When You Do What You Like, And You Like What You Do!

It's not necessarily a celeb-page 3 thing, the start-up phenomena has given wings to many everyday people – the neighbourhood grandma, the hyper teen, the make-up queen, to fly high with limitless possibilities if you just have the guts to take off

Gunjan Pant Pande
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konkana wake up sid

Konkana Sensharma in a still from Wake Up Sid

Paula Scher. Sandra Oh. Victoria Beckham. Brandon Stanton. Ayushman Khurrana. Debbi Fields. Jessica Alba. What’s the common denominator? Famous names. Yes. Achievers. Yes. Inspiring stories. Of course. 


What matters here however as far as you and I are concerned is that these are people who turned their passion into their profession and the way they are making waves is so worth emulating. How many of us are in sync with such a metachronal soul-satisfying rhythm that provides a definitive purpose to our lives? 

It's not necessarily a celeb-page 3 thing, the start-up phenomena has given wings to many everyday people – the neighbourhood grandma, the hyper teen, the local gym freak, the make-up queen, the YouTuber housewife, the entrepreneurial farmer, the drama lover to fly high in a horizon with limitless possibilities if you just have the guts to take off and persevere. The queen of “follow your passion” Oprah Winfrey calls it energy. “Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Sometimes though, as comedian Aisha Tyler revealed to Oprah while talking about pursuing her dream, it’s a rocky road and the battles are hard but you need to have “pure, unadulterated bullheadedness” to go all the way. 

Among other such success stories are bestselling authors who did not let rejections come in the way of their single-minded pursuit of story-telling, home chefs who turned chores into cash cows, stand-ups who gave up lucrative corporate jobs to play with words and business professionals who happily swapped balance sheets for mindful alignment of the body and soul in Himalayan homestays. 

Passion is priceless, “allow it to become your purpose and one day it will become your profession.”

That is one way of doing it aka following your passion. And usually, it’s a clean-cut where some people make an either/or choice. It’s purely about turning that passion into profession. What if you do not want to mix business with pleasure? What if passion for you is something you do purely for this feeling of euphoria it gives you, away from the rough and tumble of daily life? What if you do something for the sheer joy of doing it because you experience an unparallel calm, you lose track of time, you just get to nurture this other creative, empathetic, effulgent dimension of you so different from the adulting stereotype? 

Unlocking the “toolbox of passion" for career growth


I am talking of the professor of physics who diligently does his lectures all week and pursues classical music every weekend, the ophthalmologist who also plays amateur golf, the data visionary who volunteers at the animal shelter, the editor who is an avid potter, the fashion model who paints abstracts in her free time, the TV actor who bikes for adventure or the interior designer who crafts jewellery over the term holidays. Basically, people who are okay with the grind in general but take welcome, healthy breaks every once in a while to re-connect with their passion, that “compelling emotion which pushes you to become better by deeply stirring your enthusiasm for that particular activity or pursuit.” Usually includes creative, entrepreneurial, personal development, volunteering or relationship-building activities that make your life more fulfilling. 

The biggest high about passion is that it pushes you to give your very best in a way that doesn’t feel coercive but cathartic as it includes as much persistence as continuous progress. Positive psychology speaks of harmonious passion that fuels life force. A paper written on the subject defined passion “as a strong inclination toward a self-defining activity that people like (or even love), find important, and in which they invest time and energy on a regular basis.” This then, summarised the paper, led to “happiness, self-growth and life satisfaction.” It is said to drive one “to achieve the impossible,” as a result of sustained psychological well-being.

Every time you laugh with your creative writing colleague the endorphin release immediately relieves anxiety (34 per cent says one study). Tossing a salad with your loved one at the cooking class boosts oxytocin promoting empathy. Music, meditation, being in nature, petting animals or playing games – all qualify as happy hormone hacks subtly embedded in the pursuit of passion. 

Experts suggest “trying out a few things, taking calculated risks” till you realise what truly excites you. A clear idea of your basic values in life is a huge help here. Kickstart with a passion for learning, “if you do you will never cease to grow,” promises author Anthony d’Angelo. A growth trajectory that comes in-built with high self-esteem, motivation, skill development and success. 

“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it then stop wishing and just do it,” is American actress Wanda Sykes’ take on the matter. 

Ambition-driven teenagers call it “career passion” where “passion IS work, so you don’t work a day.” Naysayers however counter this philosophy by calling it a “privilege” for few. So many go with what Europeans once called the “after work” club for extra-curriculars as a balancing act. 

Career passion or club passion, whatever it is, one thing that motivational speakers agree upon is that “finding time for yourself” makes “life feel more meaningful.” By unlocking the invaluable “toolbox of passion” we carry within us we can key in a whole range of accomplishments, tangible and intangible. For like Einstein once said “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Who’s having an Eureka moment now?

Views expressed by the author are their own

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