How many careers do you plan on having in your life?
How many passions can you turn into a profession in one lifetime?
Are we really bound to one single profession from our first chosen path to the rest of our days?
The Sense of Urgency
I used to think that the rest of my life may have something to do with engineering, just to be faithful to my schooling. Then I used to wonder whether my career is bound by the offerings within the corporate walls. Now I see the world far more clearly than that limited point of view. Experience and time shifts your perspectives and sooner or later (sooner being the much preferred one here), the passions left unexplored demand your attention and the gaping holes of your heart can go unheeded no more. You can no longer put off dreams of your burning desires and your unquenchable curiosities. You are finally ready to seriously pursue a passion, a hobby, a budding new profession against all odds. The waiting is over and the new beginning is here.
This April, with the passing of yet another birthday, I could hear the chimes of an internal clock pleading with me in playful tones, waking me up to a new sense of urgency and warning me of the bitter taste of regret – the regret of things left undone when the sun has set on my best days in this life. There is no better guide in life than our own powerful intuition. I threw up my hands in a delight and instantly made a decision to pursue my love of photography and see it through as a future profession someday, a decision which has been pure satisfaction to my soul, music to my ears and a breath of fresh air for my lungs, even in its super early formation. The demons which I had to dispel were not easy but a high dosage of confidence, even if shaken later, is enough to set us out on a brand new path.
How Many Passions to Pursue?
The question which begs attention then is how many passions can one truly pursue in one lifetime? After all, dreams are grandiose and on some perfect days, we feel on top of the world and the impossible seems ever so practical but then we “come to our senses” and realize only so much can be accomplished, “realistically speaking”. We put up the bars which block our vision and we go back to our routines (which take up so much of our time!) and we shut the door to outrageous ideas like pursuing a passion or finding a new profession altogether!
Remember only that in those very practical terms, many smart yet ordinary people have accomplished several – some a dozen – careers in one lifetime and yes, they have been reasonably adept at all of them. They are not prodigy children, they did not come of wealth and fortune, and they were not all my beloved artists and scientists from the Italian Renaissance. They simply refuse to accept the term “practical” in their mad desire to carry out a plan of a lifetime and so should we!
So get to know yourself first. If you have a single passion, pursue it relentlessly. If you have more, do not immediately compromise on one or the other for sake of practicality. Some of your passions will come front and center more than others but to deny yourself at least a taste of each is to not truly know yourself in the course of this fabulous life. Instead, consider them all, shift your life around a bit to feed each and watch the seeds of your labor grow slowly and steadily over time. My passions know no shame and understand no limits – blogging and writing are still a deep passion, yoga is ever a burning desire from my sanctum and there is no tiring of my language pursuits, traveling and Argentine tango. Photography for me ties this altogether perfectly; it not only quenches a wild curiosity to develop my talent and see abilities through – whatever the results may be – it will also enable me to explore my creative and artistic side and still put to use my analytical and engineering skills to master the technical side.
We put the limitations on ourselves and we are the only ones who can lift them. What are you waiting to pursue next – and why the wait?
Passion as a Hobby or Profession – or Both?
Where is that blurry line when a passion crosses from a hobby to a profession? Is it important to even define it? Does income make all the difference?
As we well know, sometimes, a profession can earn only respect and praise and a hobby can bring in a lot of cash so the definition is up to us. I define it with the depth of skill and mastery. If you could teach your passion to other, you have most likely crossed over the grounds of a hobby and are playing with the big boys. The more refined your talent and skill sets, the closer you are to establishing a profession and a new career from the seeds of your passion. No matter, remember that whether a passion turns into a profession or remains a hobby, it is no less a passion and no less important to pursue.
I am teaching myself photography with aspiration of turning it into a profession someday. A traditional photography school and courses are out of the question at this time for me but see if that will stop me from learning how to be the best photographer I shall be! The resources available to us on the web and around us in society are unmatched to those even a decade ago. The world of learning has turned upside down with the explosion of social sharing of information – and my gratitude cannot be grander as this amazing opportunity makes it entirely possible for all of us to independently learn our passions and teach ourselves the necessary skills to thrive.
How to Know a Passion from a Passing Fancy?
You know the professionals do not intimidate you; they simply inspire you!
You study the works of the pros and aspire to follow in their footsteps!
You listen to the advice of others but no one can tell you to quit it for the world!
You take your work, your art, your passion seriously – even if no one else does!
You think of a vacation or a weekend away with ways to feed your passion!
You hardly care how long you spend learning about it and teaching yourself the details of each skill set!
Your face lights up when you find another who shares your passion!
You learn the lingo. Yes, it may be silly to outsiders but to those on your field, it is the way people communicate!
You save up for your tools of trade and consider it an investment not an expense!
You reap a deep and undeniable satisfaction from it and every fiber of your being knows that this is no passing fancy!
Whether we choose to accept or deny it, in reality we all have plenty of time to learn and develop any passion into a career with some planning and forethought but not without great perseverance. I am taking my photography to the next level relentlessly. What about you?
The certainty that life cannot be long, and the probability that it will be much shorter than nature allows, ought to awaken every man to the active prosecution of whatever he is desirous to perform.