[AIESEC’s Mentorship] Passion

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
Nelson Mandela

Last Friday I just had my first mentorship in AIESEC LC Bandung with Karishma Chopra as my mentor and Rachel Alvernia Silitonga, St Nurlaela Fatimah, & Nindya Putri Perwanti as my new friends in this mentorship. YAY! Our mentorship was actually started late, because instead of started at Nov, like what it should, we made it into this December. Therefore what we were discussing was last month topic, which was PASSION.

This is one of the topic that I (and lots of other) struggling with. Most of my friends (and me) doesn’t even sure what is the difference between Hobby and Passion, let alone of knowing what our passion is. So when I was asked about my passion, I could only say I’m not sure yet. But through out the discussion, finally I make my own definition about what passion is. This conclusion:

Passion is when you make your hobby/ies into a lifestyle

This conclusion was gotten from various things my team chattering about. (Actually, I don’t even know how talking about secret code, CIA, hypnotherapy, & OCD led me to that conclusion. hahaha). Well, anyway, at the end of the discussion, we were suggested to search more what passion is and 2 people that can inspire us. Luckily, I found one good article about it. I take the article from http://www.wakeupcloud.com, and talking about ‘The 20 Essential Habits of Highly Passionate People‘. These are those:

1. Excitement

When I was in my late teens, I wasn’t even remotely familiar with terms like “follow your passion”, “listen to your heart” or “go with your intuition”. As the years have passed, these concepts have grown and I’ve realized that the only thing that matters is what I am excited about in this very moment. It’s far too easy for me to start questioning what I’m doing. Let’s take language learning for example. It’s easy for me to argue that it’s a waste of time. But in the end, what matters is how much I’m enjoying myself. You can never know where you’ll end up, so might as well enjoy the ride, right? We’ve been taught that logic is superior, but is it really? Life isn’t a game where all the variables are known, so there’s no way you can predict the future (unless you have special powers)

When I was still in junior & senior high school, I more or less had no clue about that passion really is. At the end of my high school I started to get some hints about what it actually is. However, I think for the ‘excitement’ element, I already done it most of the time then. I might not know what passion is, but probably I already done it without knowing… *You know, the freedom of high school student*

2. Courage

Courage is something you build up. When I was younger, I was afraid a lot more than I am now, but I didn’t let it control my life. Many seem to believe that following their passion should be effortless. Unfortunately it’s not. It requires a lot of hard work, but the good news is that you’ll be loving it, because you’re doing something you’re excited about, right? I’ve never worked a real job in my life. I became a professional poker player straight out of school. I had no idea if I was going to succeed. In the beginning, a lot of people naturally doubted if making a living playing poker was possible. I had a passion for playing poker, so I kept at it and eventually started making a comfortable living. That took courage, but it wasn’t anything extraordinary. I just took things one day at a time and worked hard.

I heard lots of people said that the older you are the more afraid (or careful?) you are. But I think we are talking about different kind of courage, one is recklessness and one is the necessary courage. And I think it’s true that if we are new to this passion thing, reading and listening about how easy and enjoyable doing things base on our passion is, we can get the idea of following our passion is effortless. And by the time we realize it’s not, give up become the choice. What a pity

3.  Determination

If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that results usually don’t come fast. Following your passion doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of hard work. In my case, I wasted a lot of money until I started making money off of my websites. People tell me that I’m lucky. I seem to get good at everything they say. I’m not lucky. I’m just determined and I make sure to pick something that I like doing. It’s pretty easy to get good at something you love doing. In the beginning, you may not be 100% determined, but that’s okay. Be as determined as you can be and keep moving forward. Many people mistake a temporary failure for a permanent one. There are no permanent failures. There are only learning opportunities. If you learn everything you can about blogging, try it for a year and then lose motivation—that’s cool! You never know. Maybe you unconsciously picked up a few skills that will help you down the road with something else. My #1 priority is doing what I feel excited about. If I can’t do that, I might as well be dead.

Money is not always, but often become the helper as well as the stumbling block for what we are doing. But I have to agree that in the end, determination is what make us keep going. Lucky is just (ok, it’s not a ‘just’, but still…) a + point. Btw, I love these sentences:

Many people mistake a temporary failure for a permanent one. There are no permanent failures. There are only learning opportunities.

 You never know. Maybe you unconsciously picked up a few skills that will help you down the road with something else. My #1 priority is doing what I feel excited about. If I can’t do that, I might as well be dead.

