I like cheesecake. And I, on occasion, make cheesecake from scratch. It's a laborious process, and I always freak out a little towards the end, wondering if I have cooled it slowly enough for the center not to crack. But it's not my passion.
I am a sucker for a romantic comedy. Sign me up and stick a fork in me, because I am done. I always cry at the end of Love Affair, which is a modern remake of An Affair to Remember. I can practically recite every line from You've Got Mail. Mr. Darcy (if you have to ask who?, don't worry about it) is in the back of my mind most days. But it's not my passion.
It's taken me a long time, but I have finally figured out that I HAVE to write. It's what I do. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes vewwy, vewwy serious (read that in your Elmer Fudd voice) and sometimes I have no idea how something will turn out until it's done. But it's my passion, and it's what I do.
So over the span of my passion-following, I have inadvertently built a list of reasons to do what I do. They are:
1. It's how God made me.
2. It's what I like.
3. It's better than doing something for which I do not have the skills. (Gardening, math, needlepoint)
4. Writing makes me feel like I have a purpose.
5. I take pride and confidence in my writing.
6. The other parts of me, like the funny and the quirky and the emotional, support my writing.
7. I can encourage other people with my writing.
8. It's something I can mentor and pass on to the next generation.
Ask yourself these same questions: How am I hard-wired? I work with all IT guys, and the warm, fuzzy stuff does not naturally come to them. What do you like to do? What do you like so much that you would do it for free? Do you have other parts of your personality that support your passion? Can you pass this on ? Would someone else benefit from doing this as well?
So what's your passion? There's a line from the 1990 movie Pretty Woman I like: a random street guy yells out, "Welcome to Hollywood...what's your dream?"
Well, welcome to the rest of your life. What's your dream? Find your passion -- follow it.