Passion vs. Responsibility
It’s an interesting conundrum when you’re faced with the realization that time never stops. You may have a passion that eats you alive on the inside because you’re sure that you “could” accomplish it “if” only these series of unfortunate events hadn’t happened or the infamous recollection of “I wish I knew then what I know now.” Unfortunately, you didn’t know. So now what do you do? Do you face your responsibilities as a man/woman and grab a 9 to 5, or are you so passionate that the only work you want to do is the work that you truly love?
I’ll be honest, my humble intellect has yet to figure IT out yet, but I am taking the steps to get closer to the balance we are all looking for. I know I’m not the only one out there who believes they can do something that nobody expected of them, to prove everybody wrong. But what if you get so consumed in your diabolical thoughts between what you want and what the world asks of you, that you completely neglect your financial responsibilities? How will you fund this crazy passion that wakes you up at 3 a.m. to remind you that you haven’t done enough for it to manifest?
I have an interesting conversation about topics like this every week. I’m not particularly looking for them to give me the answer I’ve been looking for all my life, but it inspires me to see someone who once struggled with balancing life the way I have. To see them make a way, out of no way, in their own way – – for the lack of a better phrase – – is what gives me hope that there is a balanced formula out there for happiness. Of course we all want to have a dream set-up where we barely work and we vacation often. But I am a firm believer that humans are never permanently satisfied, and we rely on the mental occupation. Therefore, you could have the entire world to yourself, but how long would you stay happy on this planet alone?
There’s someone in a third world country who would love to only complain about not living a “dream,” but to merely have fresh water. That is, until they get used to that fresh water. Once they get used to the fresh water, they’ll want wine. When the wine kick fades, they’ll want champagne. The point is, once you get used to having something, it loses value. You get used to it. So I think it’s important to put material things in perspective. All we really have in our lives is a story. A journey that takes us all to the same destination. If you don’t fall in love with the process of your story, obtaining fresh water, wine, and all the finer things in life, then they will eventually be just another commodity you’ve become accustomed to.
In “The Alchemist,” written by Paulo Coehlo, there was a young man who was searching for the secret to happiness. He stumbled upon a merchant who allegedly had the wisdom to inform the young man of the secret. He sent the boy to take a stroll around his beautiful palace for a couple of hours, and asking of the young man to carry two teaspoons of oil in the process; He asked him not to spill it. The young man returned with the two teaspoons, and the merchant asked him if he saw all the beautiful gardens, tapestries, and libraries of his palace. The young man was so worried about spilling the teaspoons that he hadn’t noticed.
The young man went back to observe all the wonders of the palace so he could finally get the knowledge from the old man that he needed. Once he returned, he began telling the old merchant about how beautiful his palace was. The merchant asked the boy about the two teaspoons of oil amidst his excitement. He dropped all the oil while observing the palace. The old man said, “The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”
Life is a balancing act. If you’re passionate about something, by all means pursue. We’re capable of more than we think we are, but never take your eyes off the two drops of oil.