You’ve been given the chance to take five minutes and perform a speech on something you are passionate about and there is a money reward if the judges deem it passionate. Would you talk about something you truly are passionate about or would you try to ‘pretend’ to be passionate about something because you think that’s what the people want to hear?
Let’s assume you had five minutes to give a speech. You would receive a very large sum of money if you gave a speech that the judges considered “passionate.” You choose the topic, you write the speech. You give a passionate speech, you get the money.
What would you talk about? More importantly, would what you talk about in that speech be what you’re truly passionate about, or would you try to fudge and make people think you were really excited about something you think is “important,” because you think that’s what they want to hear?
Telling people what you think they want to hear is a good way to have an absolutely horrible life. You can’t be honest with anyone, or think you cannot, because they believe you are someone other than who you are. You can’t express your real feelings about certain things because you know that’s not what the people you’re with think.
How do you find your true self? I think the best way is to look at what you’re truly passionate about. If you love baseball, but loathe cricket, and all your best friends are British, won’t being honest about your love of baseball well, ruin your friendship?
It might, and if it does, that’s probably the best possible thing that could happen to you. Because if you have friends who not only don’t share your passions but don’t want you to be passionate about those things, then what do you have in common? They don’t like what you like, and they want you to like what they like. What kind of friend is that?
What would you do if you had all the time in the world and money was no option? Imagine you’re told you can go see a concert. Any concert you want, anywhere in the world. I know people who would go see the band that’s appearing in their hometown in three months. Not because of a lack of imagination, but because that is what they want to do. They love their town and they love that band.
I’m reminded of a conversation between two friends many years ago when one talked about not being sure she could become a writer, and the other said, “I’ve seen your face when you talk about writing. That’s passion.” The writer is now working on her fourth book and has just signed another publishing contract to write about another of her passions.
So many people think they can’t be who they truly are with their friends, or at work. The truth is, unless you are who you really are, unless you’re passionate about what you’re really passionate about, why would those people, or any others, want to be passionate about your friendship?