Whenever I have followed my passion in life, I have succeeded in life. And so can you.
Why I wanted to follow my passion
Time machine. In college, I was the optimistic doe-eyed kid, who wanted to ‘follow his passion’. I did. And I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams; achieving all of my life dreams by the age of 31. At age 31, I essentially feel like I have succeeded in everything I wanted to do, I have become ‘financially independent’, ‘location independent’, ‘digital nomad’ blah blah blah, and while it was a lot of effort on my end, it was also “effortless”.
Let me explain.
How to succeed ‘effortlessly’
To me it is very simple:
When you work on something you’re passionate about, it doesn’t feel like “work”. It is a fun, enjoyable, interesting activity– which has challenges, yet overcoming these challenges is the reward in itself.
When you pursue whatever you’re passionate about, it don’t feel like ‘work’. It is FUN! Exciting. Challenging. Interesting. You can pour infinite hours of work and effort into it, without boredom, satiety, or disgust.
For me, my passion was photography. I started this blog in 2010, and I have been passionately blogging since then (9–going on 10 years!)
I had a passion for photography. This inspired me to co-found the Photography Club at UCLA [2009-2010]. This was our vision:
1. Photo club to be open to photographers from all backgrounds and skill levels:
Photo club is to be an open community and forum which invites photographers from all skill levels and backgrounds to enjoy the art of photography. Photographers in the club will always have an open hand to help those who may need help or suggestion, and will not do so in a pompous manner. Photo club is a place for photographers to meet new friends, improve their photography skills, and just have a good time. Above all, we will NOT be a club that values gear-obsession (cameras, lenses, tripod, etc) over photography itself. Furthermore, members do not need a “fancy” camera to join– or even have a camera.
2. Photo club to be dedicated to community involvement:
We see photography as a tool not only for fun and enjoyment, but also using it to help out the community in some form or another. We wish to use our skills and talents to help support photography to individuals from all walks of life, which can be shown through the Photo Exhibit we had on “Love” in which we raised money to be sent to an organization called “Kids with Cameras” which supports photography to impoverished children in the red light district in Calcutta, India. Furthermore, we will try our best to reach out our hands to other clubs on campus and collaborate as well.
3. We are a group of amateur photographers:
The Photography Club at UCLA is a group of amateur photographers that shoot for the pure love of it. The word “amateur” stems from the latin word “amator” which means lover. The club will not be focused around “professional photography” in trying to make money from our craft. Although members are more than free to embark on any photographic endeavors, the club’s main focus will be to promote an open environment to learn and grow photographic vision and passion.
I co-created the club out of love, passion, and it has survived for nearly a decade!!!
Generally anything you create out of love and passion will continue to exist, thrive, and last.
This is my lesson:
Time flies. Time flies faster than you can imagine. Money will come. You will continue to exist. You won’t die in abject poverty.
To sustain yourself is quite easy in modern times. So why NOT pursue your passion? There doesn’t seem to be any good arguments to pursue something which is boring and uninteresting to you.
In praise of blogging
Before I discovered photography, I actually started blogging. I’ve been blogging since I was 15-16, and photographing since I was around 17-18.
- You can publish ANYTHING which interests you. Photo, video, essays, articles, books, audio, music, etc. The best way to think about a blog is having your own media empire.
- If you own a computer and like using the internet, it is one of the best ways to be creative. I truly believe that blogging is one of the most UNDERRATED forms of creative-expression and artistic production out there.
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+, MySpace, Xanga, LiveJournal, TypePad, etc) will come and go. Your website/blog will continue forever.
- Blogging as a perfect synthesis with photography: If you like to make photos, blogging is the perfect pair. You have a place where you can share and publish your own photos! Isn’t this 1000x better than just uploading photos to Facebook or Instagram? And you got POWER AND CONTROL!
Keep pursuing your passion
Your life is short and uncertain. You will die. Why waste any of that life doing stuff which is boring and uninteresting to you?
You will pay the bills. You will pay rent. You will be fine.
Don’t stress about the dimes and dollars. Instead follow your passion and holler with joy and delight. Keep it fun, and keep your passion aflight!