Why do some people seem to find their passion and others never do?

Have you ever woke up feeling that work or school is a prison cell that you want to escape?

Like many people, I never focused on passion when choosing my career in high school. Instead I went into a stable career that most Asian parents would of killed for… selling drugs AKA pharmacy.

When I was asked… What do you wanna do when you grow up?, my research for pharmacy was simple. 

  1. I literally googled “highest paying careers with the least amount of school”.  
  2. “OMG a doctorate degree with a six figure income in seven years?!?”
  3. “Sign me up.”

If I could make it, then I would be “set” and gucci for the rest of my life. Gucci gang. Or so I thought. Who knew in 7 years, I would be completely wrong.

Everything like the six figure income and doctorate degree was there, but despite all my accomplishments and hard work, I wasn’t satisfied. Just like my ex girlfriend felt after sex. 

Something was still missing.

When I would pickup my venti black iced coffee from Starbucks before work, I wondered… when is life going to feel like it supposed to?

I definitely wasn’t living the “gucci gang” life that Lil Pump promised if I sold Xannies.

Honestly I was dying inside. It sucked not spending holidays with my family. Instead of traveling and chilling on the beaches of Hawaii, I was stuck at the pharmacy. My student loan statement was my monthly reminder that I was trapped.

My last Christmas with my family was 4 years ago

This wasn’t my idea of living a rich life. And it killed me knowing that I chose this post pharmacy life. 

Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t Chinese sweatshop bad, but why should we live a half assed life especially when you work so hard?

Eventually the excitement of wanting to change healthcare and a promising future faded. I started slipping into depression again. Suddenly everything felt like high school again. I started wondering…

Am I ever going to feel like myself again?

It’s shitty not knowing what you’re supposed to do with your life and to feel that void every night when you sleep.

The extra stress of the wrong decision, changing the course of our life foreverdoesn’t help either

And that’s why the idea of passion is sexy

When you realize that you dropped $180,000 on school and still aren’t happy, passion gives hope that tomorrow will be a better day. It makes us feel alive. More importantly you can wake up with a purpose that means more than just paying rent on time. 

So where do go to find passion?

When you want to find porn, you can go to PornHub. There’s Coinbase for bitcoin. When you want tacos, you go to East LA and hit up a street taco stand (best deals). But there is no “passion” store.

LA street tacos

Passion isn’t a tangible thing. That’s why it’s hard to find.

So maybe we google a few articles and read some books. Hell. You probably found this article because you googled Quarter Life Crisis.

But honestly there’s tons of advice out there. And a lot of it sucks ass. 

So today I just wanted to give you the most practical advice and shortcut the process for finding your passion by using the skills that you already have.

Close out that PornHub browser. Let’s get working.

What your Asian parents would say about passion

Imagine if you some of the “passion” advice and showed it to an Asian parent. What do you think would happen?

First, a lot of our parents wouldn’t be able to read it. Second, they would laugh at you just how they laughed at your high school GPA.

The truth is a lot of our parents came from shitty pasts. Some of them had everything taken away. Maybe they witnessed their family killed off. Life sucked ass for a lot of them.

So they wanted a change. All of them gave up something they were comfortable with just for the chance to start over in a new country. Their passion was just making it and doing whatever it took to help their family.

So finding something that “you love doing” isn’t even in their vocabulary. The problem with words like passion and happiness, it doesn’t tell you much, especially what to do.

So that’s why I fell in love with this Reddit post. It more than “just make more money and you’ll find your passion”. It simplifies happiness and passion down so even your parents can understand it.

Happiness can be broken down into these four tangible things…

  • Where you live (city)
  • Where you physically live (a tent on the street vs a baller ass home)
  • What you do with most of your time (school, work, hobbies)
  • People you’re close to (boyfriend/girlfriend, real homies, family)

If you’ve got 2/4, then you’re doing pretty good. 3/4? Then you’re “happy”. If you have 4/4, then that’s pretty much living the dream. And if you have 0/4 or 1/4, at least you know what to start working on.

If you realize your friendships are shit, then you can work on that. If you hate living alone and want cool roommates, you can work on finding kick ass roommates.

What I like about this is that you get practical feedback for your next steps. 

Is it all inclusive? No, but it’ll get you in the right direction. So why not break it down to the essentials?

What if we always had passion, but never realized it?

Ever been asked… what do you do for fun?

