The Difference Between Passion and Interest

I have many interests and very few things that I’m passionate about. When I started this blog, I wanted it to be a blog about living life intentionally. About discovering the “whys” in life. However, as I went on and began talking to people in real life they would ask me questions about the things I was doing in my own life – many of my interests – and I figured that if people were asking me about these things they’d likely read about them, so I began posting about my interests.

I thought I was passionate about all of the things I was writing about, but I realized quickly that I didn’t enjoy writing about some of the things I have posted about. Writing became a drag and I wondered whether I should even continue doing it. I decided to take a break.

What I learned during this break is that my passions take on a life of their own when I begin typing. They flow and stir and can’t wait to come out onto the page and show themselves to me. However, my interests are another story – I have to search for them, sometimes they don’t want to come out and sometimes I don’t even enjoying reading about them.

Making Your Passion Your Life’s Work

“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” is a quote that I love. Is that even possible though? Maybe for Beyoncé or Tim Ferriss or Elon Musk, but not for us. We were meant to live in the mediocre, to struggle, to do the work that somebody has to do. Maybe you’re doing work that you are interested in. I know I was prior to starting this blog and freelancing.

But interests don’t make you jump out of bed every morning. They don’t make your soul dance and your heart sing. I think it was Prince Ea who said in one of his videos that “kinda” is one of the most dangerous places you can be. To be lukewarm about something. He used the example of telling your spouse you were kinda in love with them. Unless you want to get slapped, you should be passionately in love with your spouse. Passion is what drives us, what fuels us in the long run when we think we have nothing left to give.

Some people are serial daters – jumping from one boyfriend to the next. I was a serial job seeker. In the ten years since I graduated from college I never stayed at a job longer than three years. Each time I got a new job it seemed so promising. I was always in awe at first, but after a few months when the honeymoon phase was over it was just another job. The problem wasn’t necessarily the job, just like the problem might not necessarily be the boyfriend. The problem was that I hadn’t discovered my passions (or I was suppressing them) – what would sustain me for the long haul.

“Martin Luther King Didn’t Have a Dream”

In one of my all time favorite videos from Prince Ea, he states that Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t have a dream, that dream had him. When you are passionate about something it has a hold over you. It changes you in ways you could have never dreamed possible. It takes on a life of its own. Instead of telling yourself your dreams are ridiculous or that you need to be more realistic, dare to let your passions lead you.

This is hard for most of us, it has been for me. We have been hardwired to play it safe, to be realists, to come to terms that most of us just aren’t that lucky. Learn to quiet those voices, think against the way you were taught. Once you do that you’ll be amazed at what transpires.

Could Martin Luther King, Jr. have ever predicted his place in history? Did his friends and family truly realize what he was doing at the time? No. When you follow your heart, your passion, you begin to live a life that aligns with exactly who you are. Maybe your passion will lead you to be the next Martin Luther King, Jr. or maybe it will lead you to be the next YOU.

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