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Follow your passion

“There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
~Nelson Mandela

Have you ever noticed how small incidents can change your life? At times, they can help you realize and follow your passion.

Five years ago, I was assigned a project as part of my undergraduate program. The largest dance festival in our nation was being held and I was given the job of interviewing the artists before they went on stage.

I was a student of journalism with dreams of becoming a famous reporter or a news anchor. Little did I know that an almost unimportant assignment would change my perspective towards my career. This event made me realize the difference between passion and infatuation.

After interviewing the dancers from various countries I was so intrigued by their way of life. The discipline, their hunger to be the best at their art and the sheer dedication took me by surprise. I thought dancing was fun.

I did it all my life in school shows, local competitions and family get-togethers, of course. But I never thought that this could be a career choice that demanded so much from you.

I thought of just enrolling in a dance class for fun, to get a piece of life that these people led. At least, it would be a good break from all the assignments and pressure, I thought. Before I knew it I was rehearsing ten hours a day, performing with a dance troupe and actually living a dancer’s life.

Then came the best moment of my life. I was chosen to represent my country in an international competition. No, we did not win but the recognition that it gave me and the fact that I was the face of my country at that event made me realize that this is what I’ve always wanted. That day, I acknowledged that dance is my passion and no matter what, I will follow it and see where it takes me.

Today, I own a small dance company that is slowly manifesting itself into what I always dreamt of.

Why should you follow your passion?

Even if you do not get to make your passion your career in the beginning, hold on to it and work on it slowly. There are three simple reasons why you should recognize your passion and go for it.

  1. Passion gives your life a purpose: Waking up every morning and looking for an excuse to get off work or dreading the fact that you have to go to a job that is just exhausting is the worst thing. Keeping your passion alive will give you a reason to wake up in the morning and say, “Yes, today is going to be a fun day.”
  2. Passion makes your mind sharp and alert: Whether you are actually pursuing your passion as your career or just letting it grow in the background, you will realize that your mind stays alert for an opportunity. You become sensitive to anything that is even remotely associated with what you love doing.
    Slowly, you will see that everything, in one way or another, is interesting. Trust me, there are instances when I find music in the chaos of traffic. It’s a wonderful feeling.
  3. Passion keeps you younger for longer: Sometimes when we look at legendary actors or musicians who are so full of energy even at sixty, we wonder what keeps them going.
    Remember I told you how everything around you seems interesting? This feeling is universal with people who have dared to keep their passion alive.

It is this constant happiness and sense of achievement that keeps havng a go at any age. And, if it can work for them, it can work for everyone.

How to Have a Job and Still Follow Your Passion

Following your passion does not mean that you ignore the responsibilities that you have. Everyone has bills to pay at the end of the day.

If you are lucky enough to be able to convert your passion into something lucrative, that’s great. But, if you still haven’t gotten there, you can always balance a job and a dream.

Time management is your only choice. Look for a job that will give you time to take out to pursue your passion. If that is not possible, the weekends are always available. After all, even on your days of rest there is nothing more relaxing than doing something you love.

It is never easy to tread on the ‘dream-path’. But, as you get closer to where you want to be, every hurdle and every sacrifice that you made will be totally worth it.

Make a schedule, set a goal and do whatever it takes to start following your passions! It’s all possible.

Are you following your passion? Share your story with us in the comments!

Image by abnormalbeauty.

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