A difficult realisation
So after my last post, something strange and uncomfortable happened when I was answering the questions about finding my passion. It’s something I’ve felt sometimes but never come to terms with.
I don’t actually feel passionate about performing and giving concerts or playing piano anymore… But I felt I had to put it in for some reason. I felt it needed to be my passion. Because I’m a pianist. I’ve spent 5 years of my life dedicating the majority of my time, studies and energy into perfecting my skills to become a “professional” pianist. It made sense if I’m a pianist and I want to succeed, my answer should be performance right? But when came the question of how does playing and performing transform the people around me and what does it bring them, I went blank… It’s terrible because I know I’ve had good experiences performing and I do enjoy playing and studying piano but I couldn’t connect to any of the joy it brought me anymore. Maybe because it’s been over a year that I haven’t really performed publicly because I recently injured my wrist but to be honest, I don’t think that’s the true reason.
This realisation brought about a terrible feeling of angst at the moment because this was my passion for the longest time… (I’d actually written the last post with my responses to the questions almost a year ago before I actually created this space of expression and at that time, I was truly convinced and honest in my answers). But what if I was actually wrong?
Like I said, finding your passion(s) is easy. But choosing to pursue your passion professionally, that’s the challenge! You might fail… or worse… you might one day wake up to realize your passion(s) has (have) changed. Then what?
Hey, it’s just 80,000 Hours of your life…
This whole “follow your passion” story has been a little obsession of mine over the years, reading countless blogs, watching a good dozen videos on the subject… But it’s also been a certain source of anguish for me because I’ve never truly had just one great passion but I’ve always had many varied interests : music, maths, philosophy, languages, teaching, personal growth and development, travelling, reading, writing, creating, cooking… When you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the honest answer I always wanted to give people is… well EVERYTHING! But I felt like somehow that wasn’t right answer for people. I felt I needed to choose just that *true* Passion to find that sense of “purpose” that comes from following your passion. And also so people can put a nice easy little label on you and define you according to what you do… (but that subject is for another post to come).
So here I was panicking about the next 80,000 hours of my life that I could potentially be screwing up entirely when YouTube so gracefully “suggested” the next video to watch and I felt instantly calmed and inspired by the incredibly wise and simple words of a TedX Youth speaker Benjamin Todd.
I realized after this video, I have been adding value by teaching young pianists and swimmers and inspiring them to be creative and confident, challenging them to go beyond their limitations. And if that is all that filled those 80,000 hours, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing… So I’m figured I’m on the right track. Even if I’m still figuring out what else I want to do for the next 79,900 hours of my career know. What more, I realized that 80,000 hours is more than enough time to pursue, combine and explore the many different interests I have!