The passion you have in life is seen as a prerequisite for a successful life. ‘Follow your passion’ is something that everyone tells you, and you feel anxious and unworthy when you fail to give an answer. That is how Terri Trespicio, brilliant brand strategist felt as well, when she was miserable about having been fired from her job. In her TED Talk, Terri evinces how having a passion is not something you need to figure out very early one in life.
Trespicio admits she had always had a problem with the notion of finding one’s passion. “It’s a dangerously limiting idea at the heart of everything we believe about success and life, in general. And it’s that you have one singular passion and your job is to find it and to pursue it to the exclusion of all else. And if you do that everything will fall into place,” she says. She correctly points out, “Passion is not a plan, it’s a feeling. And feelings change!” She recounts how, while searching for a new job, her mother told her something that stuck with her, she said, “You don’t create your life first, and then live it. You create it by living it, not agonising about it.”
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She believes that you should seize any opportunity you get to make your life easier, and that ‘passion’ comes later. “This idea that everything you’re supposed to do should fit into this passion vertical is unrealistic,” she says. She narrates how she used to think she was really boring, because she didn’t have anyone or anything to be passionate about, which is quite relatable for many of us. “Passion is not a job, a sport, or a hobby. It is the full force of your attention and energy that you give to whatever is right in front of you. And if you’re so busy looking for this passion, you could miss opportunities that change your life,” she explains.
She closes her illuminating talk by saying this: “Spend your time and attention solving your favourite problems… Be useful, generous. People will thank you, and hug you and pay you for it, and that’s where passion is. Where your energy and effort meet someone else’s need. That is when you realise that passion lives in realising what you have to contribute… Because to live a life full of meaning and value, you don’t follow your passion, your passion follows you.”
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