How Not to Procrastinate on Your Passions

Whether it's writing, art, or solving Rubik’s cubes, we all have passions that we foster. While it is an important time in your life to focus on your career or long-term goals, keeping your passions in play will help clear your mind and keep you grounded.

Today I’d like to address something that we have heard from countless chapel and assembly speakers since our time as wee little freshman; passion. We’ve heard “follow your passions” “do something you’re passionate about” Yeah that’s great and all, but how am I supposed to find that passion? Many respond to such a question with another question like “If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?”

Now I’m sorry, but that is the worst passion-discovering question that I’ve ever heard. I get anxious having to choose just one thing off a huge cheesecake factory menu, how am I supposed to know what I want to do with the rest of my life?! And if I’m being completely honest, I would sit in a bean bag chair and eat Doritos for the rest of my life, thanks for asking.

These seemingly inspiring clichés get us nowhere in our search for passions. So I decided to turn this piece into a sort of “where’s waldo” activity for our passions. In my opinion, one of the best passions hiding place is procrastination.

That’s right, when you fall into the abyss of YouTube or twitter instead of writing that paper, where do you go? What genuinely interests you? And no, I do not mean follow your passion of watching videos of pandas sneezing, but what really interests you.

Another great place to look is at your childhood, what you really liked to do with your free time before you were concerned with how it would look on a job application.

For instance, I said I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was little, which is very odd considering that I now hate the ocean and am quite a mediocre biology student. However, I do remember saying that after watching my uncle gut and clean a fish when I was younger. And sometimes I watch surgeries on YouTube. Sorry for the TMI, but we are all Dins here.

Now that you’ve all made a mental list of random Internet searches, it is important to remember that the potential passions on this might not match up with a University major or have a corresponding job title. A passion is something that you love the idea of doing, as well as the physical act of doing it. That’s what so great about Furman, we have all been exposed to great opportunities and times to really reflect and thing on what we really want to pursue.

Most people don’t find their passions for years, maybe even decades, but we are lucky enough to learn in an environment that nurtures your passions. As the great Maya Angelou once said, “you find your path by walking it, baby.” In other words, there won’t be a neon light flashing saying “here, this thing, do this one!” To quote Dory, you have to “just keep swimming” and you’ll find yourself on the right path eventually.

Once you devote the time to whatever passion puts a smile on your face, you will see that it spreads like only vibes can!