Have you got Multiple Passions?
What is a passion? Something you enjoy the act of doing, not the idea of doing. You have tried it, and you enjoy it. It’s something we are not afraid to protect, to learn and to grow at. These are the things we embody in our very personality, we allow our passions to absorb us for the sheer enjoyment of pursuing greatness with the passion.
We are all good at many things, we all have multiple passions that we like to pursue, and mostly at the same time. We broadcast what we are good at online. Our Instagrams and Twitters are filled with everything we enjoy and the various outlets we are pursuing at that particular moment. It’s a stream of consciousness. We want everyone to know that we are good at many different outlets, and are capable of learning and executing many different pursuits at a basic level.
This is normal. We all have this desire to project the various pursuits we’re following and outlets that we’re skilled at. Having multiple passions is one of the greatest struggles a creative has. There is nothing wrong with having multiple passions.
If you are wondering why you’re creating (in your eyes) great work, but not generating the traction you think you deserve for doing all of these pursuits, because you’re working hard to populate your feeds with various pieces of work you produce, with no aim or form of curation for any of your work. Don’t be surprised if you never get traction or attention on your work or feed.
You can’t focus on multiple passions at one time. It’s doing the other passions a disservice. It’s doing your future audience a disservice, by not investing time into learning and growing the passion. By not investing time into your passions with the aim to improve then you do all of your passions a disservice.
In the business world, there is a stigma among young freelancers associated to multiple passions and knowing multiple skills. The stigma is backed up by standard college modules; “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. By knowing many different skills, you will be more desirable to business recruiters and land a job easier when you graduate. Then you realise real life doesn’t work like that.
A business hires you because you are good at one thing. This one thing that you have dedicated your time to learning in-depth and you can demonstrate these skills with your curated portfolio and your case studies. When do you see someones job title in a business “Account Manager/Visual Designer/Human Relations”? You don’t.
The idea that college operates its modules like this is not for you to become skilled at multiple outlets. It’s aim was to allow you the time to discover if you liked this skill, to further pursue it as a passion. This is why you only practice these modules for 3 months at a time, barely enough time to scratch the surface level of each skill. No time to allow yourself to explore more in-depth knowledge and professional insight.
If your aim is to become a recognised professional, to be known for something, you need to focus on one passion.
People need to be able to categories you and your passion. For their own mind, they need to be able to put you in a box and label you so they know what you are about, without using brain power. People follow you for a reason. Your work is valuable and you have a sense of direction. People want to follow those who know what they are doing.
If you’re wondering why people don’t follow you online, or you’re audience is not growing, you need to pick one thing. If you’re not ready to publicly commit to a certain passion, because you feel that the passion isn’t a good representation of your identity and your values. Either spend more time discovering what you like to do and which passions you enjoy more than the others.
Which passion embodies you’re personality the most?
The best way to decide is pick one, any of them. The one you feel strongest about, one you can dedicate the next couple of years to. If you pick one and instantly you know that you don’t want to do it, then you’re one step closer to discovering your true passion that you can start then and there. You will find with this approach that there will be passions that ultimately only the idea one of the passion was what you enjoy, not the actual act of doing it.
If you can’t commit to something for 2 years, and turn up to it everyday, it’s not a passion.
Do you love your passions enough to not do them the disservice of practicing them all right now? If you love the act of doing something, it can can wait until you pursue the one passion you love the most right now.
Pick something and start. When you pick this passion, curate it on your social feeds. Dedicate time to learn it and become great at it. If you start and then realise that you didn’t like it a few months down the line, you haven’t failed, because now it’s one more passion you know you don’t want to pursue right now.
You can’t do everything in the world. You can’t do everything at once.
Don’t do your audience, and yourself, the disservice of switching between passions anytime you wish. People follow you because you have something of value to offer, your audience comes to expect it of you.
Respect your audience. Respect yourself.