What To Do When You Have Too Many Passions

(Picture: Lauren Macdonald)

“Hello Celes! I’m a scholar in highschool. I’m writing to you as a result of I’ve no clue what to do… Since eternally, I’ve a ardour for data. I’m considering EVERYTHING. I wanna be taught extra about issues particularly completely different religions, historical past, artwork, anthropology, why we’re right here, philosophy, science, and so on. I begin studying on-line about one factor and it by no means ends there.

This truly makes me very upset as a result of I don’t know what to be taught as a way to make a residing and I really feel like I’m nothing in comparison with the nice folks I examine. My mother and father simply need me to earn a living and say I shouldn’t be taught one thing that’s not “sensible.” I wanna be taught the whole lot but additionally be energetic and create. So what ought to I be taught? And if I be taught, how can I make use of this data, moreover having fun with it?” — Nana

What do you do while you need to be taught EVERYTHING? What do you pursue when you’ve many passions, pursuits in numerous issues? I typically get this query so I’d wish to reply this in immediately’s put up.


First, let me share my ardour story. After I was actually younger, like 7, my brother launched me to video video games. I nonetheless keep in mind the primary console our dad purchased for us was Micro Genius, an 8-bit console. Historical, I do know — this was in 1991. One of many first video games we performed was Tremendous Mario. We subsequently received newer consoles as they received launched through the years, from Sega Genesis to Dreamcast to Ps to PlayStation 2.

Micro Genius, an 8-bit console

Micro Genius, now an out of date console (Picture: Brandon Lee)

My brother and I’d play video games collectively, although as we grew older, I turned the one enjoying the video games. From RPGs, to combating video games, to horror video games, to action-adventure video games, I performed them ALL.

I didn’t simply play as an off-the-cuff gamer too — each time I performed a sport, I’d play it to the intense the place I’d get absolute excessive scores, be taught each Easter egg, unlock each bonus, and play it constantly to advert nauseam. For the RPGs / story video games, I might even retell the scene and the precise dialogue. And we’re speaking about over 100 video games in complete!

Video games

A few of many, many video games I performed rising up

My intense gaming would proceed into my teenagers, all the way in which until I graduated from college.

Internet Improvement

After I was 14 (1998-1999), the web growth got here. Virtually everybody received a PC and my mother and father, with their restricted financial savings, pulled cash collectively to get one for me too.

Throughout this era, I realized to navigate the net, use IRC and ICQ (the preferred chat packages again within the day), and play LAN video games. Sooner or later when chatting with a web-based pal, he advised me about this man from China who was working a preferred web site (that was in Chinese language) on desktop enhancements like wallpapers, skins, screensavers, and the like — and supposedly making good cash off it!

Intrigued, I believed, You can earn cash simply from making web sites? If I might earn cash and get began on my long-term purpose to help my mother and father and do them proud, then I used to be all for it. So I appeared up, “The best way to begin a web site.”

Inside that week, I created my first web site. Since I already knew that desktop enhancements was a tried and confirmed subject, I primarily based my web site on this subject however with my very own fashion and content material. Every single day, I’d rush residence after faculty to construct my web site. From HTML coding, to internet design, to graphic enhancing, to on-line advertising and marketing, to internet administration, I realized the whole lot wanted to construct an ideal web site.

Screenshot of Celestine's World in 1998

My first web site, Celestine’s World. This screenshot is all I’ve left in any case these years!

My web site grew, quick. As a result of I used to be massively constructing the positioning, advertising and marketing it, and creating numerous good content material, I used to be gaining fast site visitors. Inside a 12 months, I used to be getting over 100,000 guests a month. My web site had developed into one of many largest portals on-line for desktop enhancements. I used to be kind of residing a double life: whereas within the day, I used to be this introverted child at school; outdoors faculty, I used to be the proprietor of this massive internet portal that many individuals have been visiting. Every single day, I labored on my web site tirelessly; on daily basis, I up to date it with one thing new. I used to be creating numerous excessive high quality content material on my weblog and getting immense satisfaction from doing so.

Screenshot of Celestine's World in 1999

My web site in 1999. By then I had gotten my area and was on a personal server.

