One of the phrases I heard the most in the recent years is "Follow your passion".
(listen to the same song I enjoyed to when writing this article)
It's such an easy thing to say. When you've found something you love and others ask how they can find it too, you just say "follow your passion," like it was that simple for you.
But really, it's bullshit. Follow your passion doesn't mean anything. Because what if I don't have a passion yet? What even is a passion? Do I need to have one? Telling someone to "follow their passion" is essentially saying, "Well I don't know, it's your problem lol." It's a lazy and misleading answer.
For the last few years, I've been trying to ask myself better questions. I stopped searching for my passion and just starting doing things I like. It's easy to do things you like, because you just do them.
As a kid I never thought deeply about my passions. I started skateboarding because it was fun, and then I stopped because it wasn't fun anymore. I wasn't thinking much about my decision, I just did the things I enjoyed doing. I did the things that excited me. But then somewhere along the way I grew up, I became an adult and life became pretty f*cking serious. Now it was all about finding my passion, especially one that pays my monthly bills (and that even sounds like a luxury to most).
Today I ask myself a new question: What excites me? What excites you? Personally, I find this question way easier to answer than trying to nail down my one and only passion.
I recently watched this documentary about Paul Newman and his life as an actor and race car driver. Paul Newman was already an established actor in the movie industry when he agreed to a role in a new racing movie called "Winning" in 1968. He took racing lessons for the first time in his life and it went straight to his heart. He was excited. So excited that he starting racing professionally.
He was so excited that he couldn't think of anything else anymore. He forced movie producers to re-schedule entire movie productions because racing came first for him. Paul was knowingly putting his acting career at risk. He went on to win countless races and even built his own racing team while trying to juggle his acting career at the same time. Still, you could always see that racing came first to him. It was what excited him the most.
Arnold Schwarzenegger grew up in a small village in Austria as a normal middle-class family kid. In his spare time, he had fun working out with his friends by a lake close to his house. His excitement for working out led him to become one of the worlds most famous bodybuilders. But at the height of his bodybuilding career, Arnold changed his mind to pursue a career in acting.
The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent. —Arnold Schwarzenegger
Fast forward: At the height of his acting career (which you can actually say he had two, one for action, one for comedy) he changed his mind again to pursue politics, and ultimately become governor of California. You can say what you want about Arnold, but being at the top of three completely different industries only shows how much Arnold believed in doing what excites him.
Of course, these are rare and over the top examples, but those are the ones that inspire me to always keep asking: What excites me? And next time you meet someone new, instead of asking them what they do for a living, or what their life plans are, ask them what excites them. You will be surprised how different the answer will be to what you usually get in return.