I have always felt that saying to people “find your passion” was a bit off in the sense that it seemed to disallow and devalue the exploration process, which I consider essential to real personal growth and development. For we highly sensitive people (and especially those of us who are high sensation seeking highly sensitive people) we tend to move from “fascination” to “fascination.” By fascination I mean we find a topic that really catches our eye then we spend days, weeks, or months utterly absorbed in learning every little detail we possibly can about that topic; then we move on. It’s a bit maddening at times but by learning across a wide variety of domains we acquire intimate knowledge that makes us more well-rounded than the average bear!
What do we do when our passion is not singular; as in what if our passion IS curiosity itself? That might seem wildly impractical because we live in a society that prizes productivity and abhors real creativity (or at least they fear it because it contains uncertainties) but curiosity is the root of creativity, innovation, and the progress of humankind. Without those of us who have found curiosity to be our passion, our world would be much less rich in art, music, inventions, ideas, and concepts. Without curious people who are unafraid to dwell in the liminal spaces “between and betwixt” things new research could not occur, nor could we progress as a species.
This is not to say that there aren’t those seemingly born knowing what they want to do with their lives but far more are likely to find their way over time and through activities like intellectual and creative risk-taking, openness to new experiences, and a willingness to transform and be transformed by our experiences.
I suggest we stop saying to people “find your passion” instead we should say “be passionate in your curiosity and learn many things!”
Thrive: The Highly Sensitive Person and Career
Thrill: The High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person