A friend posted this on my Facebook page and I burst out laughing. Maybe you’ve seen it, the hilarious satire on TheOnion.com titled “Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life”.

It’s one of those “sad because it’s true” pieces, somewhat of a depressing take on how adults tend to prioritize the mind-numbing trudge through “the daily grind” over pursuing dreams and passions that may seem too lofty or daunting.

I can’t stress this enough: Do what you love…in between work commitments, and family commitments, and commitments that tend to pop up and take immediate precedence over doing the thing you love. Because the bottom line is that life is short, and you owe it to yourself to spend the majority of it giving yourself wholly and completely to something you absolutely hate, and 20 minutes here and there doing what you feel you were put on this earth to do.

After chuckling a little bit, it’s just… Sad, right? It doesn’t exactly make me want to drop everything and move to New York to get on Broadway, but I do begin to think about that book I’ve been meaning to write or that mountain I’ve always wanted to climb.

But then I thought about it for a minute, and this is where I disagree with Todd. There’s a fundamental difference between the person he’s making fun of and the person that I am: I already know what my passions are, and I figured them out soon enough to be able to enjoy them throughout my childhood and early adulthood and still enjoy them today. I may not get paid to do them, and it is definitely too late to be the next Picabo Street, but the skills and characteristics I developed by pursuing my passions at a young age have helped me to become a confident adult living a healthy, balanced life. And here’s where he proves my point:

Before you get started, though, you need to find the one interest or activity that truly fulfills you in ways nothing else can.

And the first three sentences of the “article” in general:

I have always been a big proponent of following your heart and doing exactly what you want to do. It sounds so simple, right? But there are people who spend years and decades, trying to find a true sense of purpose for themselves.

So are passions supposed to be our careers, or are passions supposed to help nurture us, guide us toward being better human beings, and enhance our lives through challenge and creative expression?  As I grow older, I’m convinced that at least for me, it’s the latter. For the talented and committed, sure, passions can most certainly be careers. But for people like me (dare I say “regular folk”), the intent of pursuing my passions isn’t to create a career opportunity or to avoid a job I may hate, it’s about growing as a person and enjoying my life.

We shouldn’t send the message to kids that pursuing the things they love is only worth it if they do it forever or be the best at it. Today, I love and enjoy my career that much more because at an early age I learned how to embrace a challenge, explore new things, succeed and fail, train hard, think creatively, and most importantly enjoy the experience.


AdrienneThis post was written by Activity Adrienne.  She’s responsible for Thrively’s activity content and our social media channels.  At one point in her life, she really did want to be the next Picabo Street.  And the next Martina Hingis. And the next Kerri Strug. And the next Brandi Chastain. And the next… Ok, you get it.