There once was a man with a lovely family who had a job that made him rich. He worked late every weekday and on many Saturdays, obsessed with keeping his family wealthy. He waited with bated breath for the day when he could enjoy the luxuries he’d worked so hard for, while his family just wanted to spend time with him. He always said, “someday,” someday he would rest and appreciate life outside of the windowless world of work, full of unhappy, faceless people.
That day never came. Before he retired, he died. His family was well taken care of, but they had never wished for anything more than to have had more time with him and he, his last thought was one of regret. He had everything he could have ever wanted, but he never appreciated any of it, for he’d convinced himself that the work he hated was his passion, because it produced what was supposed to give him and his family happiness: money.
The cliche saying, “money does not buy happiness” is well known. However, we often brush the thought off, perhaps because of its overuse. Money does buy a bit of happiness. It provides food and security. It’s naive to say it doesn’t. However, if we work a 9 to 5 every day of the week, and we’re miserable, that is a huge chunk of our life we are spending unsatisfied. Is the extra money worth the extra unhappiness?
Beyond, obviously, finding a job with a livable wage, it is important that we do not forget what makes us tick, what brings joy to our hearts, and what we want to spend time on, long after the sun goes down. Our passions.
Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life-Ray Bradbury
Without passion, we are not following our happiness and without happiness, we do not find peace easily. We also are faced with a lack of motivation when we do not enjoy our work. Without motivation, we have less incentive to do the job well, and without doing the job well, we aren’t given the satisfaction of a productive day. All of this can combine to produce a depressing effect, for many thrive on being needed and doing something meaningful with their life.
If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion-Mia Hamm
Sometimes following our passions has to be separate from work, but it should never be completely divorced.
For example, I love creative writing. That is what I like to do in my free time and what I imagine myself doing if I had no other responsibilities. However, realistically, I can’t write novels full time when I graduate. If I’m lucky, that’s the long-term goal, but I need to settle for a job that is more attainable right now. However, I can still find a job that relates, such as advertising, and journalism. Both are centered around writing, creativity, and telling a story, just in a different context.
Everyone has a passion, whether they know it or not. Sometimes it takes a while to find that passion, but when it is found, it should be neither forgotten nor ignored.
Emily Rose, a senior in high school, knows her passion. It is volleyball. For more than five years she played volleyball, through middle school and high school. She knows it will be difficult to pursue her passion after graduating from high school, but her love for it will ensure she never stops playing.
“I loved volleyball because of the feelings it gave me,” she said. “In the game you’re scared, frustrated,excited, high on adrenaline and nervous.” The idea of feeling so many things seems overwhelming and almost scary. But I know that feeling well. It’s not one only found in sports, I believe everyone feels that intense surge of emotions when they are experiencing their passion. When someone read a short story I’d written and told me that they loved it, I felt all of those feelings and it was incredible.
Rose continued, “you’re on top of the world but at the same time you’re at the bottom. It’s everything at once.” To be both at the top, because you’re doing what you love, while also at the bottom, because of the incredible vulnerability that comes with the concern of failing something you adore doing, is scary but worth it.
I implore you to make sure that, in some way, you work with your passion. And if you don’t know what you passion is, fight to find it. Knowing what you love is worth it, because peace and happiness is found, I truly believe, in our passions.