This question was asked on a recent episode of the Office Hours podcast:
“How do I find my passion and make my family proud?”
First, forget about finding your passion.
Follow your priorities. Instead of asking yourself ‘what would I do if money were no object’ ask ‘what am I willing to do in spite of the fact that money actually is an object?’
What are you willing to pay for? What are you willing to sacrifice for? What are you willing to do even when it’s not fun anymore? What means that much to you?
Your passion is going to change. Or maybe it doesn’t exist yet. Or maybe you haven’t figured it out yet, or you won’t know until you try a lot of stuff.
Being passionate about something is not a prerequisite to doing something. It’s actually a byproduct of taking action. Passion is the direct result of trying a lot of things and not doing stuff you hate.
Trying to make your family proud is a huge distraction.
Most people have no idea what you’re fully capable of. They have an idea of how they want to see you live, but most people don’t sit around thinking about how far your potential reaches.
People can’t demand something from you when they have no idea what to expect. That means you must push yourself to be, do, and have things that nobody expects before they see you do them. If you focus on making your family proud, you’re going to limit the actualization of your potential to things that you think will please them based on what they already know about you and what you already know about them.
Instead of focusing on making your family proud, focus on making yourself proud. Focus on being the kind of person who can look at yourself in the mirror everyday with self respect and a clear conscience knowing that you live as you believe. Your family, if they are decent people, will be proud of you if you are living true to who you are. Their pride should not be the object of your desires.
If you need people to like what you do to badly, it has the reverse effect. People are proud of someone who takes ownership of their own lives. People are most likely to respect someone who doesn’t have that neediness to be respected.
Forget about everyone else and do the stuff that you believe in.