My Two Cents: The Myth that is Passion

Clarity comes with engagement, not thought.” Marie Forleo

“You are lucky, I am yet to find my passion!”

We all have either heard or said these words. If you were on the receiving side, I imagine you nodded and gave a weak smile because you didn’t know what to say to help the other person. We have all been on that search for the elusive passion, a deep enthusiasm for something. Well today I am here to dish some passion out.

How you ask? Well, I have a few steps to creating your passion, but first let me write my thoughts on what brings about passion. Take for instance something you have loved doing since childhood. I have loved mathematics since childhood, why? Because I would do an exam and excel in it and get praise. This fueled me to practice it more than other subjects. I would wake up as early as 4am to crack that sum that I was thinking about all day. Granted, now I can barely do an exam and be as good as I was then, but I still have the passion for maths.

So from the example above this is what I see; EXCELLING-PRAISE-PRACTICE-EXCELLING-PRAISE… It is like a hula hoop. The question is where do you begin? Most people who are perceived to have natural passion for something start with excelling. Here excelling may also be in comparison to others. This drives them to practice more and gain even more experience. So what do you do when you do not have this ‘natural passion’ for architecture? We turn the hula hoop anti-clockwise.

This can be hard because the results are not immediate and may be unpredictable. However, we are required to focus on a goal. Like an eagle after its prey, focus on that specific thing you want and make sure it is something you can achieve by your efforts and not other people’s opinions. I for one want to be knowledgeable in matters low-income housing and urban development. To achieve this, I don’t need to compare myself to anyone else, I just need to research, study and practice. This is in contrast to saying that I want to be the best in urban development matters. The latter requires us to judge ourselves against a benchmark and may also require us to seek outside approval. One thing I know for sure, you can only control one person in this world, and that is yourself!


“Success rarely follows a defeated mindset” Heshan De Silva

All hard work can amount to nothing if we do not engage our mind in believing what we want to actually be true. We need to train our mind to be passionate about everything that we do. I recall every time that we began a new project, every one would have raging ideas and for some it seemed easier for them to express their ideas into a design. What the rest didn’t understand is that it is hard for everyone at the beginning, but if you do not train your mind to see all your ideas as innovative and workable, you may never move from conceptualizing.

The juicy rewards that we reap from our hard work and great attitude! This can come either in a short time or a long time. The only way you can get great satisfaction from hard work is getting results. This portion also needs careful planning. Full results may take quite a while before realization and this can get frustrating for most people. Instead of setting yourself up for failure, you need to do two things,
set trigger goals and prepare for setbacks.

  • Trigger goals are small milestones that take you closer to your desired goal. For my case, this can be buying a book on low-income development, saving up for a class on urban development, signing up for that class or even signing up to e-mail updates on a related blog. These are small elements that allow me access to the information that I need to ultimately become knowledgeable about low-income housing and urban development. Achieving these trigger goals also gives us the feel-good hormones that both our minds and body fiercely crave for, and with time, practice and positive thought towards our goal will be natural.
  • Preparing for setbacks is equally important. What would I do if after all my studying and positive thinking I fail a test or a team of seasoned professionals think my view is invalid. In this case the fact that I am knowledgeable has been threatened. If I have not planned before hand I may sulk and revert to my negative thoughts. So it helps to have an automatic system you can refer to, say like telling yourself, “I will have to verify that”. That not only gives you an authoritative hand but exposes you to more information.

So there we go, create your own passion by persistence and being your own judge. That way you drive yourself to achieving that deep rooted desire within you. But most of all, remember, this is just my two cents.


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