Today Mom showed me this article she read by Elizabeth Gilbert, who talks about the concept of “finding your passion” and the rigidity lying behind that thought process.
The article revolved around how these days’ people are classified into two categories, ones that have found their calling, and second are those who are yet to find it. A lot of emphasis is always put on finding your true calling, finding your passion, finding something you love, etc.
While there are people who instantly know what they are meant to do, there are also a lot of people who are yet to know what they love and live for.
There was a time when I too used to run around wondering what I love. I have never known my passion. I used to fly around like a bee around different flowers, jumping from one flower to the next, trying my hand out at different things. But I would lose interest and then move on to the next. Somehow a year ago I realized that my hobby (art) was actually what I loved doing the most, and finally today, I am at peace with myself. It was a slow process of a hobby culminating into passion and then becoming my career.
Gilbert has classified people into two types, the jackhammers and the hummingbirds.
Jackhammers are people who are have found their passion; they are focused, and constantly immersed into their work. But hummingbirds are different. They are not sure what their passion is, hence they are eternally curious.
Here is Gilbert’s description.
"Hummingbirds spend their lives doing it very differently. They move from tree to tree, from flower to flower, from field to field, trying this, trying that," Gilbert says. "Two things happen: They create incredibly rich, complex lives for themselves, and they also end up cross-pollinating the world."
While jackhammers may be built for , hummingbirds provide the world with a very different service.
"Hummingbird person: You bring an idea from here to over here, where you learn something else and you weave it in, then you take it here to the next thing you do," Gilbert says.
I liked the way she has given a name and an identity to these people. Why should those without a fix passion be considered less, or be called “unsure” about their life and purpose. There is nothing wrong in not knowing what your passion is. Life is too short; hence I feel it is good to try out as many things as you want. End of the day my motto is “do what makes your soul happy”.
Sometimes I also feel that having a set passion is stressful.
I am mostly always under a lot of pressure when it comes to my art, especially my commissions. Due to the expectation of good work all the time, I falter under the stress. It is very overwhelming. I absolutely love my work, but there is always this voice in my head stressing me out that I need to do better, I need to work harder, I need to strive and excel.
I have never been competitive, but sometimes your passion forces you to strive harder and be better. You start comparing yourself to others in your field; there I feel we go wrong. The complete purity and sanctity of your passion starts to diminish when you start the game of comparison and competition. It’s easy for this stress to affect your work and make the “fun” fly away from your passion.
So it’s a thin line actually. I am learning now to keep a balance. I avoid comparing my work to anyone. I give myself credit where I need to and I now know when to push myself to do better.
Hence trust me, always being a jackhammer is not the best, being a hummingbird has its own beauty.
So if you find that one thing that makes you happy, then good, you are lucky. But if not, that’s ok too. Do a hundred things that make you happy. Whatever grows your soul should be done. May it be travelling, art, movies, beauty, photography, food, etc.
There is a magnanimous amount of opportunities present and new experiences to feel. Sometimes I feel even one life is not enough to experience everything. There is just so much to see and do.
Here is another wonderful thing she said,
"If you're willing to just release yourself from the pressure and the anxieties surrounded by passion, and you just humbly and faithfully continue to follow the trail of the hummingbird path... one of these days, you just might look up and realize, 'Oh, my word, I am exactly where I'm meant to be,'" Gilbert says. "In other words, if you can let go of 'passion' and follow your curiosity, your curiosity just might you to your passion."