Where lies your passion, you may find your strength.
How do I identify the difference between these two?
Strength for me is a product of consistent practice. It’s an overt behavior and in a way it means people compliment you for it without you needing them to or without you knowing why. To exemplify, one of my colleagues told me he admired how I could always set time to focus on work-related things and still keep up with my personal stuff. For me who has functioned like this for as long as I could remember, it was but natural. Did I need him to tell me it was my strength? Not really. I love the feeling I can be very productive in a day and if focus enables me to that, then I consider it my strength.
Passion is what drives you even when nobody is around. It is something that keeps you up at night for wanting to do it. Once again, I’m setting myself as an example. Yes, I keep a blog. Yes, I have published my book. Those make the small tip of the iceberg. Underneath that, the submerged part people don’t see, that I don’t think they need to see, nor I need to show, are the number of times I tossed and turned ideas over, the number of sleepless nights, the frustration that a sentence couldn’t envelop the swirling thought that kept me awake and all I could do was write.
Do I believe that one’s Passion and Strength may be the same? Let’s say, singing is both your passion and your strength. Yes. However, I also consider that you may have more strengths but only be passionate about just one thing.
There will always be challenges when your passion and strength are opposite directions of a pole. To make the linear imagery more chaotic, imagine having a powerful magnet, your job, pulling you, the metal star pin, toward your strength.
Having the same passion and strength isn’t easy either. The magnet (job, business) is still there, setting expectations of how far you need to go, what things you have to do to improve your craft and the most irksome responsibilities you have to make people happy — Didn’t you even start this whole thing to make yourself happy?
For me, your passion juxtaposed to your strength is the perfect arrangement. “What the hell!” you say, “It’s like being in the middle of a crossroad.”
Exactly, when you’re in the middle of the crossroad, you have the freedom to choose which direction you want to go to. But what about your magnet, pulling you to one direction? Your passion will still move along with your strength depending on your job and its requirements. Your passion and strength are connected but restrictions are not as strong as, say, having them in parallel lines. You will never feel disconnected from what you truly love to do. What about when you feel the gap between these two lines is getting wider? Crosscut. And that’s the beauty of it.
This blogpost has been heavily inspired by Jonar Johnson. Passion does not need any excuse.