Don't Be a Fish in a Tree

I’ve had a few breakthroughs recently, and I’m excited. Here’s thing #1 I’ve realized. Here, let me have Albert Einstein explain it:

Life feels so much better when you find something you’re actually good at and enjoy doing. I’ve realized there are many things you can teach or learn, but you can’t learn or teach passion. If you spend your whole day trying to do something you don’t really love or aren’t terribly great at, life is frustrating. Or boring at best. You can probably fake your way through it, but it’s a struggle. But when you find something that really makes you feel alive and special, then that’s something magical. The people who are the best at what they do are the ones who eat, sleep and breathe it. I hate that phrase, so cliche, but I can’t think of any other way to explain it. When your hobby/job is your life, that’s when you reach the highest level of success.

I think in many ways we’re all fish trying to climb a tree. That sounds like some weird touchy-feely metaphor, but hear me out. In college you have to choose a major so early that sometimes you don’t even realize that you’re trying to do something that isn’t a great fit. You’re trying to put a square peg into a round hole. If I’d had a little more time to explore, maybe I’d have realized writing was what I really loved instead of Broadcast Journalism. This isn’t a knock on my school, it’s just a knock on the fact that we’re all forced to pick a path so early in life. Sometimes you just have to wade through the awkwardness and let your “thing” find you.

When you find your “thing” and you have something that gets you all fired up you’ll never be that Office Space-esque guy just shuffling through life, punching a clock, waiting to go home. Or even if you are that guy for a period of time, you’ll be working towards a bigger goal with the knowledge that some day things will be different. Your “thing”, your passion, your talent will get you to where you want to be so your life will be all colorful and exciting and whatnot. Trust.

Finding your passion is about as easy as finding your soulmate. So, not very. Some people find it quicker than others. Some people think they find it and then realize they were wrong and it was actually something else. That’s okay. It’ll reveal itself eventually. I’ve read about a few different ways to try to zero in on what really makes you tick. Some people suggest looking at what you loved as a child and then finding a way to build a career around those things. Other people suggest looking at what you do when you’re just wasting time, because that may be a good indicator of where your true passion lies. I think these are both good thoughts. When you do figure out your “thing” suddenly you won’t be a square peg in a round hole. You won’t be a fish trying to scratch and claw your way up a tree. And life will feel settled and happy.

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