7 Quotes That Will Help You Find Your Passion
These are seven quotes that I believe will help you look at your career differently, resulting in a change in your approach.
How we approach finding your passion is important. A lot of us approach it like we’re raising a child—not wanting to make a single mistake in fear of doing permanent damage.
But career and life has a lot more margin for error. A LOT MORE. If you make a mistake, if you take the “wrong” path, if you want to quit something, it doesn’t equal a demarcation on your record. Sure, you will have invested some time and money, but you’ll come out of the experience wiser than before.
We need to approach life like a video game we suck at. You essentially have endless lives. So run out there like you’re invincible. You have a lot more room for error than you think.
These quotes will help you with the mindset which will ultimately change your approach.
"You will all be confronted with opportunity. You must take advantage of it. Because if you don’t take advantage of your opportunity, you’ll never realize your dreams. Whether you want them or not is an irrelevance. You don’t know that until you achieve it." - Macro Pierre White
It’s hard to know whether the goals you set are the ones you actually want. It’s normal to wonder, “Do I really want this?” This question and feeling of confusion can in and of itself make us feel like we should quit. “If I was smart and capable, I’d be able to at least make a decision. And if I’m confused I’m probably not meant to do it anyway. I should just quit.” We rattle between ideas and passions never choosing one. And judging ourselves for it.
Understand that you simply can’t know if it’s the right decision until you make it and go forward. You won’t know if you will enjoy being a programmer, park ranger, nurse, teacher, hair stylist, accountant, police officer, or business owner until you actually do it. Asking yourself if it’s truly the right thing for you might not give you a good answer. We must simply move forward and be okay if we have to pivot or go back to the drawing board.
2. “I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” - Sylvia Plath
We must choose, and for many of us, this is the hardest part. It’s common to have several interests, passions, and ideas. And with all the options nowadays, it makes the choosing harder than the doing.
One way to resolve this is to understand that no decision is permanent.
In 2017, I “chose” to become a physician assistant. But after six months as a medical scribe, working alongside physician assistants, I decided it wasn’t for me. I also decided I didn’t owe anyone an explanation—not my family, friends, or coworkers. My explanation was simply “I thought I wanted to, but I was wrong. Onto the next thing.”
No hard feelings.
Another thing to note is the author of this quote. Sylvia Plath was an accomplished writer during her time. Even she felt the difficulty of making life and career choices. She was a well-known and respected writer, but she still felt like there was something else she might do. Understand that even successful people can have this nagging feeling.
3. “The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.” - Seth Godin
Most of us think about what we stand to lose by taking action. But what about what you lose due to inaction? I recently took a 3 month marketing course to see if that was a possible career path. Before taking the plunge I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to do it. So I asked, “What do I have to lose if I take this course?” Well, it takes three months and cost a few hundred bucks. I’m okay with that investment if it means coming out the other end knowing a little more about myself and possible having a new career venture. In the end I decided not to, but the skills I learned were still useful to me.
If we all focused on what is lost due to inaction, it would be much easier to take action.
4. “Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
We must take action. Life isn’t meant to be a straight line.
“But what if I’m wrong? What if I make the wrong decision?”
There’s no what if about it. You WILL be wrong at times. It’s the only way to figure out what is right. Life is an experiment.
A scientist is never wrong. They have an idea, then they test it. I had the idea that I wanted to be a physician assistant, and when I tested it, that idea failed. I did not fail, the idea failed.
YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE MISTAKES. It’s time to be okay with that. We’re not in school anymore. Your real world grades aren’t documented. All the F’s you got won’t matter once you get one A. All the things you quit and meaningless jobs you had won’t matter once you find the one you like.
Just remember, failure in real life has a different meaning than failure in school. When you failed in school you got in F. In the real world, you got experience and learned about yourself.
5. “Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It’s having the right attitude that’s hard.” - Robert Persig
The most difficult thing about any journey is not the journey itself. It’s maintaining the right attitude during that journey.
I once read a quote from a wresting coach. He said something like “The game is 90% mental and the rest is in your head.” In other words, it’s ALL mental.
The only thing stopping us in our search for fulfilling work is our attitude. If your attitude and mindset remain positive, it’s simply a matter of time until the reality around you follows suit.
6. "I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary." - Elon Musk
I love this quote because of who said it.
The quote itself isn’t anything special, I’m sure you’ve heard a life coach or self-help guru say it. But Elon Musk is not an inspirational speaker. He’s not in the world of self-help. And aside from interviews, he doesn’t walk around giving people advice.
He’s a very logical thinker and doesn’t romanticize anything. So if HE thinks an ordinary person can choose to be extraordinary, well then, you better believe it.
It’s easy to feel like we’re doomed to be ordinary. Whether you’re 22 or 39 or 63, when you’ve spent years giving up and living in fear of making decisions, it’s easy to believe that you’ll be stuck that way forever.
This goes back to attitude (see #5)
7. "Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that's where you will find success." - Thomas Watson
I’m starting to sound like I’m just playing one note huh? Well I am!
Remember the title of this article—change how you APPROACH career. Your approach needs to change. You need to make more mistakes.
Most of us end up in terrible careers because of what we DIDN’T do rather than what we DID. You have to remember this. If you take only one thing away from this website, it’s this idea.
So my friend, make your mistakes. Go back to school, change jobs, take that class, do that thing you think you don’t have the time for. The longer your list of things you try the better.