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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wistful Wednesday

Why Do We Do It?

No matter who you are and no matter what you do in life, whether it's for fun or as an occupation, there comes a time when you have to wonder why you continue to do it. It's inevitable. It doesn't matter how confident we are in ourselves, we are a species that wrestles with self-worth at various stages in our lives. But still we press on.

Have you ever stopped to wonder why?

I know I have. In fact, it is the reason for this post today. To delve into that gray area of our lives where self-doubt and self-worth wrestle for dominance on a daily basis and try to figure out the eternal question of why. Why do we do it? If we always wonder if we are good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, talented enough, why do we even bother to put ourselves out there? Why take the steps forward that will challenge our opinions, our talents, our feelings of self-worth?

Let's start with something simple. Dating. Everyone does it, no matter what their orientation is, and everyone faces the real possibility of being shot down by their intended target. Yet we do it. We put ourselves out there, whether it's at a bar or an online dating service, and for what purpose? Sure, ultimately it is to procreate and carry on the human species, but I think it is also because humans simply weren't meant to be alone. Sure we can thrive when we are alone and find ways to keep ourselves occupied and happy, but deep down, we need to be with someone. Whether it's a partner, a child, or a pet, we crave companionship. Someone to share our lives with. Someone to go home to. Someone to make life worth living. So we put ourselves out there and try to make some kind of connection with someone who is looking for the same thing as us.

But what about careers? What makes us not just choose our careers, but stick with them? Especially when the pay-offs aren't always measured in immediate success. Writers, for instance. We are a strange breed. We will work on something for years and years and if we really want to see it in print, we will shop it around until we do all the while holding down another job, taking care of a family, living get the picture. And with the advent of the internet, we will put some of our precious work out there for others to read in hopes of establishing a fan base, we will approach others about writing posts for their blogs, we will create our own blogs and continue to come up with (hopefully brilliant) posts, all for free. Why? Why would we do that?

From my own personal standpoint I can tell you this: The passion. If you truly have the passion to do something, you do it. Period. You do it because you have the passion for it, not for any possible rewards it can bring you. You don't get into it because of the money, you get into it because of the passion, Because you can't imagine what your life would be like if you didn't do it. For me, writing is all consuming, whether I am working on book, planning a book, or writing a blog. Nearly every waking moment is dedicated to my writing, in one form or another. So it doesn't matter to me if a million people read what I write, or just a hundred. I write because I have the passion for it and anything else is just a bonus.

So what is your passion? And what keeps you interested in doing it, even if no one else knows that you do? What advice would you give to others who want to pursue their passion, but are afraid to take that first step forward?

2 Moonbeams (comments):

Sheila Deeth said...

I write 'cause it's my passion I guess - can't imagine not doing it. Advice? If it makes you a nicer person, it's worth continuing to follow your passion, even if no one else cares.

Margay Leah Justice said...

Sheila, that is awesome! I hadn't thought of it that way before, but it's true, isn't it? If doing what you love makes you - or someone else - miserable, then it's not really worth pursuing, is it?