Screenshot of Celestine's World in 2000

New look in 2000. At this level my site visitors was over 300,000 guests/month!

By then, incomes cash was not the important thing to me. I used to be extra enticed by what the net might provide — the flexibility to be taught new abilities, to create one thing of worth, to fulfill gifted site owners on-line, and to make a distinction to others.

So, I started to launch extra websites. And by web sites, I imply a lot of them:

Screenshot of Evahaven, fansite of Neon Genesis Evangelion

I beloved anime in my teenagers, so I created a fan web site for Neon Genesis Evangelion, a wildly well-liked anime then

Screenshot of Dogstreet, fansite of The Bouncer

I additionally beloved video video games so I collaborated with a fellow webmaster to create a fan web site for a very talked-about PS2 sport known as The Bouncer

Screenshot of Top50SkinSites, a voting site for desktop enhancements

Voting websites have been actually well-liked then so I launched one for desktop enhancement websites

Screenshot of angel, my webring for wallpaper sites

I additionally headed a webring for wallpaper websites as webrings have been actually well-liked then too

Screenshot of Wallpaper Challenge

I additionally spearheaded a platform for wallpaper designers to attach and share concepts. It turned very well-known and was the go-to place for mentioned people.

Screenshot of Skinned, my winamp skins site

I created a web site for winamp skins as I beloved making winamp skins

Screenshot of My Spirit Within, my personal blog

I additionally had a private web site and weblog. At the moment, blogs have been purely private journals, nothing just like the content material websites they’ve turn out to be immediately.

By 2001, I had created 10 completely different web sites, every with their distinctive content material and structure. Every web site turned very talked-about and have been receiving over half 1,000,000 guests a month in complete! I used to be having all these guests from round the world visiting my websites, sending infinite requests, and leaving grateful suggestions. This internet expertise was top-of-the-line issues that occurred to me in my teenage years and I keep in mind feeling very comfortable and excited each time I used to be engaged on my web sites.

Internet, Graphic Design

Throughout this era, I additionally cultivated an curiosity in internet and graphic design. Whereas I began off with completely no data in it — I used to be within the science stream and knew completely nothing about internet/graphic design — I picked up the talents myself by randomly downloading graphic software program, studying up on-line, and spending numerous hours fiddling in it.

Design was enjoyable in a means. I noticed it as my means of connecting with seasoned wallpaper/pores and skin creators on-line, who had been round and creating digital works lengthy earlier than I began my websites. I discovered it aspirational that everybody was creating such stunning artworks and wished to be nice in my craft too. I always studied others’ supplies to see what they have been doing, and used them as benchmarks to get higher at my work.

So be it ICQ skins, winamp skins, wallpapers, internet layouts, or digital art work, I’d spend many hours working in Photoshop and perfecting my creations every day. It was regular for me to work until the wee hours on daily basis, like 3-5 am, after which get up at 6:30 am and go to high school like a zombie. I nonetheless keep in mind my dad would rebuke me and ask me to sleep earlier, which clearly didn’t work. In complete, I created almost a thousand desktop enhancements throughout these years!

Some of many wallpapers I created then:

Wallpaper: Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion

Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion

Wallpaper: Rinoa Heartilly from Final Fantasy 8

Rinoa Heartilly from Last Fantasy 8

Wallpaper: Motoko from Love Hina

Motoko from Love Hina

Some winamp skins I created:

Winamp Skin: Card Captor Sakura

Card Captor Sakura

Winamp Skin: Vivi Ornitier

Vivi Ornitier from Last Fantasy 9

Winamp Skin: Rei Ayanami

One other one with Rei from Evangelion.

A few my digital artworks:

Digital Artwork: Digital Botany

Digital Botany: What a plant would appear like if it have been grown digitally (for my part)

Digital Artwork: Imagination

Creativeness: Burst of sunshine rays

Enterprise, Advertising

By 2002, I started to float away from on-line. A part of it was to deal with my actual life priorities; half was as a result of my webmaster pals have been starting to float away for that very cause. One after the other, I finished renewing my domains; one after the other, I shut down my websites. By 2005, all my websites have been gone.

