Passion is a trait that many seek or desire to possess. But because of its perceived desirability, almost everyone has some sort of opinion on it, and sometimes the concept gets inflated or twisted.
Well we call bullsh*t.
We’ve had enough of all the fluff that has been floating around, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to compile some of the most inaccurate statements we’ve heard about passion, and refute them.
1. “Passion doesn’t pay your bills.”
It’s not that passion doesn’t pay bills—it’s just that some passions, particularly towards the more artsy side, are perceived to be less monetisable.
Rather than believe this statement—or the equally BS “do what you love, and the money will follow”—it’s better to see passion and profit as two different verticals. Occasionally they may intersect and/or influence each other, but they can also go down their own separate paths.
2. “It’s selfish to pursue what you want to do.”
Pursuing a passion is often expensive on resources like time and money.
But, think about your emotions when you are doing something you love. Are you a better and happier person when you are working on your passion?
If the answer is yes, well, happiness has been proven to be contagious. Your happiness could directly affect the people around you, and make their lives better. That’s far from being selfish.
3. “You’ll never even be the best at it, so why even try it?”
The value of a passion is tied in how it makes you feel. Does it make you happy? Does it give you a sense of purpose?
For many, it doesn’t matter if they’ll never be the best.
Some people become experts at their passions. For others, their passions become pleasurable escapes from the drudgery of daily living.
There are also other outlets. You could be passionate about music but can’t sing, or passionate about films but can’t act. That doesn’t mean you can’t consume the products, or even find other ways into the industry.
4. “You’ll always have time for passion.”
There will always be family obligations, life will always intrude and things will always go wrong.
If you’re constantly using “I don’t have time” as an excuse, or “One day, I’ll be able to do ___”, chances are, there will always be something holding you back from ever pursuing that passion.
5. “Once you follow your passion, you’ll be happy.”
Ironically, this is the statement that has made the most people unhappy. It’s closely related to, “If you’re working on your passion, you’ll never work again another day of your life”.
Consider this: when you’re truly passionate about something, you’re more emotionally invested into it.
This means that when something goes wrong, you’ll take it even harder. But that’s not a bad thing. It just means you need to run forward again with all your might.
6. “If it’s your passion, you should be talented at it.”
There are a lucky few who find that they are inherently talented in their passions.
But talent alone is not enough. Pursuing a passion is a lot of hard work. At the very least, it’ll need your time, emotional investment and energy, and often money too.
Recognise that perseverance is a part of following your passion, not a sign that you chose the wrong passion.
7. “Your passion and your day job must be linked.”
What this statement ignores is that some people can have more than one passion.
Or, you might have a day joy you like, or a passion you love. In fact, that day job might be the very thing that is providing the funding for you to pursue the passion.
There’s also a possibility that you love one thing, like music, but are passionate about food too. You might not be able to find a way to link both, but you can still pursue both.
After all, the last BS statement we’d like to address is:
8. “Once you’ve found your passion, it will last you the rest of your life.”
People change and so do passions. Think back to when you were a child. Your passions back then may have included building model airplanes, arranging dollhouses or even catching bugs and cataloguing them.
Are you still doing those now?
What you love doing today may not be the same as what you’ll love tomorrow, and that’s alright. The important thing is to keep searching, and not beat yourself up—you never know when the next thing you feel passionate about will turn up.
Winston Churchill said, “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”
That’s something that these four young Malaysians are practicing, where they’ve finally kicked off the oppression of doubt and found their own paths to pursue their passions.
From a rapper who was told Mando-rap was too crass, to a musician who runs a pop-up siewyuk store, these 4 talents have found their elements to shine.
- Kent Lee, member of two bands, owner of a livehouse and proud siew yuk pop-up store vendor
- Yong Sheng, a Psychology major with zero fashion background who launched his own fashion label in 2017
- Dato’ Maw, a rapper with talents in hosting, video editing and photography
- Sonia Luhong, an artist pioneering art pyrography in Malaysia.
In fact recently, they’ve all had the opportunity to showcase their own talents at the Tiger ROAR Project event too.
Remember, there are a lot of lies about passions out there. Don’t let yourself be influenced and held back. If these 4 young entrepreneurs could buck off the stereotypes and live out their passions, you can too.
This article was written in collaboration with Tiger Beer.