I have a friend who’s going through a difficult period right now. We had a long conversation over the phone last week, and she asked me these questions:
Are you happy?
Do you feel fulfilled?
These are questions we all ask ourselves from time to time, and would probably like to ask others – it wasn’t a little award and almost impolite to ask these questions. But anyway, here is the answer I gave her, and my point of view related to this.
First of all, I don’t believe there’s such thing as absolute happiness. I don’t think there’s any human on this planet that is a hundred percent happy, no matter who or where they are.
Secondly, feeling fulfilled in life is like the feeling of fullness after a meal: you get hungry after a few hours. Life is not about reaching a destination; it’s a journey, an open road in front of you. You discover, learn and adjust on this path you walk on. And that’s part of its beauty.
If there were a certain destination that if reached, would give us a permanent and constant feeling of happiness and fulfillment, that destination would soon become just a static place from where you’d want to move on and escape. Because we humans need to grow, evolve and discover constantly.
Some say that there is no such thing as passion and that you should forget about finding it.
But what is passion, after all? We imagine it as a constant feeling of pleasure you get when you engage in an activity you love. Our expectation of how we’d feel when we find our passion has been influenced by the trends in the society we live in. Everyone seems to be after feeling good these days. Gratification on the moment. Ignore whatever pain you feel. Medicate it, if you can’t ignore it. Overlook whatever doesn’t work, pretend it’s not there. Think positive.
If you look up the word passion in the dictionary, you’ll notice that it originates from a Latin word that means to suffer and to submit. This reminded me of the movie “The Passion of the Christ.” Jesus was so passionate about his mission and what he knew was true, that he was ready to suffer for it.
What if passion is not the permanent ecstatic state of being that we imagine?
What if passion means being ready to suffer for what you love and pursuing it even if it’s the most difficult path to take?
If this is what passion is, then the problem is not that you can’t find it or that it doesn’t exist.
The question then becomes, do you want to find your passion? And once you do, are you willing to suffer for it and pursue it no matter what?