Stop Looking. Your Passion Already Found You.
You don’t need to find your passion, it’s already there. I was always lookin in the wrong place, and then one day I just reverse engineered what made me happy in the past and thought: hmm… maybe I should just do more of that? So, that’s what I recommend to anyone who can’t seem to find their passion: Just make a list of all the shit you’re proud of and do more of that. I used to mindfuck myself into paralysis on the daily…
I was in LA about five years ago sitting on a bench outside my ex-girlfriend’s coffee shop wondering that same shit: how do you find your passion in life? By then I already had more proof on what I love and what I hate than I knew what to do with, but still I was searching for what I really liked, as if it were nowhere to be found. Totally overcomplicating shit.
I got so down on myself that I was a lost soul that I started ordering audiobooks about how to find your passion. I downloaded a Tony Robbins book called Awaken Your Giant Within and I did some writing exercises to find my calling. But it’s not like that was the first time I did that shit, I was doin it every time I felt confused. Every time I felt stumped I had to write to find out where the next move was.
Wait. Write. I’m writing again. I’ve been writing since I went to rehab at 14. I remember it perfectly: I opened a notebook on my second night there, at Hazelden rehab, scared as shit, no idea how to make it through another day without my family or friends, and wrote the dumbest poetry of my life. I couldn’t stop. I wrote and wrote and I’m still writing. Now I’m sober 9 years and 36 years old. But I wish I could figure out what my passion is… what do I love to do? Fuckin write! I love to write stupid.
How do you find your passion in life?
How could I be so dumbfounded?
Even though I had been writing my entire life, I still listened to that audiobook on that day in California outside my ex-girlfriend’s coffee shop and did that writing exercise so I could figure out what I was supposed to be doing in life; where my true self was. Certainly I could be doing something very important, I thought, but what is it?
I wrote down: travel adventure. World record travel. Travel world record. BREAK A WORLD RECORD! That’s what I should do. I should become a world famous traveler.
So I broke the world record for longest road trip and became a slightly famous traveler for a bit. Travel was always my thing and I was happy I was finally gettin some recognition for it. I remember how it all started…
I ran away from boot camp after three years of bein locked up from fourteen to roughly seventeen and hitchhiked the country in search of meaning. I was a homeless runaway teen on the streets fingered random girls that found me mysterious. It was amazing. That’s how it all started: tasting true freedom at such a young age by giving up all roots. That’s what led me to become a world record road tripper.
Then I circumnavigated South America for a hundred days and wrote tons of articles about it and still I was wondering: how do you find your passion?
Trying to find your passion is like wondering what jeans you’re wearing.
Just look in the damn mirror. Or look down. Or feel the fabric. What you’re currently wearing is your passion. I was writing constantly, and I was traveling all over like a mad man. I was even writing about my travels and publishing articles in magazines, lots of them matterafact… but still I was on the lookout to finally find what my true calling was. Well so far it’s pretty fuckin obvious, right? Writing and traveling! Those are my goddam passions. But I never stopped bein confused…
Along the way, on my world record road trip, I published the book I had been workin on since I got sober: the Drifter Chronicles. I published it and it was the greatest feeling of my life.
But I don’t wanna write all day every day and I don’t wanna travel every day of the year either… maybe I should take a stab at marketing? I didn’t realize it but I’d been marketing and promoting things my whole life. I started when I was twenty and living in Manhattan and producing theater. I would put a show together and market the ever loving shit outa it. Then I started promoting comedy festivals and music events. I did it even though I made tons of money selling drugs. Yeah, I sold drugs. I thought money would keep me safe from life’s woes. Anyway that’s not the point, the point is all you need to do to figure out what your passion is is look at what you’re most proud of in your past.
Passions change. So what am I currently doing? Those are probably my current passions.
Right now I’m living with my fiance, managing a team of digital marketers, working as a freelance digital marketer on the side, writing blog posts every day, and working on my next book. That’s what I currently want. It’s
Years after my music promoter days when I was in my mid-twenties, I moved to LA and became a music publicist, not cause I wanted to, but it’s cause that’s what happened. I was attracted to the job because I could do it well and I could do it while traveling the world. I was good at promoting my clients and gettin them into the news. When I wasn’t doin that, I was writing articles about my travels. It was a great life but still… What am I really supposed to be doing?
Wait a minute.
Then it dawned on me.
I’m doin all my passions. I love travel, and so I travel all the time. Sometimes I travel more than others. Sometimes there’s more time to travel and when there is, I travel more often. Sometimes I need travel to quell my nerves, and so I travel then too. Sometimes I wanna fuck a random chick that speaks little English, and so I do that… though those days are over. Eventually I realized that traveling the world fuckin random women is actually quite lonely.
Wait, have I already found my passion?
Yeah Greg, you have. Just look at your life. Okay lemme look…
I started writing as a kid in rehab and I never stopped. In fact, I’ve written like 50 articles and three books by now, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of words on this blog right now. Okay, so writing is a passion. But that’s not good enough. I need to make sure it’s a passion. So let me ask a new question to myself:
What are the things that make me the most happy in life?
Well, when I published my book, when I roamed South America, when I produced a movie, when I got the Guinness world record for longest journey by car in a single country… When I found where I live now. Damn. They all match. They’re all the same things. Writing, traveling, marketing…
All those things really make me happy. Why are they not good enough?
It’s as if I used to wish my passion was somethin different, but you can’t change what you love. It’s always been right in front of me and I’ve never had any other choice than to do what I’ve always been doin cause that’s where my intuition constantly pulls me, and probably you too. So I’m guessing every person in the world tries to do what they like to do whenever the time permits. So what is there to look for?
YOU ALREADY KNOW YOUR PASSION.
I used to be pissed that I was spending so much time on digital marketing cause that can’t possibly be my passion; no, I’m a travel writer. That needs to be my identity. What is my identity? My passion will dictate my identity so I better pick it out carefully…
I’m a travel writer like Mark Twain. Right?
Jack Kerouac was my hero as a kid and I hitchhiked the country to be just like him and I’ve stayed in hundreds of hostels. You don’t do that shit if you don’t love to travel and you don’t write books if you don’t love to write and you don’t spend all your spare time trying out marketing campaigns if you don’t deep down like that shit.
The proof is in the past
One time I rode the longest route on the Amtrak over a hundred hours from LA to Portland to Chicago to New York to LA just so I could have an adventure and finish writing a draft of my first book. It’s always been so clear. Has it been clear to you even though you think it hasn’t?
Sometimes there’s other shit too that keeps me second guessing myself.
Is it possible I have so many passions?
Marketing and travel and writing? Can that be me? Can I be made of so many contrasting colors?
What dumb contemplations.
The moral of the story is you don’t need to find your passion. Just write down all the things you’re most proud of and do more of that. Much more. You don’t need to find your passion, your passion has already taken control of you. But are you too blind to see it like I was for so long? Or are you ready to open your eyes? Maybe you don’t like that you like the shit you like, but you like it. So, deal with it.
Now here’s a post about what I did with my last 2K.