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Don't Lie To Yourself, That Isn't Your Passion

A lie that people often tell themselves is: “I’m passionate about ____”.

This lie will often lead to unhappiness and misery. Because you’d feelthat whatever you’re currently doing is robbing you of your resources andenergy that should be directed towards pursuing your passion.

But how can you tell that you’re lying to yourself?


I used to be very interested in nail artabout 5 to 6 years back. I was juggling 3 jobs and still doing my Master’s. Iwas earning money but of course not enough to get anything I want. And any freetime that I had was a luxury.

I didn’t want to spend money on nailsalons so I decided to learn how to do nail art myself. OPI nail polish costabout RM70 to RM80. After much research and hunting, I found a tiny shop farfrom PJ that sold genuine polish at RM45 to RM55 per bottle. A damn steal.

Then there was timing. Each nail art totry took me 6 to 7 hours to perfect. Any free hour I get in between teaching,writing, or studying, would be dedicated to doing and redoing it. When I firststarted everything looked clumsy, not clean around the edges, and my techniqueswere far from refined. But I was still thick-skinned enough to post them uponline.

There was not a lot of validation for what I was doing—if that was my goal I sure did suck at it. I didn’t have a good camera and no skills in making my pictures look pretty. I didn’t care because I was mostly doing it for an audience of one, so I made do with what I had.

In time I did get better. It took menearly 2 years. The edges were cleaner and sharper. If I took less than 5 hoursto finish, that was a mini accomplishment for me. Having said that, even if Icontinued taking way longer than I should on getting a design done, it wouldn’thave stopped me.


How do you know if something is reallyyour passion? If you’ve actually spent money, time, and energy on it, even whenyou have tight funds, not much time, and hardly any energy.

When you’re willing to make thosesacrifices with limited resources, that’s how you know it’s a real passion,and not some cooked-up fantasy that you think you’re into.

Passions can evolve. I eventually found anew avenue to direct my passion towards. But the same characteristics ofsacrifice remained.

So when you tell someone “____ is mypassion”, think of whether you’ve really made sacrifices for it.

Even when you’re tired, do you think aboutit, put in effort to learn more about it?

Even when you seemingly don’t have thetime, do you reorganise your priorities to spend time on it?

Even when you are afraid of sucking at it,do you still push yourself to try anyway and practice?

If your answers to the above is no, thentrust me, whatever interest you THINK is your passion, really isn’t. Maybe youjust want it to be.

Also side note, a passion doesn’t necessarily need to be your job. I didn’t earn a cent doing nail art, but it was still extremely enjoyable and it taught me the value of patience. And that sometimes you have to get a little messy to create something pretty.

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