Writing Journey

How To Balance Passion & Work

One of the biggest, and probably most difficult, decision we have to make in life is the choice between surviving and pursuing our passion. Which is more important—doing the things that we love at a cost or work to pay the bills and perhaps live a more comfortable life? It always seems to be one or the other. And, we often believe that those who get to do what they love and make a living from it are the blessed minority. But here’s what I’ve come to realised… there’s actually a way to do both. It won’t require much except for a little courage and a change in mindset.

Let’s start with our mindset. As passionate individuals, we often want to live our passion—solely our passion—nothing more, nothing less. We have the biggest dreams and the wildest goals. We aim for the stars. And, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s something we should keep doing. Heck I do it all the time and perhaps too often. But, if all we strive for is what we idealise—refusing to try anything new—our dreams will remain as dreams.

Speaking from personal experience, I’ve spent way too many years focused on the dream of becoming a full-time author. It has been all I’ve ever wanted that it tunneled my vision—building walls around my other abilities. Because that dream was my sole focus, I shied away from trying new things, exploring new industries, and stepping outside of my comfort zone in fear of ‘jeopardizing’ my dream. But, after a few uncomfortable experiences, I started to see what the world had to offer. I found opportunities that could actually help me achieve my dreams. Yes, they may not be about writing or directly related to my passion, but they can and will bring me one step closer toward being a better writer as a whole. I still want to be a full-time author, but I’ve chosen not to box myself. I’ve made a decision—a change in mindset—to try, fail, and seize everything the world throws my way.

Now, of course, if you’re an introvert like me who has been boxed for far too long, doing something new is daunting. Choosing to embrace new environments is scary. What if you say the wrong words? What if you fail to meet expectations? As many opportunities as there are to advance yourself, there are equal or greater opportunities to fail. So, we make excuses. Despite knowing what a great stepping stone it may be, we give ourselves a reason not to do it. What a waste, isn’t it? Here’s the thing, we actually don’t need a lot of courage to break those walls. Sometimes, all we need to do… is close our eyes and say ‘yes’.

I’m a socially awkward individual who has trouble connecting and meeting new people. But I’ve learned to say ‘yes’ to social events because I know it will do me good. I still hate it—I do not like mingling—but if it’s a good opportunity to advance myself, I say ‘yes’. I may regret my decision later on—diving blindly into an unknown environment—but I say ‘yes’ first and worry about the outcome later. After all, we cannot predict what will happen in life. But I believe that every open door presents an opportunity to go further and do greater things. And with all these doors, it only takes one step—a pinch of courage—to step through them.

If you’re in this stage of your life where you’re struggling to balance between your passion and work, perhaps it’s time to be bold and break the walls you’ve built around you. The odds of you achieving your dream is higher when you do more. Confining yourself at the notion of protecting your dreams doesn’t preserve your passion. Instead, it’s hiding your gifts and abilities from the world. So be brave fellow dreamer. Start learning new things and exploring new ideas. Start challenging yourself for the sake of your awesome dream.

8 thoughts on “How To Balance Passion & Work”

  1. I’m maybe in this part of my life? Definitely needing to break down walls I’ve put up has been tough. I’m currently going through multiple decision making pulling from every which way. As scared as I am to take a step towards one direction, I’m also pretty excited to try new things which I haven’t done in forever. To me, living the dream is being able to focus on my passion/s and also living comfortably. So, I strive for that. Thanks for your words. 🙂

  2. I empathize with your current position, Jeyna. I had some mild success writing in my twenties, while I was in college. From my earliest memories, I always thought that I would be a writer. Well, because of decisions that I made and the circumstances that followed, I postponed my dreams of writing. In my late twenties; I had responsibilities for my first wife and family, so I pursued making a living. With her passing, in my thirties; I married again, and again had responsibilities with a new wife. This path took me into my forties. It was not until my late forties and fifties did I return to finish college and then a graduate degree. When I retired from my job I started to think about writing. If you have it in your blood I don’t think the idea of writing ever leaves you, whether you pursue it or not. Now in my sixties, I have begun to write again and am at present, working on a mystery novel. My experiences throughout my life are giving me much to draw on. If given the opportunity to things over again, I would choose to do things the same. I cherish the memories of my families and our life together. But, I believe that I don’t merely choose to write, I have to write. If you are a writer, you will write. Thank you for reminding me of that.

    1. “If you have it in your blood I don’t think the idea of writing ever leaves you,” this is so true.

      I truly hope that your mystery novel gets read by many. So please finish it and let me know once it’s ready for the world! I would really love to read you book 🙂

    1. Honestly, I’m still going through this–I have to constantly remind myself to embrace the unknown. But just like you, I know I’ll get there one day 🙂 It will only be a matter of time that both you and I see our dreams come to past.

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