When it got here to college in 2003, it was time to decide on my course of examine. With no robust ardour within the accessible programs, I opted for Enterprise Administration. It appeared like it will be a sensible choice, one which was in alignment with my purpose to earn numerous cash.

Over the subsequent 3 years, I devoted myself to creating the very best out of my college course. I soaked myself in the whole lot that college needed to provide, from the coursework, to courses, to case research, to undertaking work. To construct up my management abilities, I participated in core-curricular actions and case examine competitions. I additionally began a graphic/internet design enterprise and gave personal tuition 3 occasions a week (2 separate issues) as a part of leveraging my abilities to earn cash.

Lastly, since I specialised in Advertising, I pitted myself towards a thousand candidates for a extremely coveted internship in a Fortune 100 firm, which was primarily the dream job for entrepreneurs then. After a number of rigorous assessments and interviews, I received the internship. I’d finally get a Advertising job provide after a grueling 2.5-month internship. I additionally graduated from my faculty as the highest scholar in Advertising.

I’d later uncover my actual ardour and goal — to develop and assist others obtain their highest potential — which sarcastically turned out to don’t have anything to do with video video games, internet improvement, internet or graphic design, enterprise and advertising and marketing, and even earning profits.

I’ve since turned my ardour into my profession, from discovering my ideally suited imaginative and prescient, to quitting my day job, to pursuing my ardour with no cash, to incomes my first ardour greenback, to constructing my abilities, to turning my weblog into one of many high private improvement blogs on this planet, to hitting over $100,000 in annual income (I share the early steps of my ardour journey in my ardour collection). It’s been 7 years of doing this and I can’t think about doing anything for all times.

5 Classes I’ve Realized in My Journey

Now, why am I sharing this story? There are 5 classes I need to spotlight right here:

#1. It’s okay to need to be taught, do the whole lot

I’ve numerous readers who inform me they’re considering EVERYTHING and so they need to be taught, do EVERYTHING. They in flip freeze up and do nothing as a result of they don’t know what they need to pursue over others.

However, guess what? It’s okay to need to be taught EVERYTHING. It’s additionally okay to need to strive your hand at EVERYTHING. In any case, if you happen to don’t strive, then how are you speculated to know what precisely you want?

Throughout my ardour journey, I used to be always studying, exploring various things. Firstly, there have been the video video games which I performed intensely in my childhood and youths. Each time I performed a sport, I’d immerse myself in its universe. With 100 video games, it was as if I had been in 100 completely different universes. With anime, I’d watch them intensely and be very wrapped up in the whole lot about every present, from the characters to the plot.

When it got here to internet improvement, I soaked myself in the whole lot I might discover on the WWW. I began with WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) cookie-cutter web site builders however shortly switched to coding HTML myself once I realized the constraints of such editors. I noticed folks creating fancy graphics and I wished to create high-quality art work identical to them — after which began to be taught graphic enhancing on my own. I created a web site and felt it wasn’t sufficient — I ended up having 10 entire web sites in lower than 3 years as a result of I wished to strive my hand at the whole lot. In complete, I created a complete of 13 web sites throughout my teen years!

Now a few of it’s possible you’ll say you don’t have time to do the whole lot. But, making an attempt the whole lot doesn’t imply that you simply stop your job or research to do issues full time. It actually means what it says: Strive. Dabble. Discover! For instance,

  • Serious about changing into a YouTuber? Begin a YouTube channel and put up a few movies for enjoyable.
  • Serious about drawing? Do some sketches and put up them on Fb for suggestions; be part of a drawing membership to fulfill different artists.
  • Serious about stand-up comedy? Observe a couple of stand-up routines by your self, then strive it out at your native comedy membership.
  • Serious about cooking? Experiment with some recipes; begin a meals weblog. 
  • Serious about teaching? Learn teaching books, be part of a weekend workshop to be taught some fundamentals, and provide to teach your folks at no cost.

