Passion for a line of work or a specific field is something you either have or don’t. You cannot fake it. It is something that is naturally already inside of you. It is sometimes an unconscious and automatic action. Of course, you can consciously work toward your passion to expand it and take it to new heights, but something has to already be there at your core and in your heart. You cannot just pull it out of nowhere, you need a starting point.
Passion is something that you radiate to others with little to no effort. You do not have to put on an elaborate show. Those who are active in the field can read you within minutes, while standing a mile away. They know who really cares and who is only in it for the money or another self-centered reason. Even people outside of the field can tell who is really invested in the work. They can sense your energy and where it is directed. You know those name tags that you wear to networking events, conferences, and other social engagements? Passion is something like that. Just like how people can look at your nametag and already know your name without you having to say it, people can observe you in your daily life and figure out your passion(s) without you having to directly tell them.
Passion is a key factor that motivates people to constantly carry out hard work. You know when you look at some people in different fields who seem to be doing the nearly impossible but somehow makes it look effortless? And you wonder how are they able to work in that field or carry out such difficult tasks like it is second nature to them? It is because they care about their work. No matter how daunting the challenge is they are eager to complete it, not only because they may want to get it out of the way, but because they want to make a change and/or they genuinely enjoy the work.
There are many times when I unintentionally do more than what is required for an assignment, class, project, etc. I usually find a way to go an extra three miles when I was only expected to do 1 mile. A day in college, I was complaining about being an overachiever to one of my professors and how I always go above and beyond without realizing it. They smiled and said, “It is because you are ambitious. I can tell that you actually care about learning and helping people. That is what has been carrying you and will continue to carry you. Remember that.”
There are many times I wanted to give up on projects and assignments, the main thing that kept me going was the original reason why I decided to enter my field. I care about deeply mental health. (I am literally always going on rants about how mental health and illness is not taken seriously enough, at least in the United States). I want to do as much as I can to educate people, end stigma, help people improve their mental and emotional health, etc. Especially among people who come from underrepresented and stigmatized groups because services and resources for mental health are limited and less accessible for them, well us.
Time to Focus on You:
What are you passionate about? How often do you dive into your passions on a weekly basis? Is there anything you can do to take it to the next level?
Disclaimer: Passion does not mean you completely 100% love every single aspect of the field 24/7. Despite the annoying or unpleasant occurrences, you are still invested in the overall field and/or the intention of the field. Picture found on Google Images.