The One About Pursuing Your Passion


A word that can mean so many things, and the quintessential buzzword of the millennial generation.  We are told everyday what these are, whether or not to pursue them, the challenges they present, and every other fill-in-the-blank, future oriented conversation.  But ultimately, no one has ever really made an apt description for what they are passionate about, so first things first:

Find it. Discover it. Define it.

Sometimes we know what we are passionate about from the very start, and by sometimes I mean basically never.  Sometimes it falls into our laps when we least expect it.  And sometimes it’s learned and shaped and sharpened as we continue through life.  The important thing is that you give yourself the time and freedom to discover it.  And then to realize everyone’s passion’s are different, so don’t be discouraged if yours is not in fact world peace (cc: Miss Congeniality).  I just graduated from Ohio State University with a BFA in Dance and a triple minor in Education, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership Studies (aka I have the monopoly on having your head in multiple places).  Your passion is yours, whatever it is, and you should own it.  To me, it feels like my skin is racing like I’ve had too much caffeine (which sometimes I have), my brain starts thinking in a thousand directions all at once, it makes me smile for no reason, it gets me out of bed in the morning, but ultimately, it makes me feel unstoppable.  There is a fantastic book titled
“five” that one of my best friends gave me and it has really helped me figure things out, I highly recommend it.

Break it down now *beat drops*

Ryan Teaching HipHop to A Full Class

Ryan Teaching HipHop to A Full Class

This is the most important thing in my opinion, and of course, it is never the easiest.  For each person it is different because as stated, everyone has different dreams they are pursuing.  But what helped me really give myself direction was breaking my passions down to their bare bones.  I love volunteering and working with non-profit organizations.  I love teaching dance to students.  I love being their for my friends and family.  And I like to do a lot of other things as well but, for the sake of time, this all helped me narrow down to the simplest passion I own: I love helping people.  So narrow in on yours as much as you can.  Write down everything you love doing, those things that make you feel fulfilled and alive.  Take this list and see if you can find a common thread, something that links them all together, or a couple somethings.  Whomp, there it is.


Ryan and Some of His Squad Celebrating Together

Ryan and Some of His Squad Celebrating Together

Alright, so some of you are probably wondering what this has to do with your pursuit for passion-ness, but I promise it’s probably the most relevant, and least recognized part.  Pursuing anything that has such a tight grip on your heart is hard enough as it is, not to mention the world constantly throwing metaphorical (and sometimes physical) dirt in your face and knocking you to the ground.  If you think you can go at it alone, you’re wrong.  At our simplest form we all crave human connection.  You need friends in your life.  People who see you for you and are willing to stand by your side and pick you up as you take on battles and skirmishes (how about that for a SAT vocab word for ya?) in the war for a wonderful life.  My life wouldn’t be anything without these people and I make sure to constantly remind them how important they are to my life.  Find your squad, your people, and let them help to fuel you, day in and day out.  Not bragging or anything, but my team here at Hatchpad has put together a pretty bangin’ squad, feel free to oogle over them here for a little inspiration.

Get outta your mind

Okay, don’t really, sorta, kinda.  As we grow up and go through various levels of formalized and unformalized education, we learn a wide range of skills.  Throughout your life you have picked up a variety of these skills, simple math, laundry, Excel spreadsheets, leadership, etc.  These are the things that we fill our resumes with, what we talk about with our friends, but they are not what makes you the most sought after person.  I graduated college with a triple minor, not because I was terribly interested in each of those particular subject areas, but because each of them taught me a different way of thinking.  They taught me how to look at situations from different angles, how to approach life, and everything in it.  When going after your passion, be open minded and be prepared to look at everything from every angle because the road is not always clear but if you’re vision is wide enough you can always find a different path in the same direction.

The Queen, Bey, once said “wave it in his face, tell that boy bye”

Queen Bey tell says #boybye

Queen Bey tell says #boybye

I’m a sucker for a witty pop lyric and Beyonce wasn’t wrong with this one (though a bit over dramatic).  I am going to make a statement that you have all heard many times before but maybe it will stick this time: failure is an absolute essential part of life.  If you haven’t already, you are going to fail A LOT!  And people are going to tell you “No” a lot.  Beyond chasing your passion, this is just a part of life.  What will make you different is getting back up (with the help of your #squad), smiling, and saying “Game on, B*****.”  Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, Einstein, Leonardo DiCaprio, and even Queen Bey herself all have one fantastic thing in common, they failed.  And look at where they got.  Here is the part that actually relates to the lyric: get yourself some haterz.  4 REAL.  The world told Galileo he was crazy when he said that the planets revolved around the sun, now look where we are.  Just because someone doesn’t agree or doesn’t get on board, doesn’t mean you quit or give up, you just keep on going.

Sometimes 2+2 doesn’t actually equal 4

This is to say: everything you’ve read in any of these posts may not work for you.  Just as in almost every area of life, there are different ways to get from point A to point B.  These are just some of the realizations I have made thus far in life.  My journey was not and will not be the same as everyone around me, and neither will yours.  It doesn’t make it wrong, it makes it yours.  The most important thing through this fight to make a life out of your passion is that it is yours, and you stay true to it.  And also know, that myself, and my whole team love to make passions into reality, (really, it’s what we do) so please don’t ever hesitate to reach out to any of us.

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About the Author: Ryan Shaw

Ryan is a Midwest boy at heart and spent the majority of his life in Columbus, OH. After four years at The Ohio State University, Ryan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, along with a triple minor in Entrepreneurship, Education, and Leadership Studies. During his undergraduate career Ryan kept busy joining Greek life, as well as a variety of other student organizations, and took pride in being on the executive board for most of these organizations. Now age 22, Ryan has decided to take his talents elsewhere and recently moved to Los Angeles, CA where is he is attempting to find the intersection of his ever-growing list of passions and interests. He is an aspiring dancer/choreographer, loves spending time with his friends and trying new experiences. Ryan is an avid traveler and generally passionate individual ready to share with the world.

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