What are your pursuits? Your passions? Your hobbies? Write them down, after which begin pursuing them, maybe one or a couple of at a time. Don’t limit your self or maintain your self again. Experiment and let your self be taught freely, like a toddler. Let your self absorb in the whole lot the universe has to supply. Embrace the whole lot with curiosity. 🙂

#2. As you be taught/do, you’ll be taught new issues about your self

The wonderful thing about making an attempt the whole lot is that you’ll readily get insights into what you want / don’t like. Quite than surprise if X factor is best for you or not, you will get this reply by testing it out and seeing how you are feeling when doing so. The nice factor is that you simply’ll in all probability get some good insights after some time with out actually having to strive the whole lot.

Every time I pursued one thing to the nth diploma, I’d finally understand one thing about myself or what I used to be doing. The realizations have been by no means massive ahas — many of the occasions they have been unconscious shifts — that contributed to me discovering my goal in a while. For instance,

  1. After enjoying the nth sport and getting the highest rating for the nth time, I started to comprehend that I wasn’t getting a lot out of video games. I spotted that I used to be placing all this effort into gaming — but, getting nothing again in return. I spotted that it made extra sense for me to get on the market, dwell my life, and create my adventures than to dwell vicariously via fictional characters. I subsequently distanced myself from video games and labored on constructing my actual life.
  2. With internet improvement, after making so many websites and bringing each one in all them to success, I started to lose curiosity in internet improvement as an entire. Looking back, I used to be actually captivated with what I used to be studying and creating and the folks I used to be assembly via my websites, not internet improvement per se. Web sites have been extra just like the proxy for me to construct my abilities, create content material, and add worth to others.
  3. Similar for internet/graphic design — whereas I developed a great stage of abilities and even began an online/graphic design enterprise, it was in the end a proxy for me to develop, be taught, and develop myself, vs. my true ardour.

These insights slowly nudged me to my true goal in a while.

How lengthy does it take to get such realizations?

Firstly, consider consciousness as a gradual course of. Versus pondering of it as you reaching sudden “enlightenment” sooner or later, I’d prefer it’s extra of a gradual shift — marked by a number of small revelation moments — the place you turn out to be extra conscious day after day. This consciousness is constructed up via expertise. Fixed self-reflection can also be vital to speed up your self-discovery — and I share my train to find your life goal right here: Uncover Your Life Goal within the Subsequent 30 Minutes

Secondly, it relies on how far alongside you’re in your progress journey. For those who’re 16 and simply getting began in your private progress, your realization in all probability isn’t going to occur tomorrow. For those who’re 30, have all the time caught to what’s “protected,” and have by no means introduced a purpose to fruition, then there’s in all probability some work to be carried out too. For those who’re 40 and have lived a busy life pursuing many objectives, then it’s in all probability not lengthy earlier than you determine what attracts you.

With the stuff you like, proceed doing extra of them. With the stuff you dislike, minimize down on them or drop them altogether. The purpose right here is to preserve constructing on your likes whereas distancing out of your dislikes. It will finally lead you to your ideally suited path.

It is vitally vital to notice that “exploring” contains 2 components: exploring in breadth (selection) of pursuits and exploring in depth (depth) of every curiosity. Some folks say to me: “Hey I’ve been making an attempt, exploring so many issues; why is it that I don’t know my ardour but?”

My query again then is: “Nicely while you ‘discover,’ how precisely are you ‘exploring’? Are you simply tapping and going at each single factor? Are you simply looking Pinterest and checking issues out on Google? Or are you rigorously bringing your objectives to fruition?” As a result of when you ought to completely drop the objectives that don’t curiosity you, in the end it’s essential be taught to see your objectives via to their highest outcomes. There are vital studying factors that come from doing so, corresponding to creating a core competency, persistence, grit, laborious work, essential pondering, and the flexibility to work via obstacles and overcome them. (For extra on “breadth” and “depth,” learn How To Know What You Need To Do In Life.)

The purpose right here isn’t to show your exploration into some race. You need to use this time to correctly be taught, discover, and pursue your pursuits to the very best stage, as you determine what you actually need to do in life.

#3. All data is relevant — only a matter of how you employ it

Within the opening, reader Nana requested what she will do concerning the issues she needs to be taught, corresponding to philosophy, historical past, faith, and anthropology. Moreover having fun with the data, what can she do about it?

