Have you already found your passion?

I was just reading an interesting post about the reality of finding your passion.

The central point is that you’ve already found it but you just don’t realise it.

I think that’s a great angle on a well-trodden subject. Here’s a quote on that suggestion:

You already found your passion, you’re just ignoring it. Seriously, you’re awake 16 hours a day, what the fuck do you do with your time? You’re doing something, obviously. You’re talking about something. There’s some topic or activity or idea that dominates a significant amount of your free time, your conversations, your web browsing, and it dominates them without you consciously pursuing it or looking for it.

That’s your passion. my main one is movies. Given the choice of any ways in which to spend my free time, I’ll often choose something related to one of that topic. I read movie books, check movie sites, hell, I even go to the movies – a lot. There was a weekend earlier this year when the rest of my family was in Mexico, leaving me alone in LA with a couple of free days. Reader, I spent those 48 hours watching thirteen movies, eleven of them in the cinema. I started at 9:30am, meticulously planning my days so that I could fill them with the most movies, then I went home at 10 and watched another movie on iTunes that I knew my wife wouldn’t be interested in. And I loved it. (By the way, I tweeted that I had done this. My boss saw these tweets and told me how envious he was that I’d managed to find such a large chunk of movie-going time. So I know I’m not alone.)

Can you think of anything in your life that you’d voluntarily want to spend that much time doing?

Of course, I have other hobbies and interests, but they’re mainly related to the visual conveyance of stories. I’m writing a screenplay with my wife, I write novels in the hope of making them into films, I listen to Howard Stern on the radio because he often interviews film stars, I have lots of friends out here who work in movies (or TV) etc. My passion seeps into and out of almost everything I do.

Thankfully my job is related to one of my passions: TV ads are little movies with scripts and directors. The process of creating them is somewhat like the studio system, with submitted and selected scripts, allocated budgets, shoot schedules and release dates. Movies have very high profile advertising (I collect movie posters) and result in successes or failures that are generally matters of opinion. The process of taking a concept and making sure it communicates powerfully is both the advertising and movie businesses in a sentence.

Yes, we also create posters and press ads, but as I drive round LA I see Apple’s billboards alongside those of 20th Century Fox, Universal and Disney. I feel like it’s all part of the same world, with the same high profile that means it’s all a large part of the lives of ordinary people.

So are you living your passion? What is it? How do you squeeze it into your working day? Or is your job simply a means to an end, allowing you to pursue something you really love outside your office hours?