It was in 2013 when I first recognized how interests gravely impact the course of our lives. Being a random and spontaneous person with too many interests, I was clueless about where I would end up.
I was an Architecture student back then. It wasn’t even my first choice — well, I didn’t have a first choice. Nevertheless, I enrolled since I have a few backgrounds in Arts.
Two semesters later, I realized that Architecture isn’t for me. I attended classes unmotivated. I kept on looking for an escape. I eventually told my parents about how I felt.
They were devastated and convinced me to finish it, but I can’t. After a long dramatic talk with my mom who’s more frustrated than I was, they permitted me to shift.
“They say ‘follow your heart, but if your heart is in a million pieces, which piece do you follow?” — Anonymous
It’s frustrating to live with too many interests.
Many people can’t understand how it feels to have multiple interests. They advise us to focus on one. But they don’t understand the emotional attachments.
It’s a labyrinth but with a slight difference — every route is a correct logical path. Only that, you can’t choose one if it means giving up other routes. You end up staying in the labyrinth.
Isn’t it a waste of skill if you know you’re good at it, but eventually need to let it go?
The same dilemma happened (or still happens) to me. I am currently a teacher in automotive technology. But on some days, I feel like I can drop my current job to teach philosophies.
On another day, my writer persona kicks in. I’d start vowing to become a full-time writer. On a not so distant day, I’m so motivated to become a great musician, too.
While some people try to find a cure for cancer or inspire the youth, here I am, still unsettled. With all my interests tapping on my windows, decision-making becomes tougher.
It’s a challenge to find where I belong especially when I’m a puzzle piece that “almost” fits in everything.
Fortunately, through the years of struggles and discovering my path, I learned some valuable lessons along the way. If you’re like me who’s lost in the same labyrinth, then continue on reading until the last word.
It’s always about passion.
I like writing, arts, dress up games, but in the light of finding happiness in careers, it boils down to one — passion.
With all your interests flooding like a set of deadlines, knocking every now and then, how do you know which one is your passion? Let’s see.
There are short-term interests. These are interests that draw you for a short period of time. For me, it’s a TV show, celebrity admiration, or a ruthless game which I’m currently addicted to — Among Us.
On the other hand, there are longer-term interests. These are the ones where your drive is reaching a goal. It includes getting academic recognition, practicing a skill, or saving money for the future.
Lastly, we have interests that never leave no matter what. You may have grown and matured, but it still remains in you.
For me, it’s writing. I’ve been writing stories since I was in 2nd Grade. My style and niche may have changed, but the skill has always been innate.
Honestly, I experienced burnouts. Never did I imagine that writing, at some point, can be tormenting. But time and time again, I’ll come back to writing.
Imagine prohibiting yourself from your interests for five years. Which one do you think pokes you every now and then? Do you feel yearnings to do it? Which one keeps on enticing you?
I am acknowledging all of my interests.
Yes, it’s wearisome to be undecided. As we grow older, we aim for stability. However, with too many interests, we don’t know or want to commit to any.
So what do I do if I can’t decide which path to take? Or which one to focus on? My answer is simple. Do it all.
If you have a desire to travel, then do it. If it’s writing a book, go for it. If you have fears that starting new things won’t let you accomplish anything, okay fine. But, I’m telling you, it doesn’t matter what you think. Just do it.
Act on what interests you. Don’t try to oppose what you feel because if you do, you’ll end up doing three things:
1. Getting frustrated.
I was a full-pledged overthinker. I have lots of interest, and I always think it’s possible to make a living from them. However, choosing only one interest to work on, then sending off the rest, makes me more frustrated.
2. Hating yourself.
You start hating yourself for being indecisive. It’s worse when you compare yourself to people or friends who seem well-established. Being a person with too many interests, and unable to choose one, you start blaming yourself.
3. Accomplishing nothing.
At the end of the day, it’s your loss. You wasted valuable time without coming up with a concrete decision.
How did I cope with too many interests and interest-hopping?
I was once frustrated, but I tried to look at the situation differently. We are not indecisive, rather we are talented and skillful. The only problem here is what we’re going to do with these potentials.
Here’s what I do:
1. Honor your interests.
Acknowledge them, especially the ones that keep on coming back. You can keep a list. Write every interest, set priorities. However, don’t be too hard on yourself. Having too many interests already proves that you can’t live in a too structured way. Set realistic and attainable goals.
I do prioritize teaching since it’s my main job. I teach about technology, and it’s more fun when I integrate life principles. I teach every Mondays-Fridays.
However, I make sure I write on the sides and produce 1–2 stories, blogs, or posts every week. Slowly, but surely. At the same time, I’m starting my own online business, gathering knowledge and initial materials.
2. Accommodate the urges.
Give yourself ample time. If I want to write, I’d write. If I want to watch a movie, I’d watch it. When I suppress an interest, my mind thinks, “why can’t I do what I want?” and start to get frustrated. It leads to a loss of motivation.
Before you go to that point, take action with the urges.
3. Don’t choose money over passion.
Since you have a lot of interests, you probably think of ways to earn from your passion. It’s actually a good point. Earn while doing what you love. But don’t choose money over passion.
Admit it. Being a person guilty of interest-hopping, we easily get bored. Money isn’t our drive (though it’s a need). It’s our passion that sparks up everything. Follow excellence and success will follow you.
You may also like this: Why You Can’t Find the Right Job For You
Taking action saves the day.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie
Overthinking never helps. It’s taking action that relieved my frustrations. Action gives us confidence and satisfaction.
We may be guilty of interest-hopping, but at least we’re doing something rather than plainly stressing ourselves out.
Taking action on the snap of the idea is the best feeling ever — at least for me. Don’t think, just do. If you think you won’t be consistent if you start anything, I’d say it again.
Don’t think, just start doing it.
In the midst of frustration, you may ask friends or family for advice.
You can also read productivity books to build a stronger mindset. Reading was my savior from the flood of anxieties upon finding my career path. Acquiring useful knowledge from reading was one of my ways to get rid of procrastination, too.
There was a time I was fearful that I won’t amount to anything.
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” — Les Brown
We‘re clueless about the twists and turns of our life. A few years back, I thought I’m going to be an engineer. I always wanted to be.
But now, I’m a technical teacher, integrates a few touches of philosophy, while being a writer on the sides.
Just keep on trying and you’ll eventually find what you want (and what you don’t want). If you can’t choose? Just do everything. I live by the motto, “When in doubt, I’ll do everything out.”
I was once frustrated to choose between being an employee and a freelancer. Job or business, which one? Sometimes, I think of being a theatre actress, too. I also want to vlog and blog.
Here I am now, not suppressing all the ideas. But I acknowledge a waiting period. I’m working out on patience as I plan on actualizing everything. I don’t want any regrets.
Let’s face it. We can’t do everything at the same minute. But we can do little of everything in a week, in a month, or within the year. As long as we’re making progress and it satisfies our passion, it’s better.
Being someone who has lots of interests is troublesome. We can’t be contained in one field. If you feel that you can’t be chained in one profession, then thrive in different fields.
Make it work. Make yourself work. Keep moving. Whatever hobby that is, give time. Never suppress.
Interests should help you grow, and not hinder you. Believe in your skills and use them as your guiding factor.
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