Today my day job hit an all-time record for sales, and we still have a month left in the year. It’s awesome. I’m so proud of them. It got me thinking a lot about passion, what we’re taught it is, and what it actually is.
In school I was told some version (over and over and over) of “find something you’re passionate about and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I saw that break a lot of young writers who loved to write but still saw it as a slog. It is a slog. It’s hard every day, and it doesn’t magically become that scene from that one Robin Williams movie about poets. I’m not looking it up.
Same thing about day jobs. It seems like everyone I know is looking for an industry they’re passionate about, and the ones who thought they found it are sometimes bewildered by the continued existence of their stress and anxiety. Shouldn’t that have gone away?
Nah. I’m not going to say I figured it all out, and some days I want to flip my desk over and go home. My specific skills translate to any industry, and I’m a quick learner. I can move around a bit, and here’s the thing. I’m not passionate about my industry. I don’t understand it sometimes. I don’t understand my colleagues who get pumped about spreadsheets. I do NOT want to hear about the new coding rules. Sorry guys.
But my boss is really passionate about it, and I’m really passionate about finding him more speaking engagements. I’m passionate about helping the sales team break their sales records because they’re nice and driven and smart. I’m passionate about one of them finally getting that first million-dollar account. I like what I’m doing, not because it’s personally symbolically significant, but because it’s challenging and I get to be creative and push myself.
Then I get to go home and write. That’s hard too, and it’s stressful, but I’m passionate about making it work.