I used to think that software development was my passion. People used to say that it is my passion. They see that I enjoyed doing software development, and assumed that I must be following my passion. I think I am good at software development, that I must be following my passion.
But sometimes I wonder, was it really my passion? I started to learn software development as a way for me to solve my math homework.
I still enjoy and feel excited when doing software development. But so am I when writing articles, poems, and songs. When there is a new problem, my brain wanders through all of that knowledge and experiences that I had; looking for a solution.
But that excitement doesn’t last forever. Sometimes I don’t feel like want to write some code. Sometimes I just wanted to pursue randomly popping idea on my head. Sometimes I just wanted to rewrite or imitate random software I encountered.
Does it have to be one?
I used to believe that we can only have one passion in our life. If my passion was software development; I can’t be passionate about anything else. I have to chase and fall in love with it.
But now I wonder, maybe I was passionate about all of the things I do. Maybe writing is my passion. Maybe software development is my passion. Maybe art is my passion.
Maybe, I am passionate about everything.
But sometimes, I experienced things that I am not so passionate about. I am not excited about meeting new people. I am not excited about moving to a new place. I am not excited about trying new foods.
I believe, we can have multiple passions.
My Search of Passion
I tried a lot of things.
- Doing blacksmith, I love beautiful swords and knives. Hammering nails to make a small sword.
- Doing “esoteric” things, I studied astral projection; experienced lucid dream;
- Doing software development, I love building things, and its the easiest in term of not requiring that much of hardware (compared to doing blacksmith).
- Doing music, I played guitar, drums, keyboard, bass, and even sing (I used to have a band, called The Golden Dream), and wrote several songs.
- Doing art, I enjoy watching beautiful arts; I do draw, the result might be ugly, but I still enjoy doing so.
- Doing hardware development, I soldered a couple of circuits; it’s amazing, but I just suck at the math. Not because I am not passionate about math, I just didn’t study hard enough.
- Doing book, I wrote few chapters of Avaga; but ended up doing a lot of rewrites that it never finished.
- Doing social, I used to be very manipulative and power hungry; I used social skills for that. But now I no longer feel excited about it.
I searched, what is my passion(s). The closest thing that I can call what my passion about is, “problem-solving”.
To Solve a Problem
I do blacksmith because I want to play with a sword, yet as a kid had no money to buy one.
I do astral travel because I wanted to see more of the world, yet as a teen had no money and time to do so.
I do software development because I wanted to solve my math homework faster, which I am struggling with.
I do music because I wanted to be popular and famous, which a fast way to do if you come from a remote village.
I do art because I wanted to have beautiful things nearby, which I enjoy looking at later (I still remember how ugly my first website was).
I do hardware development because I wanted to have a smart home, it’s cool to have one at that time.
I do write a book because I wanted to express the story of Avaga, which until now still buried inside my mind. In fact, during the ideation of Avaga, I invented a fictional language and character; that I used to cheat my school exams by writing the formula in that language, that I will read later during the exam.
I do manipulate people to solve my problem, to achieve what I needed.
Maybe, what I really enjoy is problem-solving. I started to feel bored and not excited as I started to write repetitive code. The problem has been solved, I just had to repeat it; that’s why I’m bored.
Passion Without Purpose
It’s dangerous advice to just follow your passion. Passion without purpose is like a fire without a container. It will grow rapidly and starts burning things. You have to find a place, a purpose, for your passion.
For me, my software development career is the container of my passion. Software development passion and problem-solving passion. I found my purpose, yet I am still looking.
I wish that this piece of mind helped you, who are still in search of passion. Maybe you already found one, and just need to find the purpose. Maybe now you recognized that you have a lot of passions, finding a lot of purposes might be hard, you might want to find one that truly fits the passion-purpose combination.
Me too, still looking for my passion, and my purpose. It’s a never-ending journey, to find one.