

    Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

    These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

    Final Thoughts

    These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

    There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

    More on Breaking Bad Habits

    Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
    [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
    [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

    Read Next