It affects globally more than 300 million people of all ages. According to the World Health Organization it is the leading cause of disability and a major contributor of the overall burden of disease world wide. More women are affected by depression then men as well.
I really believe that as humans we need to find purpose in our lives. So often we are programmed to follow a safe and somewhat predictable route in life. Unfortunately, this is how our society is structured. Study hard in school. Go to University to get that almighty piece of paper called a degree, the one that says you have worth. Then, find a job within a large corporation and climb the corporate ladder as high as you possibly can. Collect your pension at the end your working career, and inevitably die. We are mostly encouraged to go for things that are safe and predicable rather than taking a chance and following a dream.
In 2013, Gallup, a Washington DC polling organization, released a report where the number of "actively disengaged" employees outnumbered "engaged" employees that love their jobs by a factor of two to one.
I was part of the two to one factor. I was "actively disengaged" for sure. By 2014, I found myself fully realizing what this unsatisfied feeling I had really was. For years, I had been depressed with the idea of doing the same job for the rest of my working life. A job with gainful perks, but in the end wasn't really satisfying or fulfilling. It checked off the boxes of a decent income, providing benefits for my family, paid vacations, pension etc... but it was one of those jobs that you just go through the motions, counting down the years until it's time for retirement.
I was struggling to find meaning and fulfillment in my life. I was dieing to find something that gave me a sense of satisfaction. I was so depressed. Down into a deep friggin hole that I couldn't get out of, no matter how many ideas I came up with. It sucked. My wife suggested that I give photography a try, as a creative outlet during my journey of finding my passion for life. My first thought was, "I am not doing weddings and I'm not doing baby pictures." That being said, I hated the state of mind I was in so I gave it a shot.
Fortunately, I found that there is so much more to photography than I could have ever imagined. Thankfully, I know that I have found "my passion." The satisfaction I have found in photography is exactly what I needed. I'm a passionate and creative person and photography has filled that void I had for so many years.
I would be willing to bet that the majority of the people in those statistics above, are in the same type of place in their life as I was. People need to feel purpose in life, whatever that may be for them. So many people find themselves in a job that leaves them unfulfilled inside but they stay because they feel safe, comfortable or don't have the strength to leap forward. I know from my personal experience, that one can be just straight up terrified to make that first step out of the safe/comfort zone. Instead of stepping out of the comfort zone, they keep waking up everyday spending most of their time performing tasks that will never lead to their desired satisfaction. I am confident a large majority of these people could start making steps to find what they are passionate about and pursue it, if they could find the strength to step out of their comfort zone and take the risk. We all know that if you set your mind to something and surround yourself with likeminded people, odds are you will achieve what you have set out to do. It's the first step that is so terrifying. We only live once, so why not try and do that thing that is most fulfilling for us.
We have all heard of those people that have so much passion in their career, which I was always envious of. Hearing them say, "do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life." This is not to say they won't have challenges and stressful times, but what they do on a daily basis doesn't feel like work because it's what they feel they were meant to do in life. It provides them with a sense of satisfaction, it fills them with passion and purpose. That is what I'm striving for... I want to wake up every day and do what I love. Do something that gives me satisfaction and fulfillment in life. What I don't want is to wake up one day when I'm 65 and feel regret or a void because I wasted so much time not pursuing my passion because of fear or following what is the norm.
Have you discovered what your passion is in life? Leave a comment below.