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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 19 2013: I haven't had much of a chance to live much of my career life due to my age, but as a child my parents moved me around the globe a bit more than most people my age, who generally speaking have lived in the same house or at least the same area their entire lives. Personally, I've never come across a particular career or job that I've thought yes, I want to do this for the rest of my life! I applaude people who have, and hope they really do enjoy doing what they have chosen to do, but for me, I always wanted my life to be (what I consider to be) more exciting, I'd love to travel, and see the world and do lots of weird jobs that no one has ever heard of and even jobs considered to meanial such as waiting tables or bar tending, but I also imagine that at some point I'll settle down 'grow-up' and do a 'proper' job and have 4 kids a marriage and a mazda. I can't really know what my life is going to be, but for me that is half the fun and is not a bad thing at all.
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      Sep 20 2013: Hello Pippa,
      Thank you for your comment. If you want to travel as part of your searching, check out the WWOOF and Workaway schemes.

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