4. Positivity 

I have bad days like anyone else, but in general I’m a pretty positive guy. I feel good as long as I’m doing what I feel I should be doing. There’s a fine line between being blissfully ignorant and positively realistic. It’s something you have to figure out for yourself. Try both and find your own balance. I personally enjoy being blissfully ignorant, especially if it upsets someone else. There are a lot of people out there that try to tell you that you can’t go after your dreams. Those are usually the people that have given up. They aren’t really in a place to give advice. Giving them a few pokes usually (hopefully) provokes new thought. By being positive you lead by example. There is really no better way to change the world than to be the change you want to see. There’s no need to convince anyone.

Being a positive person really helps… But I think I choose to become positively realistic than blissfully ignorant. It just not my thing. Haha. Might have something to do with my scientific background. Fufufu…

5. Single-Mindedness

Being passionate doesn’t mean limiting yourself to one passion per lifetime. I’ve been passionate about health, martial arts, websites and now languages. My passion changes all the time, but what remains constant is my single-mindedness. I work best when I’m 100% focused on what I do. For example, right now I’m immersing myself in language learning. I’ve practically eliminated everything else from my life (except the essential). I want to be able to spend as many hours as possible on what I truly enjoy. That is what I mean by being single-minded.

I have no comment for this one. Agree 100%. I just hope I can do that perfectly. hahaha. *too much distraction to become that single-minded*

6. Growth-Oriented

By following your passion, you automatically become growth oriented. You tap into something greater than yourself. That source of guidance can only lead to one place and I think you know what it is. We all have different words, definition and concepts about it, but we all mean the same thing. I’m always looking to grow in every way possible. I want to become better, smarter and happier. But you don’t want to lose the fun. Let’s say you have to choose between two paths. Path #1 is faster, but requires more discipline and is less fun. Path #2 is slower, but you’ll enjoy it more. In the past I would’ve chosen Path #1, but now I’d choose #2, because if I’m not enjoying myself right now, it’s not worth it.

To be honest, I still don’t know what I might choose if I was offered those two options. I might choose the 1st one or might be the 2nd one. Hard choice huh? But I think I will prefer the one that I can grow more there. Many things I can get beside the final goal.

7.  Selective

In the past I’ve had the problem of jumping into too many things at once. I think we all have many interests, which is good, but it can be a double-edged sword. I think we’re familiar with the feeling of wanting to do everything at once, right? Usually when I ask someone what they want to do, they rabble up a dozen different things. What works for me is relentless focus. I pick one thing, maybe two, and focus on them until I feel like it’s time to move on. For some, this may seem irresponsible, but to me, it’s the only way of living life that makes sense.

Ah… I kind of pray this one wouldn’t came out. Because I’m typically the kind of person that is that ‘greedy’. I chose science in high school because I want everything, and so does when I chose design as my major (you know, learn everything but not too deep…). I just don’t let things go easily… T_T

8. Non-Perfectionistic

I don’t even believe in horoscopes, but I’m a Virgo and apparently they are perfectionists. I am no exception. Throughout the years I’ve learned to ease up on my perfectionism. Instead of focusing on the little details, I’ve started focusing on the big picture. I think about what I want to achieve and am more concerned about making progress than making everything look good. Let’s take blogging as an example, just because it’s on my mind right now. If you want to start blogging, just start! You don’t need an awesome design or to have everything planned out. All you need is to get your blog up, get it looking okay and start writing, recording podcasts or making videos. That’s the only way you’ll know if you even like it. So often we think we like something, but when we actually start, we realize that it doesn’t feel right at all. That’s why it’s important to get started, get your feet wet and see how it feels.

Ehem! Well, I’m an Aries-Taurus Cusp, and perfectionist too… I’m better now, partly because I chose design as my major and there’s no way I could be perfectionist in this field. But it’s not something to be easily thrown out of the window, and who know if sometimes (well, lots of times actually) it helps me in doing the best in something.

9. Prioritized

Prioritization goes hand in hand with being selective. I know people that don’t have time, and I know people that make time. It’s not that you don’t have enough time; it’s that you fail to prioritize. I’ve received a lot of e-mails about time issues. I know some people are single-mothers, working two jobs while juggling two kids. I have no idea how tough that is, but I do know that if you really want something, there are ways to make time and prioritize, even if it starts with a few minutes per day. No matter how tough your situation is, you can always do something to move towards your goals. Don’t worry about reaching your goal, just worry about making today more fulfilling than yesterday.

