Is it okay to not be passionate about anything?

I don't know what my passions are? Is that a bad thing?
I don't know what my passions are? Is that a bad thing?  Photo: Shutterstock

What are you passionate about? Someone asked me that question the other day and I couldn’t answer it. Sure, there are lots of things I’m interested in but am I truly passionate about anything?

People are passionate about their careers, their interesting hobbies, about food, about music, about athletic pursuits, about animals, about travel. Me, I enjoy all these things, but do I eat, sleep and breathe even one of these things? Not really.

I’m a fairly low-maintenance, simple kind of lady. I love days full of adventure, but I love days on the couch too. And, yes, I can be lazy. Laziness should be freed from all its negative connotations. Sometimes we all try to do too much. Sometimes it’s good not to.

But when this person asked me what I was passionate about and I kind of mumbled some nondescript answer about nothing in particular, afterwards I felt something of a failure.

Surely, I, an intelligent, witty, caring (yet simple) lady, should have at least one passion to rave about when a complete stranger asks me such a question. So I at least appear interesting.

So, feeling rather down on myself, I began to research “how to find your passion”, and not wanting to waste too much time went straight to the woman who wants us all to live our best lives. Aunty Oprah. Timely given I hadn’t seen her for a while and there she was at the Royal Wedding.

(And speaking of passions, surely Meghan Markle must be exhausted from being so passionate about so many things. I saw some footage of her as an 11-year-old telling some journalist about how she wrote a letter to then First Lady Hillary Clinton after seeing a sexist dish soap commercial and the company changed the ad. At 11 I was doing all I could to avoid doing the dishes. But now she's passionate about fighting for equality, rhinoceroses, yoga, calligraphy and cooking, not to mention the Invictus Games, saving sick children and the stigma surrounding menstruation, the poor dear must be quite busy. I hope she finds time for Harry.)

But back to Oprah.

It appears the secret to finding your passion is not thinking about what your passion is. Passion can’t be found in your head because it lives in your heart, this very helpful article told me. And the flames of passion are fanned by engagement, not thought.

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But the key is not narrowing your focus, it’s about bringing passion to everything you do.

No matter what task is in front of you, you have to bring as much energy and enthusiasm as you possibly can to that single task.

Whether you're making dinner, making the beds or making love - do it like you want to do it. Even if you don’t. It could change your mindset.

I remember times when I couldn’t really be naffed. But it was something that was expected. So you start, convincing yourself you were having a good time, and then all of a sudden you were having a good time.

And I’m talking about making dinner.

It’s all about being in control of how you feel about things, how you respond to things, how you choose to be.

If you approach your daily tasks with this mindset, your true passion just might reveal itself.

Which is funny, because when I asked a colleague here what she thought my passions were, she said writing, straight up. I like to think I approach each word with some kind of enthusiasm. That each column is full of some kind of energy. Each story brimming with some kind of wonder that might reach at least one reader. But is it my passion? I’m not sure. Surely I would have written that book if it was?

So I’ve reached a point where I’ve decided it’s perfectly okay not to be passionate about anything. I’ve made a life of being okay at a lot of things but not excelling at any. And that’s perfectly fine.

I’m your best trivia companion because I may not be passionate about 18th century literature but I know a lot of useless stuff. I’m a good walking buddy because I might struggle up the hills but we’ll have fun along the away. If you want to travel, take me. While I might not know anything about where we’re going, the joy will be discovering it together.

So don’t be worried if you’re not passionate about anything either, don’t think any worse of yourself, just enjoy the things you do every day. Life is about the little things. Now there's a passion.