Maybe you’re like… Shit. I don’t know my passion. So I’ll just say traveling, even though I hate it. Because that’s what people are supposed to like.

I “hate” traveling

I love Mark Manson’s article about passion. In his article, he talks about how kids are naturally passionate.

When I was a kid, I spent most of time playing SNES, fighting my brother with wiffle bats AKA “swords”, and playing Power Rangers. Blue Ranger ftw.

No one told us to do those things. It was just fun. 

When I picked my nose and ate my boogers, I didn’t stop and think how it would affect my future career, relationships, and financial stability. No deep analysis.

And when we didn’t want to do something anymore, we just stopped. No debate or guilt. Thank god I stopped buying Pokemon Booster packs looking for that 1st edition Charlizard.

So what happens when you’re an adult and you try to do something “fun”? Let’s go to Reddit.

How insightful.

Damn. Banging my SO and drinking. Even though I’m always down for passionate sex, so many of us completely ignore their passion. 

“There’s some topic or activity or idea that dominates a significant amount of your free time, your conversations, your web browsing, and it dominates them without you consciously pursuing it or looking for it.” -Mark Manson

Mark has a good point. Is the problem lack of passion? Or is it the lack of awareness and focus on spending time with what makes happy and fulfilled?

Assuming you sleep 8 hours and work a 9-5 job, that leaves you 8 hours for yourself. What do you do during that time? Are you really just drinking and fucking for 8 hours?

Looks like my roommate found his “passion” in Bali

Chances are we’re passionate about something, but we’re ignoring it.

A simple solution is the “what would you do on a Saturday/Sunday morning” test. What a concise sexy ass name. 

You choose a day where you schedule in a “buffer” day. That means no errands or chores. Just block out this time. Keep a notebook with you.

Write down everything from the YouTube channels you watch to the conversations you have. Maybe you go for a hike or volunteer somewhere. Or maybe you like hitting up hip hop joints where you’re the only Asian.

Do a time audit. Chances are passion is right in front of you.

Passion doesn’t need to be turned into a full time career

If you google the definition for passion, it’s an intense desire or enthusiasm for somethingNotice it doesn’t mention money.

So why do we feel an obligation to turn passion into a full time career?

Think about passionate sex. Or those foodies who are passionate about mouthgasms. Sure. There’s people making money out of those things,like the porn industry, but it’s also okay to enjoy those things just as a hobby too. Not everything has to be turned into a business.

The truth is that many of us have multiple passions. Do we really want to create a business out of all of them?  

It’s perfectly fine to work a full time job, while doing something you love on the side.

Somethings are just better enjoyed as a hobby. With jiujitsu I don’t ever want to compete in EBI or the Abu Dhabi tournament. I just enjoy pushing myself to kick ass.

And if you want to turn your passion into a full time business, that’s cool too. But it’s important to realize that every job is going to suck sometimes.

Especially with the internet, it’s a great time to start a business with little capital. There’s even a book about the doing a $100 Startup.

Either way, it’s your choice.

You don’t need to “find” your passion

I was reading Reddit and came across these reasons why people couldn’t find passion.

“Passion isn’t realistic because it doesn’t consider money”

“I don’t like anything I do and I’m not in love with any of my work”

“I have no accomplishments.”

God damn.

How are you suppose to find passion when you approach everything like you’re about to get your STD results? The biggest barrier to finding passion is being too serious and not having fun.

You don’t have to go on a 10 day silent retreat, do yoga, and burn incense everyday to find it. Passion is already in you. It was there back when you were trading Pokemon cards as a kid and it’s still there as an adult.

The real question is… when was the last time you just gave yourself time to have fun?

Some people will argue that you don’t need passion. Part of it is true.

Knowing your passion doesn’t make a shitty job better or make bad days go away. It just gives you something to look forward to when those bad days happen.

I’m curious – What is the shittiest advice you’ve been told for finding your passion?

No judgement. It could be some hippie ass advice where you start off with the right perspective or find the limits of your bravery. Or it can be some negative useless advice saying… finding your passion is useless. Just keep your boring office job that you hate.

Or you can even say this article LOL. Trust me. I won’t be offended. Just let me know why. Let’s open up the conversation – real talk.

Until next time,

Kevin the Refugee

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Also special thanks to this Reddit post by Oaks12 and Mark Mansion’s article about passion. It’s some of the best advice on the internet.