Action Leads to Passion
When the door to the office closed behind me with an audible click, the relief swept over me. In the interview I had unburdened my soul. I had faced the internal pressures that I had placed upon myself. Pressures disguised as coming from my friends and family…from society itself. In reality, these were my own self-created constraints. As the first born of two, with successful parents who are perfectionists in their own unique ways, I was predisposed to having perfectionistic tendencies. I exceled in the classroom and had some athletic success as well. A large part of me pushed for the 4.0 and for the dominance on the playing field, because of my internal drive and urge to be the best I could be. And yet, a sliver of me, acted out of fear…fear of failure…fear of disappointing those close to me…fear of not living up to the potential others saw in me.
At first unrecognizable, this incompleteness lay dormant and quietly went about influencing my decisions and behavior. Major in Economics. That’s sounds good—I’ll make good money with that major. Work for a bank and broker. Heck yeah—those experiences will set me up for Wall Street. My self-imposed fears were influencing these decisions. The sliver was growing wider and exerting more influence. As the stress of a college senior year mounted and I faced an uncertain future, the internal angst revealed itself and prompted action. This was my life. These were my decisions to make. This was my path to choose and create. Insecurity was not going to determine the outcome of my life’s journey.
The relief was sweet. It was a reset button. The fears were faced and just like that were gone. Now what? My mind was quiet. The made up voices of others dissipated into nothingness and what was left was a single question: What are you passionate about? As I walked to one of my final practices of my college career an idea began to formulate. I got to college and where I was at that moment because of basketball. It had been my passion since as long as I could remember. I had lived and breathed the game. It had taught me some great life lessons. Its pursuit had given me opportunities to travel, meet people, get a great education, and develop life long friendships. However, the writing was on the wall for this passion. This would be my final season of competitive basketball—no professional contracts were coming my way. I had gone as far as I could on passion. The innate talent for the next level wasn’t there. But look what I had accomplished by just pursuing something that gave me joy and a drive for hard work.
With clarity I knew what my next step was. It wasn’t seeking the next interview with yet another investment bank. It wasn’t waiting around for divine inspiration or following the herd towards what society said was the way. I was going out and trying new things. It was traveling and expanding my world. It was putting myself out there and meeting new people. It was getting outside of my comfort zone. It was starting the journey to find a new passion or even more than one. It was about finding the path through doing, moving towards something, even if it led to a possible dead end. Ultimately, the act of doing would lead me on a journey of self-discovery blazing my own route instead of sitting at one of life’s bus stops waiting for a ride.