I was working on the last variation from J.S.Bach- Goldberg variations when one of my student sent to me a message and asked me what I do for fun except playing piano. I paused for a second and reply to her: Maybe more piano practice:)
She joked: making a dinner does not count as a hobby for a cook.
I realize that I have not done anything for my pure pleasure for a long time, When did I stop having hobbies?
Over the years, I have learned that I am a passionate and persistent person. These qualities have turned whatever I grow my interest in into a passion. Instead of having too many hobbies, I grew many passions in my life. My passions allow my perfectionism reveal its value to my works, but they also leave a bit of downsides to my life. Sometimes, I don’t enjoy myself through my passions.
My father has a major influence on my attitude towards my passions. He believes that one can only capture the great pleasure through a series of great suffering. In other words, a pure pleasure without any sacrifice is as light as air. In Beethoven’s dictionary, my father is the type of Es muss sein. The Es-muss-sein quality could not promise a clone of Beethoven, but it indeed helped me to hold on a passion for 20 years. My personal sacrifice through this journey is to store my real life painful experience and recycle them in my works. I found this constant life experience recycling made me hard to detach myself from my work. When my work is presenting the great suffering, my depression visits.
I wish my parents could have revealed the wisdom of balance to me 20 years ago, but I never blame their influences. It is just a right time for me to release myself from my own stereotype, by saying that, I would love to organize my “many passions” in “ a healthy way”.
- Separate passions from profession.
If you are passionate about your profession, you will probably enjoy your professional work more. But, you don’t need to present your work of passions as you did in your professional works. You are not expected to achieve a certain level of mastery to show your passion.
Besides, one can handle expertise in one or a few major professional fields , but speaking of passions, there is not a limit of numbers.
2. Try to call some of your passions as your hobbies .
By calling something you grew a strong interest in a passion, you confirmed a committed relationship with this interest. It can potentially bring you guilt if you could not do it as regularly as you preferred. By calling it a hobby instead, you release yourself from your commitment and you can visit your “hobby” whenever you have the right mood.
3. It absolutely okay to have more than one
Our brain was not evolved for mastering one single skill to survive our lifetime. In my opinion, all kinds of human passion involve a certain learning experience, either repetitive or progressive. If you have ability and desire to learn more than one skill, you can absolutely have more than one passion.
4. There isn’t a “quality passion”
Again, an increasing call for outstanding expertise from our social needs and work market expectations raise our standard of what a good quality life looks like. In the “modern quality life”, your quality work profession has matched to your quality family time, your quality physical health has to match with your quality mental health… if any of your expectations are under your standard, you would want to spent time to improve its quality. But, your passions do not need to match any part of your quality life.
It is just as simple as what you enjoy to do.
Despite all of the life survival tasks and social responsibilities for fulfilling the “meaning of life”, your happiness may reside in these simple things you enjoy to do. Please reserve some of your lifetime for your own and pure pleasure, that would be what I call a quality life.