Passion or love? It’s the choice countless individuals feel pressured to make. During our early twenties to our early thirties – largely the current age of Generation-Y – there are two main forces that drive our decision: success and love.
Each of us wants to lead a life of greatness, a life filled with happiness, excitement and joy.
We all want to see how much we can accomplish in our lifetimes and how much we can enjoy ourselves in the process. Likewise, I believe we are all looking for love -- whether it's to love, to be loved or both.
The problem arises when we feel the need to make a decision between the two, a decision which, for whatever reason, we believe has to be one or the other.
I, myself, have felt before that I needed to decide either to pursue success, glory and my passions or to continue pursuing the woman I loved. Many of us have found ourselves in the very same situation: We were seeing someone for quite some time and then our careers began to take off, or we felt the need to buckle down even more and push forward with greater fervor.
We understand that in order to succeed, we have to make sacrifices. We understand that in order to do great things, we need to focus and spend our time as efficiently as possible.
For this reason, the majority of us find ourselves in such a position and decide to break things off with our partners and bury ourselves in our work.
I’m going to start off by saying that believing such a decision is necessary has little to do with your career; in reality, there are other problems you are failing to address. If you love someone and are happy with the relationship, you will find a way to make it work, no matter what you are pursuing.
If you are considering breaking up in order to push forward more vigorously, then take a moment to consider your true motives. Using your career as an escape hatch is a cowardly move to say the least. There are likely to be several other reasons for you wanting to cut ties.
In my case, I wasn’t ready to love her the way she deserves to be loved.
For everything, there is a time and place. The question is, how do we decide when and where the time and place ought to be for each instance? Because we experience time in a linear fashion, we have no choice but to plan our lives in a similar manner.
One thing to move away from is envisioning our lives as being made up of building blocks, or stops along a route. If our lives were such and nothing overlapped, we would never amount to anything but that which we are in an instance. Our lives are a summation more than anything.
The trick is to live life in the right order. What is the right order? It isn’t cut and dry; there are endless variations. What will work for one person may not work for another and vice versa.
However, there are ways of living your life that will maximize the chances of you being happy, healthy and successful. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but you already won the lottery by being alive… so why not continue rolling the dice?
Statistically, a loving relationship is more likely to succeed later in life, after your 20s. Is that the only time a relationship can succeed? No, but relationship success is more likely during this time period.
This will differ between man and woman; each individual develops at different points in his or her life. Nonetheless, the majority of people aren’t ready to be in a serious relationship in their 20s -- they just aren’t.
However, waiting until your 30s to get started on your career and your passions is, for our time and age, too late. Hell, even back in the 15th century, people started apprenticing during their teenage years.
They were working and settled by the time they were 20, and were capable of getting married and starting a family before dying at a young age.
The timeline hasn’t changed as much as it has stretched. We are still better off pursuing our passions and trades prior to settling down with the person we love.
Unfortunately, we can’t choose whom we meet, whom we fall in love with and when we meet them. What we can do is focus our efforts on what we are striving towards and take everything else as it comes. Focusing on or finding what it is that we love, what our purpose in life is, should always be the first step.
It is a journey in itself that will teach you more about the person you are than anything else ever could. It will show you sides of yourself that you didn’t know existed; strengths you never knew you possessed.
Following your passions is what turns you into the person you need to be. It’s what turns you into the person capable of loving another fully, without reservation.
Pursuing your dreams, even if not accomplishing them, will bring peace to your life, rendering you capable of sustaining a loving, caring and passionate relationship.
Trying to love before you are confident in the person you are and what you are capable of is like trying to learn another language without mastering your native tongue: You will learn a few things, but you won’t ever be fluent in either language.
Love will teach you a lot about yourself, as well, but there are some things only you can uncover about yourself. Having someone else in your life, someone you give a part of yourself to, makes achieving success and mastering love almost impossible.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It