Find Your Passion By Breaking the Rules
I’ve been reading this wonderful book called Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. Although it is geared toward writers, anyone looking to discover their authentic writing style will find this book helpful.
In particular, the chapter titled The Goody-Two-Shoes Nature can be a source of inspiration to many. In it, Goldberg urges that you NOT to write every day because that is what you SHOULD DO to become a better writer.
Instead, she suggests,
“Rather than following rules, have a friendliness toward existence.”
What if you thought about this in relation to discovering your purpose.
Rules are put in place to keep people safe. Think of “Do Not Enter” or “Beware of Dog” signs. The same can be true of our chosen career paths. When we’re deciding what we want to do in life we often go down a path without giving serious thought to where it will lead. Our parents encourage us to be a doctor or our friends think being an archeologist is lame. So we pick something that will make us lots of money or make us infamous. Then one day we wake up and realize we aren’t enjoying life anymore.
However, having a “friendliness toward existence” implies that there is safety already in place.
When you feel safe you’ll be more willing to do things you would normally be too afraid to do. Nowadays, we have a full range of career options open to us. We can explore biology and law and agriculture and psychology. And as civilization advances, there are even more career paths to discover. We no longer have to stay in one subject.
If you’re following the traditional rules, blindly walking down a path that you HOPE will bring you safety and security couldn’t you be missing out on finding your passion?
- What if you took a different approach?
- What if you ventured off the path intentionally and made up your own rules?
- Do you think you’d still be doing what you’re doing now?
Try this exercise to help you find your passion:
Take 30 minutes right now to explore something that you’ve always been fascinated about. Open up Google, go talk to a friend or visit a bookstore if you have to.
Today I learned about product management. Boring to some but crazy fascinating to me.
Do you think breaking the rules is key to finding your passion? What new discovery did you make today?
Let me know in the comments below.