Latimer: Matching a passion in life with your career
Maybe it sounds trite, but the way you spend the majority of your time is the best indicator both of what you are passionate about and what direction your life is heading.
A lot of lip service is paid to the notion of ‘following your dreams’ or ‘pursuing a passion.’
We all have the idea that life would be great if we could make a living doing the thing we love most.
Unfortunately, those who simply repeat these cliché phrases often do not emphasize the most important step in this journey—effort.
Many times, simply the idea of following a dream or passion can be the place where the journey stops.
Over the course of our lives, we may have many things or activities we feel passionate about. One of the great things about being human is our capacity for curiosity and interest in a variety of areas.
Mostly, we become interested in something, dabble with it for a while and then move on to the next thing.
If you want to be successful at something, you must put in a lot of hard work. The more time you spend at it, the better you’ll become.
When you are good at something, you are more likely to become increasingly passionate about it and the positive feedback loop continues.
More effort equals more passion equals more effort. The two must go hand in hand if you expect to truly pursue your ‘passion.’
Of course, we often do spend a lot of time and effort on things we do not feel passionate about or even enjoy. Many people get into a job they are not suited for and work hard at it for years without increasing their enjoyment.
Even with relative success, life can become pretty miserable when you spend the majority of your time doing something you don’t like.
In these instances, a little bit of career or life counselling can go a long way. When choosing what you will spend your time on, choose wisely.
You’ll need to assess where you have strengths, what subjects interest you and how you might turn these strengths and interests into a viable career. Will it involve hard work every day?
Yes—and if you’re working hard toward something you feel is worthwhile, you will look forward to the hard work rather than resenting it and simply wishing you were doing something else.
If you are in a job you truly don’t enjoy, maybe it’s time to do some serious research, education or professional career counselling to consider a switch.
Then the cliché could become reality and with some focused and sustained effort, you could find yourself passionate about your work.
Paul Latimer is a psychiatrist and president of Okanagan Clinical Trials.