Everything Doesn’t Have to Be a “Passion:” Why Half-Assing Things is Fine, Too

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By Idzie Desmarais
I’m Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write

Passion. We hear the word constantly. Parents and teachers want children to “find their passion,” adults are encouraged to find theirs (as if everyone has just one in the first place), and every new interest found is met with excitement: maybe they’ll be good at it people think. They can monetize it, start a blog about it, get good enough to compete, even! Each interest or skill, then, is thought of as a means to an end. They might go somewhere with this one, an adult thinks with pleasure, as they look fondly on their child’s new coding hobby. “You could start a business!” someone exclaims with excitement to their friend upon trying their cupcakes for the first time.

But, maybe that’s not what everyone wants. At least not some of the time. Probably not most of the time. Maybe not ever.


Because I’m here to share an important piece of knowledge I’ve learned, and it is a very simple one: it’s okay to half-ass things. It’s fine to not be good at something. And even more importantly, it’s fine to not want to be “good” at something!

Sometimes we can just…be, without striving for anything greater than that.


Here’s the thing:

We don’t have the time to be good at everything, which means we’re going to prioritize some things over others.

Those world class musicians, Olympic athletes, and top notch actors? That’s all they do. For years. Every day is spent practicing, honing their craft, striving for greatness. For most of us, that’s just not what we want. We’re more generalist than that. And even when it comes to the things we do want to invest a lot of our time and energy into, we only have so much of that time and energy, so we have to prioritize what we love and want the most. As my sister recently said, “writing and Ninjutsu are part of who I am, but playing ukulele is just something I do.” Or as I believe she put it, “you can’t full-ass everything!”

Things can still be fun, enjoyable, and exciting even if they’re just hobbies, and not something we want to get serious about.

My sister loves being able to play ukulele well enough to strum along while she sings. It’s something she gets joy out of. She just doesn’t happen to want to get better for the sake of being better. She’s fine with the place the ukulele holds in her life right now. This is true for all of us, and isn’t something to be ashamed of. Why do we think we need to be serious about everything? Why can’t we do something just because it’s fun?

People’s misplaced expectations cause pressure, and pressure frequently makes things not fun.

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