Photo from Unsplash by Wan Chen
It Starts with One Single Step
Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted to be a ballerina. The average ballerina would spend about 8-10 years to train and become a professional. From the simple 2-3 classes a week, by the time they are midway through their training they are practicing 13-15 times a week at minimum. She knew it would be difficult and she would spend most of her time practicing but, she loved it with all of her heart. Most people can appreciate the elegant ways in which a ballerina can present herself on stage but, they do not think about the years of training, the intense competition that she may have faced, and the pain she feels in her feet every now and then by pushing her to the limit. Nonetheless, she continued to dance, she continued to persevere through it all, and she pushed herself to be the best that she can be. Something so beautiful is born from someone’s ambition and hard work. So with that said, what is the Ballerina Paradox?
Comfort versus Passion
Comfort is one of the primary things that we need for our survival, the basics include: food, shelter, water, sex, and sleep. Fairly straightforward and simple. When we are born, we learn to crawl, walk, and speak the language in our household. We are sent to school where we are taught by our teachers the basics that we will need in order to be successful in society. We are then given the option to go to university or begin working in various fields. We are comfortable in a university setting or a newbie in the workforce because we have someone guiding us and then we eventually get into the flow of things. We are able to provide for ourselves and supply ourselves with things we wish we could have had. With that being said once we have had our comfort, how do we find our passion? The big difference between passion and comfort is that passion requires more self discipline and drive to be an autodidact. The passion comes from the willingness to fail and be your own teacher in the field that you are interested in. No one really wakes up one day and is successful writer, YouTuber, or entrepreneur (they can but, it is an extremely rare exception to the rule); it takes a person a significant amount of failures and years of practice to perfect the thing that makes them smile, that gives them a natural dopamine rush when they see results, that part of them that they are willing to share with the world.
Dare to Dream
No one is saying that you automatically know what you are passionate about on the spot. It takes a deep dive into your interests and curiosity to truly understand where your passion comes from. Maybe you need to take some time and look through old photos from your childhood to the times that you use to paint, play soccer, or sing in your local choir. Maybe you are going to spend hours looking at videos on YouTube about how to start your own SoundCloud or your own Etsy shop making organic soap (I don’t judge). It takes some trial and error to figure out what you would be willing to sacrifice your time for. Once we discover our passion we then become the ballerina, trying and learning endlessly about how we can improve to be the best at the thing that we love. It just takes hard work, dedication, and the drive to take the risk on yourself.