Set Your Talks Ablaze: What Drives Your Passion?
Updated: Jun 9, 2022
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"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
The age old question that so many kids can answer in less than a heartbeat - astronaut, doctor, lawyer, artist, director, musician, philosopher, social worker, and the list goes on and on.
Now, that's not to say all answers are logical and/or realistic, but dreamers will dream! Haters will hate! Winners will win! and sadly, losers will lose. This is the paradox we call life.
You didn't start reading this to be taught some half-assed philosophical statement though, and I do have a legitimate question for you.
What about you though? If I changed the wording of the question above to:
"What did you want to be when you were growing up?"
I wanted to be a musician growing up. At age 10, I picked up my first pair of drum sticks. I remember being at church with my older brother. He was in the youth group praise band at the time, and he liked to go early and practice the bass before the rest of the members showed up. Rhythm and I always got along, and I absolutely loved how the drum-set looked! The way so many individual pieces of equipment come together - it was a collage of percussive instruments combined to make a symphony of rhythmic sounds.
My brother noticed this too. So...to make sure I felt included, he handed me a pair of sticks, showed me a basic drum pattern on the hi-hat and snare, and we JAMMED!!! In hindsight - I was garbage at the time, so he was probably not jamming, but shit...I was!
I don't have to explain how music can change your mood - it can take you on a lifelong journey through every human emotion that's ever been felt, and with the beauty of living in the 21st century, you don't even have to leave your room! You can simply...just feel.
So, drums became my passion.
Now - having passion doesn't make you good at it... I had no teachers, YouTube wasn't big yet, and I had dial-up internet...It took me 3 months to learn a basic 4 beat pattern -- All of my students that I taught learned it in about 30 minutes to an hour -- I digress...
I became all-consumed by it, much like I still do with anything new that sparks my interest. For some reason, I don't like pursuing things I start out doing well. It's when I fail at something, I hate myself for it...It's almost a weird obsessive urge to prove to myself I can learn it and become one of the best at it.
So I practiced, practiced, and practiced. I eventually joined the youth group praise team as their drummer in the 6th grade, picked up the clarinet for middle school band, joined the jazz band as the drummer in 8th grade, was part of the percussion band, jazz band, and wind ensemble in high school. Furthermore, I convinced my parents to finally get me a drum tutor where I had to re-learn EVERYTHING because my fundamentals were trash and went further than that to teach myself the basics on acoustic, bass, electric, and piano. I racked up 8 years of experience in the field I wanted to pursue and went off to Virginia Tech to pursue my dream....right? Wrong...I went to Virginia Tech to pursue a degree in Engineering.
You're probably wondering right now - why in the fuck did I just make you read this? There's a point - I promise.
“Listen, real poetry doesn't say anything; it just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through anyone that suits you.”
― Jim Morrison
So I went to college to become an engineer. What a fucking disaster. I mean - don't get me wrong...I was an idiot, but I wasn't interested in engineering. The idea of being an engineer was appealing because of its stable salary, its reliability in the field, its marketability, and it's a job that a lot of "smart" people get.
You know what I ended up doing?
I started writing lyrics and started to half-ass my way into audio engineering as "Woozy Kallai" trying to be a rapper. I dropped out of college, became a prep manager at a calzone shop, moved back in with my parents, got a warehouse job, met my fiancee (honestly all of it was worth it because of this - I digress), moved out of my parents, and worked the last seven years to finally be at a "managerial" and "Individual Contributor" level. Don't get me wrong - I'm proud of the way I came back up on solid ground, but do you get my point?
I'm sure you do, but in case you don't - let me explain.
Your passion is what drives you towards success.
Without passion, it's hard to keep that drive going, and it's so easy to burn out. There are so many things that suck about this life, but one thing is for sure. Your passion may be different than mine, but the way we feel about our passions burns hella bright.
This is what Set Your Talks Ablaze is about. We often forget why people are passionate about something to begin with - not ourselves personally, but about why something is a passion for others - whether it be the fuel that drives them through each day, or it's their escape from a harsh reality.
Especially in today's world, it's hard to find authenticity in a discussion, and that's exactly what our podcast brings to the table. It's about discovering your passion and letting your voice be heard. Inspired by a quote said by my fiancee's favorite character from Demon Slayer - Kyojuro Rengoku - "Set Your Hearts Ablaze" - we want you to Set Your Talks Ablaze with us.
Thank you for your support - you are amazing!
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