How to NOT Find Your Passion

I love this viral video because it's so relatable and how can you not feel yourself rooting for this kiddo? Grimacing as they fall awkwardly. And then smiling with pride when they make it!

Truth: learning new things is hard. Very few of us are good at something the first few times. In fact, it can take months or years to learn something well.

I love this article in The New York Times about why in fact the mantra of "finding your passion" is bullshit. I prefer to say, "do what you love" because you should do what you love, even if you aren't that good at it. Passion is "strong and barely controllable emotion." Emotion, not method or skill. Passion is not perfection. Passion is the fight we embody, what we bring to the process. I'm a passionate person, and sometimes it can come off as competence, but really it is just the emotion I bring to the process of learning and doing.

Take running a business for example. I had to learn each aspect in real-time, fucking up again and again, like this kid here, falling, awkward, feeling dumb and weird. You learn each aspect over time, figuring out logistics, accounting, negotiating. And then things change and you have to learn it all again, new markets emerge, new e-commerce standards, new technology. You will never find your passion. You will fight your way through the process and learn to love some things and loathe others. There are ways to do what you love, but you must love the doing, the fumbling, and the stumbling. What looks like grace in others? It's passion, owning the process of learning a skill (or it's just fake). If some one tells you that they found their passion, chances are they found a way to love the process.

So give yourself a break. Find a way to own the awkward process of learning. There is no perfection, none, nada. perfect does not exist. There is doing, taking action, being vulnerable. And if you find a way to give yourself a break and live in this process, that is where the passion lies. The beautiful human triumph of navigating a challenge.

Laena McCarthy