I spend a lot of time on personal projects and shoots now.
I think it’d be a lot of fun to get paid to shoot cars, especially in a setting such as the one from last weekend where the car isn’t simply parked — and instead I’m in it doing donuts in the sand.
But I also know that even if it doesn’t make me any money, I do it because it’s fun. I enjoy creating photographs, I enjoy driving cars.
I think the distinction between work and passion lies therein. They can intersect or they can live independent of each other — both are okay.
Some people have the idea that they must intersect in order to find happiness. I disagree, not because it wouldn’t be wonderful to always have them intersect, and not because I don’t think it’d be a happy situation — but because I believe happiness and fulfillment can exist without an intersection of work and passion.
Most of my paid work has nothing to do with things I’d do for free/for fun. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t joy in it. There’s joy in working hard to produce something, to create something, to surmount obstacles in the achievement of something. There’s just as much joy in doing this as there is in doing something you love deep down.
For example, when you’re a kid and you’re learning how to do math and after a long while you finally get the right answer, all by yourself. In that moment, there’s happiness. You don’t necessarily love math. You’re not necessarily passionate about math. And yet, you found joy in it.
It’s not all about finding the perfect intersection of work and passion, it’s about finding a balance between both.
In an ideal world, we’d all be doing things we love and are passionate about every minute of every day. But that’s not the world we live in, which is why personal projects are so necessary. They allow you to put work and assignments aside, and create something around subjects or topics you love, are passionate, or even just curious about.
In my book, it’s not all about finding the perfect intersection of work and passion, it’s about finding a balance between both.
Work towards an intersection if you’re so inclined, but don’t neglect the happiness and fulfillment that may very well lie in the work you’re already doing, and the projects you could be doing for fun.