Well, one more things that I have to fix up huh? Feeling having too much stuffs to do but in the truth I actually wasting time with being confused rather than sorting them out and finish some…

10. Self-Motivated

As long as I’m doing what I want to be doing, I don’t need self-motivation. It’s only when I do the boring tasks that I have to throw in some ninja-motivation techniques. For example, when I was working on Passionate Living, I had to get the technical part fixed in order to start selling it. It wasn’t fun, but I knew that it had to be done. My focus was constantly on how good I would feel when I was done. Whatever motivates you is fair game. There are no rules when it comes to self-motivation. I sometimes use negativity to motivate myself. I don’t care, as long as I get things done. I try to be proactive and avoid these situations though. The more I follow my passion, the more motivated I am

Wow… Finally something I already have. hahhaa. Up until now, self-motivation never become my problem. As a first child, a perfectionist, a choleric, an aries-taurus cusp and much other things, I always have some urge to finish what I have started, perfectly. But I have seen this problem in a lot of people and I often feel frustrated by them. Many people often feel demotivated in the middle of something and need others to constantly encouraging them, and, to be honest, I hate that. Because for me, everything has to be from ourself, or else it won’t last.

11. Acceptance

Sometimes things don’t work out the way I want them to. I do my best to accept whatever comes my way, but I don’t always succeed. Sometimes life just isn’t that easy. If there’s something I try to portray on this blog, it’s the fact that I’m as human as you. Even seemingly god-like personal development bloggers like Steve Pavlina are human. We all make mistakes. We’re all afraid. The people that seem to be the most successful are the ones who’ve figured out how to keep taking action despite the obstacles on their path. There’s no one out there that can really tell you what to do. You have to figure out your own stuff. While I do recommend that you learn from others in the beginning, you also have to be willing to take the wheel after awhile and start experimenting.

Lately there’s a lot of seminars and events that talking about leadership in Indonesia. The fact that most of people rather choose to stay in their comfort zone where they only have to do what other say and be free of responsibility is just a sad thing. It even happened in my campus, where there’s an opportunity to become a committee and take some role in an event, many students say they were ok with helping but no with taking a role. Well, I think we are still have lots of things to be fixed up.

 12. Generous

Service to others is really service to self. I’m going to be honest and say that one of the main reasons I want to help you is because it makes me feel good to see you succeed. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. When I was a professional poker player, I was focused largely on myself. It was nice, but it wasn’t fulfilling. I’ve since discovered that helping others makes me feel much better than just helping myself. Something I also want to point out is that sometimes you need to help yourself before you can help others. Looking at it from that perspective, personal development is really world development.

I used to have discussion with a friend when I was in senior high school. This might touch a little of religion thing, but you can ignore this paragraph if you have different believe than me. Well, I’m a Christian and in my religion we believe that doing good things alone will not make us go to heaven. The only thing that can make us go there is believe in Him, and thus we are not going there because of our effort (coz we already get the payment of doing good things in this world) but His gift. I have to agree and when I did some discussion with my friend, I concluded that no one is actually that sincere because when we do something good, we actually do it for ourself. It can be to gain something or just to free ourself from the ‘need’ of doing that good things. For example, we often give money for the poor because we feel sorry for them, and in order to be free from that feeling, we give the money. So in the end, we already get out ‘payment’. Anyway I don’t think there’s any loss on helping other, on the contrary, we often get something out of it.

13. Non-Balance

I have a tendency to get obsessed about the things I am interested in. When I started this blog back in December 2009, I was obsessed. I read, listened and did nothing but blogging. It was all I wanted to do. I am now doing this with languages. I have no idea how long I’ll be doing this, but at the moment I’m having an awesome time dipping my toes in Spanish. My goal is to become fluent. I don’t know if it will happen, and I don’t really care, because I’m enjoying just learning. The most important thing is that I’m having fun doing it. I’ve already connected with many people in the language learning community, and they’re all awesome people. I work best when I’m non-balanced. I may do something 10 hours a day for 3 months and then take a break, or I may do it less. It all depends on how I’m feeling.

Hahaha. I’m not sure about this one. Being obsessed is one thing, but being non-balance? Well, I think I have to test it out first.

14. Personal Power

When I got out of school at 18, my personal power level was very low. As the years passed, I’ve realized that the best place to look for guidance is within. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I say that a lot ;) . This has helped me build confidence. I by no means have a perfect guidance system. I fall into traps. I make a fool of myself, but that’s cool, because I know that I would not want to be doing anything else. We all have a kid inside of us who wants someone to tell us what to do. We want validation and all that good stuff. That’s okay, but in the end, you are the only one who really knows what you want.

Again, follow the heart not just the logic… And being confidence and believe in yourself is really an important things. Not afraid of doing mistake and keep doing despite of have no idea if you are going to success or not.

15. Happiness

I used to think money was the answer to happiness. The only way to happiness was having millions in the bank and relaxing on a nice exotic beach, but that no longer interests me, because I know the artificial happiness it creates would not last. I need something to work on. I am constantly being pulled in different directions, and I love it. If I were to take a “vacation”, I’d probably get bored after a week and start looking for something to do. We don’t really need to retire to a nice beach in Brazil. All we need to do is find what makes us tick, to find our passion(s). I couldn’t imagine myself doing nothing for an extended period of time. Happiness to me is doing what I want. It may mean something different for you, but that’s what it means for me.

