"Do what you love." "Work towards where your heart lies." We have all heard rhetorical statements like these centred on the idea of chasing our passion. And perhaps, we have loved and believed them. But if it was really that simple, we would not have known someone sticking with jobs that make them miserable. Or pushing away the alternate realities in their minds, choosing to walk on a path that they never wanted to opt for. The thought of passion, the very existence of something that makes you you, is enthralling. But maybe there is also a need to reconsider the narrative surrounding it.
In this episode, Nikita Khandwala talks about the thriving passion economy. Comparing it with the erstwhile mainstream approach of the gig economy that monetized time, she embraces the possibility of earning a living out of what one loves offered by the current time. The buzz around new technologies, the popping up of startups or the emerging platforms to build specific audiences reflect the same trend.
Choosing to do something because of a passion, as opposed to something you feel compelled to do due to familial or institutional pressure, of course, feels liberating. But at the same time, there is a need for a more balanced outlook. While following your dreams is great, the space we create should not impose pressure to discover one's passion. Instead, it should welcome diverse approaches and exploration. Perhaps, there are tons of opportunities out there, but it's okay to take time figuring out which one of them is meant for you.
However, as Nikita acknowledges, a lot of this conversation stems from a place of privilege. Following a passion and earning a sustainable living does not always go hand in hand. And it's easy to chant inspirational quotes when there is someone to financially support you. You can pursue your hobbies without making them a part of your professional life. But in case you want that to be your career, you can try out your prospects while being involved with something that serves your needs.
Meet people, interact with them, bring your energy to conversations that you have. Engage with people whom you look up to or those who are involved in areas that interest you. Identify the people you need - a mentor, a friend or whosever it may be. Maybe, the path is not as linear and set-out as you expected. But ultimately, it is remaining hopeful, putting your best out for the world to see and being open to new insights that will count in what lies next.