with this post, I introduce a new category in my blog, Personal Development

I reconnected recently, with a friend who I connected with online and lost touch. We are both passionate about art, and at the time, I was a budding photographer. As we reconnected, they mentioned that they hope to find time to learn photography in this lifetime. I was upset to hear this. I’ll tell you why in a minute, but first, primer.

I don’t usually have one-word titles. This, however, I feel is an important message to communicate. Many people talk about prioritizing. Important things on top, the less important things at the bottom. This is a great idea, at least theoretically. I don’t believe in prioritizing in the conventional way. A communications professional who does not prioritize? That must be new.

But lets expand that to include not just tasks, but also hobbies and activities, say photography and volunteering. Suppose these are words written on a piece of paper on your priority list. How would you rank them in the stack of papers that sit on your desk.

I have always seen this to be true with my friends, family, and colleagues without fail. There is something magical about prioritizing: If something falls beyond a certain level in priority, it will never be attended to. Whether this is taking up a new hobby, learning a new skill or language, or getting involved with something in some way, you will always find something more important to put on top of it. This is why prioritizing doesn’t work.

So, why did I get upset? It all boils down to passion. If you feel passionately about something, you will not need to find time. You will make time. You must make time. If you find that you don’t have enough motivation to make time for something, then it is perhaps something you are not passionate about. Yes, this is reductionist, and sometimes the complexities need to be stripped away to see the relation clearly.

Passion is also what makes the difference between being mediocre and being meritocratic. Passion is what you have when you’re drenched in rain, volunteering for a cause you believe in. Passion will be the same thing you you will have when you’re drenched in sunlight, still volunteering for the cause you believe in.

Passion is the fuel that ignites, throttling you to trailblazing speeds as you constantly improve your writing. Or your relationships.

Make time for things you are passionate about. If you are not passionate enough, be true to yourself.

By way of invoking famous quotes, Bruce Lee once said,

If you always put limits on what you can do, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread over into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A [wo]man must constantly exceed his level.

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