Thoughts and Questions About Pursuing Your Passions

by derek on June 19, 2007 · 8 comments

Earlier today I was reading an article from Wendy Piersall about the best way to start a home business online and there was a comment from Jill Koenig that reminded me of something I have been giving a good deal of thought lately.
Jill commented that people have more resolve and resiliency to overcome obstacles when they pursue what they are passionate about. Something I have been thinking about for some time now is what it is that I am truly passionate about.
When you think about your passions, do you have a clear answer?
Whenver I think about my passions, I find myself coming up with numerous answers but am left wondering if these are things that I am really passionate about. The things that I believe to be my passions include the following:

  • Finances :: As evidenced by the fact that I also run a personal finance blog, finances is a topic that I am passionate about. Whether it be something like methods to eliminate debt or investment strategies for a secure retirement, I welcome the opportunity to discuss financial topics with people.
  • Motorcylces :: Given that I love to ride my motorcycle and am really interested in the art of creating custom motorcycles, I consider motorcycles to be a passion.
  • Sports :: Now that I am a desk jockey, my passion is more directed towards following my favorite teams as opposed to actually playing sports but I love to review stats and talk sports with people.
  • Family :: As a father of two terrific boys, I would have to say that I am passionate about spending time with them and seeing them grow into fine young men. Whether it be playing ball with them in the yard or helping them with homework, I cherish my time with them.
  • Blogging :: As many of you are likely aware, trying to balance a full-time job and multiple blogs requires some degree of passion. Since being introduced to blogging a little less than a year ago, I have been trying to learn as much as possible and love all aspects of blogging.
  • Photography :: Ever since I took a Photography class in college, I have loved taking pictures but lack any real skill. I’ve been thinking of purchasing a new DSLR to pursue this passion but have yet to make a decision.

The area of uncertainty for me is that while I am interested in all of the items above, I am not positive that I can really consider them passions. To be honest, I am not even sure that I know what the appropriate definition of *passionate* would be and that might be part of my dilemma.
A few months back I was tasked with developing my career plan at work and defining my short-term and long-term goals. As I pondered the direction that I wanted to take with my career, I continued to read advice that you should set your goals in relation to what you want to do and what you are passionate about. But as I worked through that process I began to question if I really knew what I was passionate about versus what things just interest me.
As an example, I listed finances as a passion of mine and I have been running my personal finance blog for nearly a year. Does that mean it is a passion? At times I believe it is but as I read other personal finance blogs, I find myself wondering just how passionate I really am. Likewise with motorcycles, while I love riding and learning about custom motorcycles it really doesn’t expand much further than that. I don’t know much of anything about performing maintenance on motorcycles and don’t really take the time to keep up with the latest news and developments in the industry. So is this really a passion?
When I think about being passionate about a topic, I have the perception that you know just about everything related to that topic and essentially live, breathe and eat the topic. Using that perception, I don’t think I am truly passionate about anything. Is it possible to not have a true passion?
With the majority of my time consumed by my full-time job (including my lengthy commute to and from work), I usually spend the remainder of my time with my wife and kids. Once they are in bed, I jump online and do my best to keep up with my blogs. As you can see, I don’t really spend much time on any of the other items that I have listed as passions.
The realization that my current job consumes the largest part of my time and does not align with any of my passions often results in thoughts about a career change that would mesh better with the things that interest me. With the responsibility to provide for my family, I find myself staying within my comfort zone and not pursuing something that might be more personally satisfying.
While I try to define what passion means to me and whether the items I listed above meet that definition, I would like to ask you for some feedback.
What things are you passionate about?
When you think about the things that you are passionate about, how do you define whether something is truly a passion or simply an interest?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Damien Riley June 21, 2007 at 5:37 pm

I’m all about making money off my blog. The problem is that I hate the look of ads and they seem to never get clicked enough to earn anything worth it anyway. For me it’s become a diary of my life and a place to practice writing. It is somehwat of a social networking thing, but I really have only met a small handful of people through blogging. i have met more through MySpace. I’ve done 2 payperposts so far. The first I did wrong and left a link out so I got zilch. This latest was a review of a DVD. It says I stand to collect 8 bucks. whew, if that happens it would pay my host fees for one month. that’s nothin to sneeze at. I’ll be watching for your posts. Hope you meet your goal! For me, I think it’s most healthy to view this as a diary . . . to avoid appearing in denial 🙂 Nobody can deny it’s that right?


derek June 21, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Damien, given the context of your comment it appears you commented on the incorrect post but I appreciate your thoughts. 🙂
This site has been more of the diary for me as well while my other site has been more of the “money maker” to this point.


Damien Riley June 21, 2007 at 9:56 pm

oops! LOL. Yeah. Money’s the thing. Doing it on a personal blog is possible, there are people out there doing it. i guess that would be my ideal situation. Ideal situations are fun . . . because they are ideal 😉 Sorry about commenting in the wrong place dude. durrrrrr.


derek June 21, 2007 at 10:51 pm

No problem at all, I was happy to see a comment on this post even if it wasn’t intended. 😉


Personal Finance March 13, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Yay for personal finance blogs. I have one too. It is my passion and I enjoy writing about it everyday. I know some people who write about what they arnt interested in and they don’t post as frequently and the quality is lower.
Plus they dont make as much money. now I just gotta learn how to get people to actually come to my site. Hopefully you wrote about it on some of your other posts. I’m kinda new to your site. will do a little searching around, good post!


Payday Loans October 29, 2008 at 10:25 pm

That’s a good mixture of passions, you have a little bit of money, a little bit of art, and of course blogging to tie it all up so that you are interactive with the world wide web. Hope you succeed in these fields.


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