Nicely, this relies on the sector. As I’m in a roundabout way aware of these fields, I can’t remark on the above. Quite, I’ll put it as this fashion:

  1. If you be taught, it doesn’t imply the data should be relevant instantly or in any respect. Relevant as in being put to sensible use, say to earn cash or get a job. Generally data is supposed to counterpoint, to assist us perceive extra concerning the world, and to push us to assume critically. These are a form of utility too.
  2. Simply because the data can’t be utilized instantly within the sensible sense doesn’t imply it’s ineffective. See #1.
  3. Your newly acquired data and heightened consciousness will come into play, be it instantly or not directly, a while down the street. It simply relies on whether or not you’re in a position to synthesize the uncooked data in your thoughts for the respective state of affairs and whether or not you’re in a position to spot alternatives once they come up. Consider data as an essence that’s formless and shapeless, and it’s as much as you on the way you need to use this data.

Instance #1: Steve Jobs and Calligraphy

Most of us know Steve Jobs as one of many key shapers of immediately’s tech, however what’s stunning is that he truly studied calligraphy when at school. Truly, only one course, and he took it after he dropped out of school — as a result of Jobs didn’t need to spend his mother and father’ cash on costly tuition as they weren’t wealthy. Regardless of dropping out, he spent the following 18 months dropping in on the school courses, together with a calligraphy course.

This calligraphy course proved to be monumental for Jobs would later use what he realized within the course and construct that into the Mac.[1][2]

“It was the primary pc with stunning typography. If I had by no means dropped in on that single calligraphy course in school, the Mac would have by no means had a number of typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.” — Steve Jobs

Because it turned out, what Jobs realized within the calligraphy course didn’t simply affect the design of Mac — it additionally influenced how he approached the creation of merchandise at Apple. Apple merchandise — MacBook, iPhone, iPad, and iPod — would turn out to be related to a way of artistry and modern visible fashion that’s equally matched by performance, one thing which subsequently set them aside from all their rivals.[3]

Instance #2: Pure Ecosystem and Structure

Have you ever heard of a mall that may preserve itself cool with out air-conditioning? Nicely, Eastgate Procuring Centre does simply that. It’s the primary procuring heart on this planet with a pure cooling system — it will possibly cool itself with out air-conditioning, regardless of being positioned in Harare which might go up to 40°C / 104°F within the hottest season! How does it do this?

Its architect, Mick Pearce, received the concept from termite mounds. Termites can solely survive when their surroundings has a continuing temperature of 30°C / 86°F as that’s the temperature wanted to develop fungus, which is their meals.[4] Termites cleverly preserve their mounds at a continuing temperature by commonly creating new vents and shutting off outdated ones. Since heat air rises, convection air currents then draw the nice and cozy air via the openings and out of the mounds. The fixed opening and shutting off of vents helps keep the warmth and humidity contained in the mound as nicely.

But, how would Pearce, who studied at an architectural faculty, know something about this although? Because it seems, Pearce occurs to have a ardour for understanding pure ecosystems, a area that extends far outdoors of structure.

By implementing this similar design, Eastgate Centre is ready to use solely 10% of the power than different buildings its measurement, resulting in important financial savings. Within the first 5 years alone, the constructing’s proprietor was in a position to save $3.5 million from power financial savings; Eastgate turned a reference of architectural breakthroughs; and Pearce gained many awards for his work with Eastgate.[5][6] The design was subsequently utilized by the Portcullis Home in London.

Suppose if Pearce has all the time saved to finding out solely structure and by no means ventured out in studying, exploring his pursuits in pure ecosystems. Then maybe the concept of the pure cooling system wouldn’t have existed (or not less than, not invented by Pearce).

Instance #3: Internet Improvement, Shopper Items, Private Improvement

After I realized internet improvement, I didn’t anticipate that I’d arrange an online enterprise sooner or later or that it will play such an enormous a part of my enterprise immediately. I simply realized it as a result of I used to be to. Subsequently, once I determined to begin my self-help enterprise, I used to be in a position to leverage my previous internet data to construct my web site. Not solely that, I additionally used concepts that I realized whereas working in my earlier job to market my new enterprise — despite the fact that my earlier trade (client items; skincare) is completely completely different from private improvement.