I used to think money was the answer to happiness“; there’s time when I still think like that. Hahaha. The temptation is just too great. Feeling that money could solve everything, and blame the fact for not having it for all the bad things. Easy answer. But inside, I think we all always know the truth. That money has nothing to do with good or bad things, it just our attitude towards it (and many other things) that determine what we will feel (and sometimes get) in the end.

16. Fun

There’s a need for discipline, but there’s also a need for fun. I used to be a lot more disciplined than fun. I’d say no to requests to hang out, because I had my eyes on my current goal. I wanted to reach my goal as soon as possible. I wanted to get things done. I’m not going to say that I’ve overcome this, because I love my obsessions too much, but I’ve gotten a lot better at relaxing and having fun. There’s no rush. If you feel like taking a break, then take a break. Who cares if you reach your goal? Who cares how good you look on paper? Who cares what other people think?

So, tell me. Who doesn’t agree with this point? Take a break & having fun is hard to resist. Haha

17. Perspective

It’s easy to get bogged down in the details, which is why it’s important to take a few steps back and look at what you’re really trying to achieve. I have a very easy time falling into the trap of looking at numbers in my blogging. I look at how many people unsubscribe from my e-mail list instead of the thank you e-mails I receive. I compare myself to the big guys and think about how far I still have to go instead of  looking at how far I’ve come. In the end what this all comes down to is following my excitement. I have to remind myself of that once in awhile. I have to remind myself that I can relax and enjoy myself. I have to remind myself that there’s no rush. The only pressure you experience is the pressure you put on yourself.

I think everyone has a time when they are facing this problem right? Feeling bad because of taking the wrong perspective. Looking up when we are depress (and then become more depress and soon will be give up) and looking down when we’re supposed to search for next goal (and become someone who is too easy to satisfied). Knowing where and from where to look things at right time is definitely something that has-to-be-mastered in this life.

18. Realistically Dreamy

Most of the things we today take for granted were thought to be impossible in the past. The simple point I want to make is this: don’t listen to the nay-sayers, because you will run into plenty of them. I enjoy being what I call realistically dreamy. If I feel good about something, I’ll go for it. I don’t care if the chances of me succeeding are small, because even if it doesn’t work out, I will most likely gain some vital experience points in life. If at some point you don’t doubt yourself, you’re probably not being uncomfortable enough. Going after your passion means being uncomfortable. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just different.

I often being amazed myself, by what I had been through and how it change me into the way I am today. What I think I will not be able to be or able to do and what I though I would be and what I would do. Time and experience is really something huh? But I’m still confused withe the ‘uncomfortable’ part. Isn’t do what suppose to be out passion means we feel right doing it? If it also something uncomfortable, what the different with doing something which is not our passion and in the end become burden. Is there someone who can help me?

19. Conditionally Open-Minded

Being flexible and open-minded means different things to different people. I like to think of myself as conditionally open-minded. If I’ve set my sails for something, I shut out everything else and start taking action. There’s no need for me to keep distracting myself with more information if I know enough to take action. There will always be people telling me that I’m doing things wrong, but I don’t listen to them, because the only thing that matters is how I feel about what I’m doing. Maybe I need to fail in something to succeed at something else down the road. This is why I’ve stopped looking at things in isolation. I’ve started to trust the force. Yoda was right all along.

Hm… I don’t know if I can be this single-minded. I can not help of rethink and evaluate of what I’m doing when someone say I do something wrong. Doesn’t mean I would stop doing it though, it depends on the result of the evaluation

20. Excuses-Free

Last, but definitely not least is the fact that I don’t take excuses seriously. If I want something badly enough, I will overcome any excuse. If I succumb to my excuses, I know I’m not really ready to head down that road. It may also be because it’s not a road that’s a good fit for my at this time. When I’m on-fire about something, excuses fly out the window. When I started playing poker, I knew that I could make a living if I put in the work. I was afraid, shy and had all the usual problems 18-year olds have, but my goal was to make it work. I didn’t want a 9-to-5 job like everyone else. It just wasn’t for me. The excuses you have right now don’t matter. What really matters is what kind of life you want.

A damn true fact. Excuse is well… excuse. And the world often doesn’t care about that. What they see is the result. And so do ourself should. When we give ourself chance to have excuse, usually it become an addict. But like other bad things, it just damn hard to resist. Hahaha

That’s what I think about all 20 points. This is the link to be original article: http://www.wakeupcloud.com/passionate-habits/