Do we really need to have passion first or we could like any job that comes our way? Let’s find out.
Most people including myself, thought, we need passion and until we don’t have it, we think we are really stuck in life of quick sand and don’t know what to do and where to go. We are clueless. And many times, we think, or at least, I did. I always wished I was like my friend or this other person who knows exactly what he/she wants to do with his/her life. Look at them, they are so smart and confident and they’ve all figured out their lives and look at me, I’m so dumb and useless, I don’t even know what to do. Is there something wrong with me? Why am I like that? I wish I had a clear picture like others and knew exactly what I wanted to do in life.
My story is slightly different, in my case, I knew what my passion was, I loved acting but wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue it. I had these stories (or thoughts) that kept playing in my head like a broken record. So what were my stories? I’m not good looking, I don’t have a good photo face or I’m not photogenic. Whenever I saw my face on a tv screen or a photo, I never liked myself one bit. I thought I looked really ugly with big eyes and sausage lips. So guess what? I never tried. And since I never gave it a shot, I didn’t know what else to do. So the initial years of my work life, I had to drag myself to work. Most of the time, I didn’t like going to work but loved holidays and was always looking for excuses to skip work. In fact, many times, I would fake sick to stay home. Even when my company would send me out for some outdoor work, if I was lucky to finish 3-4 hours ahead of office time, I would never return back to work and instead go straight home and relax. Basically, I hated working. I just wanted to enjoy life and let my father feed me. But, unfortunately, I didn’t have the luxury and choice of doing nothing and staying at home because my father wasn’t doing great financially and absolutely needed my help. So I reluctantly went out and looked for a job. Before I became an English teacher, I tried my hand at many different jobs hoping to find the passion and happiness. First, I was a financial broker, worked for 2 years and then got into import export business with a friend, worked there for 5 years and then got into accounting field, did some book keeping work for 2 years, got bored and then took a break and then got into a huge telephone company and worked as a customer service executive which I kind of enjoyed but didn’t like going to work on Sundays so eventually quit that too. Then finally I got into teaching and it’s been 15 years and I haven’t looked back.
Then one day, I heard a radio show where Michael Neill interviews Dr. George Pransky, and according to the philosopher Colin Wilson, Dr. George Pransky is “the greatest psychologist of our time". Personally, I’ve heard so many of his audios and also watched his videos and I myself have learnt so much from him. I think he’s phenomenal and a great human being. And this is what I got from the interview. First of all, you don’t need to have passion to enjoy any kind of work, you could enjoy anything that comes your way. You just need to throw yourself in and show up. I was highly impressed and it was kind of a new idea. Never heard that before because all my life I’ve heard many people say you need passion in order to enjoy your job and do well. I also heard when you show up you tend to attract opportunities.
Although I had never heard of this idea before, but now that I reflect on my life, I kind of did do what George was saying. Let me share my stories. I remember when I first started working as an English teacher, I told my wife, I would never teach kindergarteners or secondary school kids (grade 7 and above), I will just focus on primary level because I thought teaching in a kindergarten means I would need a lot of energy which I don’t have and teaching teens means I would need to have really good English writing and grammar skills which I knew I didn’t have. I also felt I wasn’t great at English because in form 5, I had failed in GSCE English which is quite embarrassing to share especially if you are an English teacher. But like they say never say never, and that’s what happened to me. About 12 years back, I remember, my primary school was about to close down in 3 years because the enrolment numbers were dropping like crazy and there weren’t enough students to run the school so when we reached the beginning of the last year of school, my principal wanted me to work for less money for 3 days instead of the original 5 days which meant I had to look for another job that would fill up the remaining 2 days. At first, I didn’t take up the offer because I told her I needed more money and just working for 3 days wasn’t not enough to support my family so in her graciousness, she found me another job at her sister school which was a kindergarten school.
I didn’t want to do it but I needed the money so I took up the offer. And this is before I heard George but I was very much involved with the self-development and coaching world and some where I had heard you can choose to be anything in any situation so I chose to be happy and have fun even though I didn’t want to work with that age. As a result of that, I had a fantastic time working there. In fact, all my kids and colleagues were very happy with my performance. I also remember, my extra activity classes were overbooked. Many kids wanted to join but we had to limit the numbers and I was told that had never happened before which I am grateful for.
After 2 years of working in kindergarten, I left the job for personal reasons. And this time I had to go out and look for a job that would pay me more in order to survive. So luckily, I found an agent which initially I was reluctant to work with, but later, since I needed the money, I just went for it. However, I had requested the agents many times, to give me primary or kindergarten level jobs, but for some reason, they only had secondary school jobs available for me. I didn’t want to do it but had no choice. As I was working, I just threw myself into the job and showed up every day as George said above and I started to enjoy secondary level too. Now what does showing up mean? Does it mean just showing up physically? No. It’s more than that. To me it means, coming to school with that intention of serving the kids, my colleagues and the school. Coming to school with that positive energy of happiness, fun and enthusiasm. And then from that place, you teach or do whatever needs to be done to support your kids. And I also experienced another thing as a result of showing up. Like George said, I was creating more opportunities and making more money than I would have if I had just turned up like a zombie. By the way, I only worked with the agent for 2 years. And in those 2 years, because the way I showed up, the schools wanted to keep working with me. After one project was over, they would again request the agent for me. And because of that, I really made good money and I survived those 2 years. In those 2 years, I was a little nervous whether I would be able to make enough money especially because I was getting paid on an hourly basis. If I had an assignment, I would get paid. And when there were long holidays like Christmas, Easter etc. I wouldn’t get anything. But thank God, things just worked out in my favour. I really thank GOD for all the opportunities he brought to me.
During those years of working with agent, I also got a lot of projects which I wouldn’t have done in the past like debating, Liberal studies and many more but because I needed the money, I just took up the project, showed up and that’s it. I also had a learning curve, which is what George always likes to say. When you take something, you are not good at and just go with the flow, you tend to always learn something which I did. In fact, now when I look back, those 2 years of my life was fun even though, I will admit, it wasn’t fun all the time. There were days or times, when I didn’t want to come to work but it’s okay. That happens. And you know why? Because of thought. If you have a certain thought, you will have a certain kind of feeling. Let’s say if you woke up and you have a happy thought, then you will feel happy. If on the other hand, you have a sad thought, then you will feel sad. Many people think, if you wake up in the morning and if you are feeling sad, it means your whole day is ruined and that’s not true. Why? Because just like trains on a platform, they keep coming and going. If any train stopped (for some reason) for the whole day at a particular train station, it would be a problem. Passengers would get stuck and not get to their destinations. Similarly, thoughts change, and as they change so does your feeling. You don’t have to take my word for it. Experiment with it. Next time when you are feeling like crap at any time of the day, see, if the thought changes. The minute the thought changes, your feelings would change too. One can’t happen without the other.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and have a great day!