Dying Daily #165: Passion, Purpose, Inspiration and Dreams

You would think that with a title like that, this this has to be an uplifting, positive post today, right?

Well you would think wrong.

Maybe.

It all depends on how you look at it.

Passion, purpose, inspiration, and dreams.

This is everything we were fed and everything we feed our children.

Find something you are passionate about and the money will follow.

Find someone you are passionate about and the happiness will follow.

Find your purpose, the reason God or the universe or the Flying Spaghetti Monster put you here in the first place, and everything will fall into place.

Be inspired, do inspiring things, inspire others.

Follow your dreams, pursue them at all costs.

Life is too short not to be inspired and passionate all the time, man.

These are all nice and affirming, and they all make us feel good.

They sound good too, and it is hard to argue with them without sounding like a killjoy.

And I like these things. I believe in them and think that if you have the luxury of living your life by them, then by all means, do it.

Go be a DJ, Paris.

But I also think these are the things that have poisoned a few generations now that they are imbedded in our cultural consciousness as givens.

These are also the things that keep people locked into cycles of uselessness and selfishness and unhappiness as they search for some magical job that they will always love or some Hollywood bullshit relationship where they are always overcome by passion for their partner. These are the things that send people on journeys of self-discovery while their electricity gets turned off and their kids wonder why they only get to see mom or dad every few months. 

Being passionate and inspired and having purpose and dreams is cool, and they make life better. But there are also times you just need to shut up and do what you need to do whether you like it or no because you are part of a larger society and you have a part to play.

Because you have people that depend on you

Or just because it’s the right thing to do.

There is no perfect job or relationship or lifestyle or belief system that will fix everything for you. No matter what choices you make, there are days that you will feel uninspired and purposeless.

This is unavoidable, and what you do during these times determines your character and whether or not you will ever be happy. Your response is everything, but you give this away when you focus on these made-up things that are beyond your control.

Look, I am really fortunate, and get to spend time with people who are passionate and purposeful and inspired and following their dreams every single day. I know they exist, because I get to be a part of their lives and I get to hear their stories.

But here is their secret: they work hard. They show up every day, even if they don’t want to. They understand that some days they will not feel passionate or inspired, and those are the days they put one foot in front of the other one because it’s just what they do. They struggle and they sacrifice for the people around them. They understand that this is not all about themselves, that they are not the star of their own little movie with every other human as a supporting cast member.

They are people, making the most of what they have and maintaining, every single day.

Be passionate.

Be purposeful.

Be inspired.

Have dreams.

But understand that these are fleeting and beyond your control.

Show up whether they show up or not.