Why do we bother to do anything sometimes? The human peoples, hell, every living thing on the planet is programmed to do as much as they can to survive. Our ancestors (the cavemen, the mountain people, the jungle monkeys and yes, even the hobbits) trekked across dry, sandy desserts battling dehydration. They pushed their way through the thick undergrowth of rainforests, chancing death if bitten by a poisonous snake or giant purple-spotted spider. Risking survival, they hunted for food. It was a catch 22 though, to risk your life for something that sustains it.
But why do we bother now?
Realistically, all we need is a minimum wage paying job that gets us nourished enough to survive and we don’t have to stomp spiders or play in the sandbox to do so. There is no danger to our lives and we don’t have to hunt for our food.
Though, somewhere between then and now came passion. Somebody along the way decided that simply waking up, hunting, eating, and sleeping wasn’t enough and wanted to actually like what they were doing, and enjoy who they were around. I think as great as that sounds, it actually kind of complicates things a bit when you throw emotions into logic.
When I was in university, I had a filmmaking class where we made a documentary. Mine was about female DJ’s and I’d sat up at SFU one night editing my film. It had to be just right, with all the pieces in place in the right order. Feeling a little tired, I looked at the time and it was about 5:30 in the morning. I’d been in the little room for over 8 hours editing but I didn’t feel it because I was so entrenched in the work. I remember thinking ‘I want to find a job like this when I graduate, where I can work non-stop and still want to keep working because I love it so much’. That one thought has haunted me my whole professional tenure and I think unless I start something myself, I’m never going to find a job that I care enough about that there’s not enough hours in the day to spend on it. There’s a lot to be said when you can be doing something and be completely lost in it and time doesn’t exist.
I always think business and relationships play the same card. You can always replace one with the other in theory. Who you spend your time with and how that time passes and what you put in and get out of it share the same game in both. If your boss hovers over you sipping his coffee mug saying “I need you to come in on Saturday mmmkay?” instead of recognizing that you knocked your quota off charts or your bf/gf is so self-absorbed that they only talk about themselves all day and doesn’t support anything you do, you’re underappreciated in both and how can you have passion when you’re not appreciated? On the flip side, how many of you have sat in restaurants with your bf/gf’s and they’ve cleared your dinner plates, cleared your dessert plates, the folder with your bill inside it is sitting on the table and they’ve just said last call to make you realize that you’d sat there for 3 hours talking to each other about everything without a pause in the conversation. You could go on for another 3 hours because it’d only felt like 30 minutes but the restaurant is closing now so you have to go. I’ve experienced both; being up at school for 8 hours and at the table for 3 and in the end, the feeling of contented passion were both there.
Where the complication comes in is that now you always want the best out there. The managerial role that comes with the corner office and the high salary. The perfect girl who laughs at all your awesome jokes and takes care of you when you’re sick. ‘Settling’ is a thing of the past and if you settle, you lack passion, straight and simple. The danger in that is that you might always be chasing a dream, never happy in the present because you’re always wanting more, the best, and right now isn’t the best so you’re not content. That’s the risk that we face. While our ancestors risked their existing lives because they needed to survive, we risk our existing happiness for the need of passion. I think the risk is worth facing. Somebody has to do it, why not you? Why not me? That corner office needs somebody to sit in it, so why not you? The business needs to be started, who’s going to do it? That cute girl who has 5 other guys chasing her, she’s not going to be alone for the rest of her life. Why not you? Sure you risk being shot down, but if you’re passionate enough about it, the risk is worth taking and if you’re the perfect person for the role, you’ll get it.