The biggest disservice my generation did to the future was telling them to pursue their passion. Yes, passion may make you happy for a while. However unless you have a purpose, you will never experience real joy.
For instance, my passion is scuba diving. Those that know me understand this statement. Those of you who don’t know me, may not understand that when I say “my passion is scuba diving” I mean I love every aspect of scuba diving. Even those things I don’t like about scuba diving (e.g. cave diving) is still fascinating to me. Even those days when I am out on my favorite dive boat in rough seas and I am “hugging the bucket” I still love scuba diving. Scuba diving makes me happy, at least for 40-50 minutes at a time.
If I followed my passion however, the lovely and talented Kathy and I would be living out of my Jeep by now. Don’t get me wrong, I like my Jeep, but I want to make enough money so that the lovely and talented Kathy can have a roof over her head and a bed to sleep in at night.
The old joke in the diving industry is
Q: What’s the difference between a scuba instructor and a large pizza?
A: A large pizza can feed a family of 4.
Still, even though it can never provide for the lovely and talented Kathy in the way that she deserves, scuba diving is something I am passionate about.
Teaching on the other hand, is my purpose. I’ve been teaching in one way or another most of my adult life. I think my first real teaching gig was as a private tutor for BASIC programming. It was fun but again, it wasn’t lucrative enough to pay the bills.
Since those days I’ve started user groups, run conferences, and developed and presented classes to programmers who wanted to learn something new. Along the way I discovered that I get more than happiness when I see someone learn, I get a sense of fulfilment. A sense of joy that is not possible with something that I am simply passionate about. I like teaching but I don’t love it the way I love scuba diving. I’m ok with that. I don’t have to love my purpose, I just have to understand it and then fulfil it. It is the fulfilling of my purpose that gives me the joy.
Yes, being underwater makes me happy for 40-50 minutes at a time, I don’t ever want to change that. Teaching someone ELSE how to be happy underwater, that brings me joy.
Find your purpose, then you’ll find real joy.
Until next time,
I <3 |<