When we’re asked as kids what we wanted to be when we grew up, I remember there being so much freedom in our responses.
From firefighter to doctor and astronaut to lawyer, we were always outspoken without a shadow of a doubt of what we wanted to be and that it would happen.
We weren’t factoring the amount of schooling it took, the risk factor or any of the other variables; all we knew was that we wanted to be. Somewhere along the line that changed.
While adulthood comes with it the rawness of reality, I never thought it would strip so many of their ability to dream. Now, not only are we less apprehensive to go for our dream career, we pigeonhole ourselves into one lane and one lane only.
Even in high school, college track programs, and in meetings with the school counselors, they never touch on keeping your options open or encourage cultivating any of our secondary interests. It was always: 1) pick a career and 2) be the best at that career.
This saddens me because we’re literally putting limits on ourselves. Somehow, someone convinced us that we are to pick one profession and to stick with it until we retire. But, in all honesty, every passion is possible and we should pursue every dream we desire.
Who said you can only be good at one thing?
— Wiz Khalifa (@wizkhalifa) August 29, 2018
The lie is that we cannot balance everything, or that we have to master one craft first, or even that we don’t deserve to have multiple gifts. But they all are just that — lies.
Follow the itch of your passions
Your passions matter. Every impulse, every interest, and every hobby is important. It’s just a matter of seeing them as such.
Think of Wiz Khalifa becoming a marijuana entrepreneur, getting into mixed martial arts and even developing his own game application. Or Donald Glover, who started off as a comedic writer and actor but decided on pursuing a rap career after literally going to a rap name generator online. I’m sure at first they were just interests and hobbies, but soon that developed into full-fledged careers.
The difference between kids and adults aren’t only their innocence and ignorance, but it’s their ability to look beyond limits. You won’t meet a more “why not” individual than a hopeful kid, and that’s something we must work to regain.
When we start seeing our passions as something much more serious — like a bag or an opportunity or another way to be great — we’ll find the time we never thought we had and we’ll actually be happier, better humans because of it.
However, there are those of us who have recognized these supplementary gifts and yet still won’t pursue them.
There are a plethora of talent shows and singing contests full of individuals and everyday people all around us with scary good skills that, if it wasn’t for said programs, would remain undiscovered.
Susan Boyle us a perfect example. The then 47-year-old received laughs when she got on stage but left the crowd in awe by the time she was finished.
Where would Susan Boyle be had she not auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent? More importantly, why did it take BGT for her to take such a gift seriously?
We owe it to ourselves to tap into our passions — it’s damn near criminal not to. When you have a dream inside that moves and inspires you — regardless of if you’re good at it or not — it’s our responsibility to bask and live in it, not hide it and treat them like a stepchild.
To pursue means to go for it — to make time, expend the effort, invest the money. And until we pursue each and every dream, we’re doing ourselves a disservice.
Be not afraid
If we’re being honest with ourselves, it’s not the lack of interests that stop us from acting on our various dreams, it’s the safety of not failing that keeps us from the pursuit.
If we’d get over the possibility of being bad at first and could overcome our fear of publically not looking our best, we just might position ourselves to become masters.
I can’t count the number of artists who never pursued their careers out of fear of being bad. Imagine that: being so afraid of what other people thought, that you keep a song caged within.
Yeah, we’re probably really good at our corporate 9-5’s or industry jobs, but that’s because we put eight hours toward those gigs every day and even then, there was a learning curve we had to overcome. So why not make that same kind of commitment towards being a make-up tutorial vlogger or podcast producer?
The only real limits are the ones we place on ourselves. The desires we have in us are there for a reason.
You don’t just love watching stand-up and aren’t just funny to everyone you know — maybe there’s a career in comedy for you. You don’t just know every designer by name and could dress anyone, any size — you’re probably a designer waiting to realize it.
And, yes, you can’t play one instrument to save your life, but no one has the ear you do and everyone has told you that. So why not start learning how to DJ?
When we start looking at our passions as possible career paths, intentionally pursue our desires and overcome the fear of initially being bad, we, too, can be multi-talented individuals who are good at more than one thing.