How do you find your passion? And when you finally discover it, how do you know for sure that it is your calling in life? If someone randomly walks to you and says, “You were born to do this,” would you believe them?
We know Roger Federer was born to play tennis. We also know Leonardo DiCaprio was born to act. We have not a single doubt that J.K. Rowling was born to be a writer.
What were you born to do?
Passion is the endless resource of fuel to keep the fire burning within you. It is the one that keeps you to move forward when things look bleak. Passion is the key, people say, to live a fulfilled life.
To this day, I am still unsure if I was born to write. It is not easy to have complete faith in what you are supposed to be doing. Add different arrays of choices in life to the equation and you will have a very confused Gen Yer. But I knew if I didn’t try to believe I was born to write, I would regret it.
I was reading a book by Jeff Goins about writing. He said many people believe that passion is supposed to be found. He said this was wrong. Passion is supposed to be rediscovered, as there would be many breadcrumbs along the way about who we are supposed to be in this life.
These are the writers who have breadcrumbs. They have the hints. Stephen King wrote short stories when he was seven, or perhaps five. Jon Acuff had his writings turned into a book by his teacher in Primary School. The established writers were those who dreamed about castles under the sea and treasures in the Mayan ruins.
I wasn’t writing short stories. The only writing I did was a handful of cheesy love poems, just like all teenagers who had fallen into puppy loves. I didn’t pick up the pen until I was in university, and by the famous writers’ standard, I might be fifteen years behind.
Sure, I love writing, but is this a feeling that I build on my own or is it more of a natural thing? Sure, people tell me that I definitely have a gift, but is it enough?
Self-doubt. You wonder if this is just a fling or the real deal. Is it love, is it passion, or is it just merely infatuation?
The funny thing about success stories is we have always tried to find a piece of ourselves in them. Like, when I read Jeff Goins’ definition of being a writer, I try to see myself in it and figure out if I can fit. And then when we figure out that we have different beginnings than theirs, we doubt. I did. I do. I wonder how, when, and where could I call myself a writer. I want validation. I need it.
But here’s another secret: Your beginnings and your life stories will always be different. Stop comparing yours to theirs.
Remember the story of my interview with a senior who landed a job a year after he graduated?
“Your beginning will always be different than theirs,” he said. And it’s true.
No matter how much you try to compare your beginnings to other people who have made a name for themselves, it will always be different. Yes, there may be some similarities, but truth is your story is yours alone.
And just because it’s different to theirs, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Over time I try to reconcile with myself that I didn’t have that fifteen years to kickstart my career in writing. I stop convincing myself that I am a writer and just write instead.
I simply believe.
Photo by chiarashine