How often do you find yourself entrapped by your phone in a never-ending cycle of scrolling and refreshing your YouTube/Instagram feeds and trawling through millions of Netflix shows, which you have no actual interest in watching?
This is exactly what I have found myself doing. Throwing precious downtime and attention towards mind-numbing activities. Imagine what I could do if I were to replace this time with something meaningful to me? Actively filling it with something I am passionate about, that brings fulfilment, genuine engagement, and opportunities to develop myself.
This is where a passion project comes in. An activity that is chosen by yourself to do in your own time that may benefit you in some way. For example, a few years ago I had the sudden buzz to rekindle my desire to learn the guitar. I decided to use whatever online resources I could find to help me develop this skill that I was so keen to learn. I would spend any spare moment - when I would otherwise be stuck on my phone - picking up a guitar and practicing. Challenging myself felt exciting and also therapeutic in the sense that I could change my focus to something outside of everyday activities. Seeing myself progress (and the growing calluses building upon my fingertips) was far more gratifying than staring blankly at a screen for hours on end. I could feel guilt-free knowing that I had spent my time productively, doing something I thoroughly enjoy.
I would recommend taking on a passion project for anyone who feels that their life has become repetitive, stagnant or unsatisfying. Passion projects have also allowed me to stimulate the creative and entrepreneurial side to my brain that may otherwise lay dormant. The normalised recurring cycle of working – to doing nothing as ‘downtime’ is such an easy loop to fall into, but I always feel guilty that I am just wasting my time that I will never get back. A career, a job, or studying, would drive me crazy if I had to limit myself to think about only this, without taking consideration for what my passions are.
The question is, how do I find the passion project that’s right for me? One way I found was to create an ongoing note where I jotted all my interests, the things I enjoy and what I have always wanted to try. From this, I would come up with ideas as to how these could become realistic projects that I could commit to within my schedule. The beauty of the passion project is that there is no pressure or fear behind it. The project is purely set by you for your own personal benefit where you hope that it will be enjoyable, regardless of how successful it becomes. Yet, if you are successful, it may provide an opportunity for you that could become a side hustle or even a full-time commitment!
In the digital space, I have grown up watching the rise of content creation platforms like YouTube. I have seen them become amazing places for people to turn their passion projects into careers; from recording videos in their spare time for their enjoyment, to becoming their main source of income. In the covid lockdowns many of my friends were energised to create their own fitness accounts in which some gained significant followings in just a few months. I love to watch a great podcast in my free time and so I have felt that it would make sense for me to try and create my own as a future passion project. I spend so much time watching them already and I know I would enjoy making my own, regardless of the traction it would receive. And that’s what it’s all about.
If reading my take on passion projects has given you the buzz to get started, but you struggle for ideas, I have created a list of popular passion projects which may spark your drive to get started right now.
- Health & Fitness goal
- Learn/Develop a new skill
- Become a content creator for something you have interests in
- DIY projects for your home
Identify your passions, brainstorm what your project could be, and understand how you would be gaining from it. No one has a passion for procrastination.