And I mean it when I say seek passion over perfection.
People are probably wondering why I’m deciding to blog more, post more content, and pursue my passions on the side of my 9-5 job. There are multiple reasons for why I’m choosing to do this. I’ve been a writer on my little ol’ tumblr for as long as tumblr was a big thing. I’ve made several blogs before in the past for personal use for documentation of my life journey – as a pre health student, as an aspiring poet, and as a hopeless romantic (yes, three separate blogs). None of these blogs were things I took seriously though. I didn’t expect anyone to read it or for any of the things I would say to matter or help others. That began to change when I used facebook as a pseudo writing portfolio in college, as it became an outlet for me to reach out to high school students and other college students who were struggling like me. Who wanted to know that everything would be okay. It was hard to know that in the moment, but in hindsight, it really was going to be okay.
I’ve been inspired by many things – youtube, podcasts, books, blogs (I have a list of resources on my home page that you can browse though it’s still in process). One of my most recent inspirations is the book Crush It!: Why NOW is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk, and I can honestly say it has helped accelerate the process of me taking this whole blog thing seriously.
I was gifted this book because of the notice for the amount of work I’ve been putting into my blog (but the lack of consistency in content and belief in myself to hone in on my craft). This book was a game changer. It may not have ALL the current information in terms of utilizing social media and how to go about it, but it has the fundamentals of what to do and the mindset to have when it comes to crushing it with your passions and dreams.
Let me be honest with you – When I first started this blog and website, it was primarily for job hunting. I wanted to establish a place for my poetry, academic writing samples and blog posts whenever I’d actually get around to writing them. As you can tell, I have a lot of different interests and barely had any direction for which ones to cultivate or pursue as a “career.” (I plan to write more about my college reflection experience, but those are for later. Let me know if you’re interested and would like to read them sooner though!)
I didn’t take my website seriously though – I wasn’t sure that investing in my passions was the “right” move because I wasn’t motivated enough to do so, and I didn’t believe in myself enough to see it as a viable option. This book addressed that insecurity of mine and exposed my way of thinking. This is what I got out of it:
Anyone is able to crush it if they are living and breathing what they love. I especially love the three things that have brought Gary the success he finds himself having today. He tells his readers to
1) Love your family.
2) Work super hard.
3) Live your passion.
Those are his measures of success. He finds his happiness not monetarily but in these three things, and that inspires me. If at the end of the day, you aren’t loving your family, it will be so difficult to be happy without their unconditional love and support encapsulating all that you do. If at the end of the day, you aren’t working hard, are you actually serious about where you put your time? And if at the end of the day, you aren’t living your passion, tell me: how happy are you? Money doesn’t define success to me, but your happiness does.
For me, this book reminds me of a saying I hold near and dear to my heart – and that is
Passion, not perfection.
I have a firm belief in pursuing passion. That is something Gary highlights in his book so heavily and why I am in love with the words he wrote. He says, “Life is too short to work at a job you hate.” I know that pursuing passion from the get go isn’t ideal for everyone, and usually this lies in the space for people who are privileged in some sense or established in some way with a high paying job that has allowed them to build up a savings. But pursuing passion doesn’t have to begin with the intention of having it be your life long career. Now, Gary does believe everyone should leave their 9-5 job since working underneath someone else will never allow you to fully hone the type of person you are capable of being. That’s where we differ in beliefs, so be aware of that, please. I believe there can be a balance of people who live their passions and people who live their passions on the side of their 9-5 jobs. You shouldn’t feel bad or guilty for the choices you make. There can be a balance. Unfortunately, the world we live in isn’t perfect, and some people live in with better advantages than others. One shouldn’t feel limited with the circumstances they were born in, but I can understand why it can be or feel limiting for some people, and I’m here to let you know that it’s okay. I’m currently in that situation too. And I know plenty of other people who have went through something similar.
We all have a purpose in this world, where we shine, and where we do our best. We all have skills and expertise in certain areas, and we need people to fill these roles. We work with what we have and what we find possible to incorporate in our lives now. You have to power to rewrite your destiny, to do what truly makes you happy and to live a life better than what we are expected to do as a society. . . but be smart about it – plan, be realistic, open to change and adaptable when opportunities come up. For me personally, I’m still discovering where I fit into the bigger picture of life, with all the skills, knowledge and dreams I have. Crush It! is helping me find the answer, though it is a slow and steady process.
On the topic of passion, not perfection, I also want to highlight that Gary and I differ in the expectations of “perfection.” He and I both know it is a mistake to believe that you’re the ultimate expert of a subject because there are always new things to learn. However, Gary believes you need to always aim to be perfect. I disagree, because I believe more in passion, not perfection. Passion and working toward perfection is good enough, because your passion will and should fuel you regardless.
Remember, I’m not saying that you should only pursue your passion with the mindset of monetizing in the future – I know, it sounds counter intuitive considering the title of this book. I’m being honest with you. What I’m aiming to convey to you is this: You are allowed to pursue your passion. Did you catch that?
You are allowed to pursue your passion.
People always seem to think lowly of people who pursue their passion, as a career or even on the side, because it’s always assumed that passion is a waste of time and that you should only do jobs that will make you money. I know that money is important – believe me. Growing up in my Filipino household with my hardworking, single immigrant mother who came to America for a better life for my siblings and me, I know. This is why I am choosing to keep my 9-5 to establish myself and to keep pursuing higher education (if within my budget) and to hustle with my blog on the side. And to take breaks when needed. Because I can’t forget the three things that will define my success: my family, working super hard, and living my passion.
Recently, I’ve been taking my passions more seriously. I’ve made a social media schedule and am trying to work on how to advertise myself properly. Networking and researching other people’s blogs is something I do daily. I do my best to establish my brand and to recognize my own importance in making an impact in the world. I tell myself to write content that I want to share, not content that will garner viral sharing or click bait vibes. I want to be authentic to myself, and if a following comes? Then awesome. But allowing myself to forgive and accept the fact that pursuing passion is okay, is what is most important to me right now. Crush It! was a book that helped me realize that. I hope it can do the same for you.
If you’d like to purchase this book, you can click on the link below to snag yourself a copy too. https://amzn.to/2NlFMON (I’ve included links over every title of Crush It! written in my post as well). If you know me personally though, you can borrow it from me – no need to be shy. There is also the option of your local library which may hold a copy for you to borrow. There are plenty of ways for you to get the book, so go out and seize the opportunity! Let me know if you decide to get the book & what you think of it. I’d love to hear from you 🙂
[Originally published August 27, 2018. This blog post was reposted from my old wix site, also hosted at http://erilm.com]