Should there be a demarcating line between passion and a day job? Aren’t we, as apostles of the post modern age of today, learn to select and live with the choice. In other words, live the choice?
In modern times still, the choice is not much of a guarantee. Especially in a text book driven society like India. This all is said with financial constraints only in mind. The Indian mentality is mostly shaped by the burden of loans and the interest itself has interest attached. The sum total is negation of wants.
Why not unburden yourself from the hangup?? Why not shake it all off and follow your passion? Why not make your passion your day job per se?
A common argument holds truth when one says that when the day job is not the passion, then there is lack of depth of commitment. Money is the main draw. Money is what acts as the trap for many to give up ones passion to pursue something half heartedly.
The equation then stands of happiness vs reality vs passion.
To follow a more optimistic line of thought, we can even say that in the pursuit of happiness, we might end up seeking out new unexplored territories or “passion projects” to explore the reality. These little projects shape the character and bring us closer to realizing our dreams. One step closer to making happiness a reality.
The suggestion that usually gets made is, “just get a regular job”. But I don’t want a “regular job”. These are the jobs that are usually referred to as the 40-40 club.
Forty hours a week for forty years, then retirement. Then a pat on the pack on off you go. Some may find it hard to be truly passionate about regular jobs, and without passion it’s hard for happiness to follow.
Therefore many strongly believe that if you follow your passion then happiness does become a reality
Imagine there are 2 scenarios. In scene 1, you get to pursue your passion, but it is not so lucrative.
While you love every minute of pursuing your passion and you get so much fulfillment out of it, you find it hard to concentrate on this path when you have to face real, monetary limitations. Money to pay the bills, money to do other things you love, money to live in a sufficient manner. This is the scenario of the starving artist, if you may.
In scene 2, you remain in your lucrative job with great prospects, but you do not hold a passion for the work. You get by working from day to day by blocking out your real inner desires. The numbness you feel is drowned out by the extrinsic benefits that your job offers, such as an attractive benefits package which allows you to acquire material goods and live in luxury, prestige and awe that comes from being associated with the company, etc. However, these are temporal gratifications and you feel empty inside in the long run.
What should we do here? Both options have its own sets of pros and cons. Both options leave us unsatisfied in some manner. Scenario A lets us be fulfilled emotionally, but not in terms of material needs.
Scenario B lets us be fulfilled on the material level, but not emotionally.
The answer is: It’s not an either or situation; it’s ‘and’. There is a Scene 3 where we can meet our all our needs.
So if the scenario exists, how do we get there? How do we achieve it?
The idea is not to limit oneself.
The reason why people commonly narrow it down to between passion or money is because of what they see around them. If we are to look towards the world for outlets which meets our passion and needs, we will find sub-optimal solutions. Such as a teaching job that pays little. Non-profit organizations laden with bureaucracy and poor practices that lead to our mental atrophy. Nearly non-existent paths for passions like art and music. The bleakness of the situation is further emphasized by real life examples, such as artists who experience dwindling sales for their galleries, musicians who work hard on their music career with limited success, etc.
Don’t limit yourself by what you see in this world. And don’t limit yourself by what people around you say or think either, be it your mentors, teachers, family, friends, peers, or whoever. I’m not saying not to listen to them; but rather, not to restrict yourself based on what others tell you. You are an individual with your own unique set of needs. If you are to relegate it to the real world to provide you with the outlet to meet all your needs, you are not going to find fully satisfactory answers. The real world is only going to have opportunities that reflect others’ needs and can meet your needs in a certain manner. Your own needs can only be fully met by creating your own opportunities.
Your options are only as limited as you let them be. If you feel your passion is less than lucrative than your day job, it is because you define it to be that way. If your passion is not a viable full time career, it is because you choose it to be so. If your passion cannot meet your material needs, it is because you think it to be so.
We can start off by becoming aware of all your needs that you have. While it is common to consider just passion and money, we have needs beyond those two segments we should factor in.
There are 4 key aspects that comprise us as humans: Mind, Heart, Body, Soul. For each of these aspects, it has its own set of needs that need to be met for us to live the fullest life we desire.
Be true to yourself. Be true to what you want and who you are. Be your life’s own architect and design your vision.
Lastly be as liberal as you can be. You should realize what are the barriers to your dream monetizing and convert barriers to key elements of success.
Success and happiness comes from self belief and wiping off of ones own inner demons- ones own mental blocks.
Take control of your life and let the passion be your platform for excellence.