Thursday, September 12, 2013

Finding Your Passion... when you can't Stay Focused

I suppose it's part of human nature to want to work with something you feel passionate about.

There are lots of different definitions as to what it "means" to be passionate about something... many of which seem to revolve around some version of being "almost obsessed" with what you're doing, and it "never feels like work."

Maybe part of the "problem" here is that people experience "passion" in different ways... and our society has a narrower definition of what passionate is supposed to "look like."

So what's my point? When you tend to "zone out" and "drift off" as I do... it's difficult for others to accept that I am actually "passionate" about what I am doing. Even so, people see my difficulties with staying focused end engaged in what I am doing and then spout "helpful advice" and platitudes like "You just have to find your passion! Someday something will come along and you'll just know it and want to do nothing else!"

To be honest... I feel that way about my writing. And I feel that way about my collectibles business. And I feel that way about helping people. And I feel that way about my beach combing gig. You can go see the "My ADD-ish Work" page for details.

But I'm not focused (aka "passionate") about just one single thing.

What also needs to be pointed out-- which is a product of the "slow cognition" and "low energy nature" of many with inattentive ADD-- is that I am perfectly "capable" of "zoning out" and "going to sleep" on even the things in life I am most passionate about. That doesn't mean I am not passionate about them! I just means I can't hold a fucking train of thought for three minutes!

Sorry, I slipped out of the "G" rating there, for a moment...

Perhaps the real issue here is that people put too much emphasis on appearances. Being passionate about something is supposed to "look" a certain way; to manifest outwardly, in a certain way. But a true passion isn't really about what "others" see... but about what YOU feel. And when you have trouble staying focused for any length of time... you can be as passionate as all get-out, and still not have the near compulsive looking drive non-ADD people manifest outwardly.

And in response-- as a bit of a postscript, really-- to those who think I need to "find a passion," I'd like to pass along the observation (based on 50 years of life) that even if the most interesting thing on the planet is passing before my face, the possibility still exists that I'll go "oh shiny" about something else... or simply "zone out" to another place. That just seems to be part of "the nature of the beast."

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