When we grow up and later when we go to college, most of us have very diverse ways of spending our free time. Meeting with friends, reading, travelling, partying, doing all kinds of sports, playing video games…. There is not really one core passion that we engage in, but rather a lot of different things that we do.
And we manage to do all that simply because we have a lot of free time in general. Let’s face it, once we start working the job will consume most of our time. If you then also have a family, you might have to give up most of the hobbies you used to have and that brought you so much joy.
I thought about that quite a lot after I graduated last summer. One of my main passions is partying. I LOVE partying! I love going to clubs, I love going to house parties, I love dancing the night away. It’s just what I did, and obviously it fit right into the student lifestyle. A usual party night ended after 4am, it included lots of drinking, then fast food outside the club and possibly an after-party at my place. I did that several nights a week, every week.
This is a lifestyle that is fun to have and I really never got tired of it. But I started realizing that it is just not sustainable. All the long nights, all the booze and unhealthy food, the hangover the next moring…. It started getting to me. I also was very aware of the fact that I could never keep going like that once I started working for good.
And yet I didn’t want to give up partying. I tried to figure out how to make it work that i could have both, working and partying, and more and more came to the conclusion that I had to give up all the unhealthy parts of the party lifestyle.
I cut out the booze. I cut out the junk food. I ate a lot more healthy in general. I made a commitment to just not sleep in, even if I stayed up long.
This way I am able to party with almost none of the bad side effects of the partying lifestyle. I found out for myself that all of that was not really relevant to the party experience for me. What I really wanted was socializing and have music blasting and dancing and meeting girls…. This was my core passion. Everything else was just negative side effects.
To be very clear: it is not necessarily an issue to engage in these kind of “negative side effects”, if you have the time for it! If you have the time to be hungover the next day and you want to get drunk, then go for it. But in case you don’t have the time: cut the bullshit out, concentrate on what you really care about and then just do that. That way I sometimes go out on mondays or tuesdays, even when I have to work the next day. No problem at all.
Steve Aoki talks about the same thing in the following interview.
I’m sure as a popular DJ he partied hard at the beginning of his career. But he more and more realized that for him it was all about sharing his music with as many people as possible. And if he wants to do that at the level he is on (the guy gives about 300 concerts a year!), he has to give up all the bullshit that is holding him back (drugs, cigarettes, drinking…) and pay more attention to the things that help him pursue his core passion (clean diet, working out, sleeping whereever he can…).
So find out what you love. Engage in whatever habit is helping you in that passion. And give up all the rest.