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Is everyone meant to have a “singular passion-in-life”, or is it also O.K to live life doing a bit of this and a bit of that?

One of the common elements of all the wonderful speakers I have viewed on TED Talks is that they have a very clear “passion-in-life” which is the focus of their inspirational talks. I applaud them all. Indeed without that passion, it is clear that they would never have been motivated and focussed enough and persevered enough to bring their wonderful ideas to fruition.

Sometimes their passion (or vocation) is discovered by “chance” (eg: Abigail Washburn), sometimes by an unexpected health challenge (eg: Simon Lewis, May El-Khalil, Eleanor Longden), sometimes by natural talent (eg: The Sleep Man Banjo Boys, Derek Paravicini, and other musicians), sometimes by an unusual deep-seated desire that wouldn’t go away (eg: Black, the yo–yo maestro), sometimes a vocation is generated by a creative approach to life (eg: Tania Luna) and most often I guess by the more mundane process of increasing clarity during one’s upbringing (Hello Mum-Dad, I’ve decided at last I’m going to be a brain surgeon, entrepreneur, monk, statistician, banker, New Age hippy, … etc, etc).

As someone who has sought consistently for a singular passion-driven focus in life, and failed to find “it”, I am very glad that at least all the TED-talkers seem to have. Although I am having an interesting time and have had several “careers”, I am beginning to wonder if it is a simple fact of life that not everyone’s journey in life is to be shaped by a singular passion. However, it’s like an addiction – I can’t give up the search.
I am really intrigued to know if I am flogging a dead horse, or should I keep going on the heroic journey and eventually (I trust) have the satisfaction of being labelled a “late-starter”?


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  • Sep 20 2013: I believe life is not about finding one passion but exploring all of your options until you feel like the most recent one you explored can not be beaten by anything else and that is when you have found your passion. If you have not yet found your passion don't worry you will everybody does. I know I'm still looking.
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      Sep 20 2013: Hello Jacob,
      Thank you for your comment. I've moved from engineer, to academic, to small-time inventor of a specialist hand-weaving loom, to teacher of the Alexander Technique, to back-to-the-land life-style retreating away from it all in central rural Portugal, having "given up" for a time that I would ever find a way to engage with society and make my contribution. However, after 5 years of farming living simply, it's not really my thing either!
      But, you are right in saying that each step one explores brings more clarity on the journey towards the best one can find in any one lifetime. I'm currently developing my poetry and writing, whilst continuing to look after 15 acres of land, and trying not to worry about it all.

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