Would PE be so online-centric if I hadn’t realized internet improvement earlier than? Perhaps sure, perhaps no. The factor is that we will by no means predict how the data we be taught immediately may help us sooner or later. Nonetheless, what we will do is to be taught as a lot as we will and to discover enthusiastically, with a studying thoughts. If you achieve mastery of the data, you then turn out to be extra conscious of conditions the place this data may be utilized and tips on how to greatest apply it.

#4. Develop Mastery

Many individuals ask me tips on how to turn out to be nice at one thing. The best way to begin X and turn out to be profitable. The best way to pursue Y and make it their residing.

Nicely you received to preserve at it. Construct your abilities. Construct your expertise. Degree up. Earn your credit. There isn’t a shortcut to experience and success (besides if you happen to’re born into the wealthy/well-known, however that is hardly our curiosity).

How do you select what space to get good at? Nicely, you pursue your common areas of curiosity (see Lesson #2). Maintain on the ones that excite you week after week whereas dropping those that don’t. The method of doing the identical factor constantly will enable you get good at it. Over time, you’ll discover that you simply’ve moved from very awful to okay. After which, from okay to good. After that, from good to higher. Earlier than you already know it, you’ve turn out to be so good that you simply’re top-of-the-line in what you do! The purpose right here is to commit your self to mastery in what you spend time in.

Maybe you’re anxious about creating your self in a area that you simply finally tire of. Maybe you don’t need to make investments your time and power until you’re positive it’s one thing you actually like. However as I’ve shared in The Famous person Impact, while you obtain skilled standing at one thing, the trail to success in different areas does turn out to be simpler, even when they’re unrelated fields. That’s as a result of (1) there’ll all the time be smooth and laborious abilities you’ll be able to carry from one space over to a different, and (2) within the technique of constructing mastery in space X, you’ll seemingly construct connections, credibility, and sources that may then be used for different objectives.

So somewhat than ask “How can I earn cash from X?” or “How can I flip X right into a residing?,” take into consideration how one can turn out to be nice at X first. If you turn out to be a grasp at one thing, the chances on what you are able to do with it is going to be boundless.

On creating mastery:

#5. Your ideally suited profession is one thing it’s essential battle for

So that you’re not doing work that’s consistent with your ardour. So that you hate what you’re doing. So that you want to work in area X however you’ll be able to’t discover any alternatives.

Nicely I can inform you that just about everybody begins off working at a spot that’s not their ideally suited job. I used to be as soon as in jail-like job surroundings the place I used to be required to stay tape all day lengthy in precisely the identical set strikes. I wasn’t allowed to speak to anybody, take a look at my cellphone, or go to the toilet besides throughout stipulated 5-minute breaks. I felt like I used to be going to die. I shared earlier than in The Evening I Cried the place I used to be trapped in a dreadful job project and had a boss I actually hated at the moment. And earlier than I began PE, I was in a job that I didn’t really feel captivated with anymore and couldn’t be extra completely different than what I’m doing now — I used to be working in a FMCG firm (fast paced client items) and main million-dollar enterprise initiatives for a worldwide skincare model.

What do you do? Do you let your self be run over by your state of affairs? Heck no. You step up and make a distinction. You battle for what you like and what you imagine in.

If you’ve absolutely applied Classes #1, #2, and #4, you would have (1) good readability of what area you need to step into and (2) a portfolio of laborious and smooth abilities which you can carry to the desk. You at the moment are able to work in the direction of your ideally suited profession. I’ve written loads on tips on how to work in the direction of your ideally suited profession:


To Nana and all of you who’re cluttered by many passions, pursuits, keep in mind to simply get on the market and strivedo, and construct your mastery. Consciousness doesn’t come from sitting down, doing nothing, and feeling fearful/conflicted. Consciousness comes from stepping ahead to achieve the expertise. I want you all the very best in your ardour journey. ♥

Try my How To Pursue Your Ardour collection for extra articles on pursuing your ardour.

(All web site screenshots, winamp skins, and wallpapers © Celestine Chua)

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