I’ve been feeling uninspired for a while now. Not unhappy…. not down – just not full of energy and ideas. And this has made me feel slightly guilty – which is something that I decided I wouldn’t do. (I will do remorse, but I don’t see much point in doing guilt.) Anyway I thought a bit about the cause of this mild lazy/guilty state of mine, and here are some of my ideas about it.
I don’t think that we are very good at allowing ourselves fallow periods. The messages of our society are about ploughing and sowing and working, working and working. What’s more this constant activity should all come from a place of passion. Passion is held up as being the thing that will lead to success. Passion is what will get you doing all this work and putting up with the hard times. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you’re on the wrong track. And now I’m going to say something scandalous. I’m sick of passion. Yes, I’m tired of hearing how important passion is in being successful. I don’t think passion is half as important as it’s made out to be.
It seems to me that a lot of life is about maintenance and keeping going – and you don’t need much passion for that, just a whole lot of perseverance and good habits. Maybe gentle enjoyment and pleasure is enough. The passion-punters however would never agree. If you want success, you’ve got to have passion. I’m not even going to venture into discussion about what constitutes success, but Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, The Outliers, counters the idea of talent and passion bringing success. He argues that the biggest thing to bring about success is practice – ten thousand hours is what is required according to him.
But let me not go flying off on a tangent now, but stick to the point about the quieter times. I think it’s quite ok in our homes and in ourselves to have passionless periods – those quieter times when we aren’t doing startling things that others notice. I don’t think that anyone can have driving passion pulsing through them all the time. If we don’t have more restful and contemplative times, I think there’s little chance of the high-energy times of passion.
And now I’ve completely excused and even lauded my lazy state, exonerated my guilt and feel the prickings of a few faint stirrings of passion for a little project that I have in mind. Best I rest up a bit before tackling it!