I would say that I get inspired easily. This isn’t a humble brag, or even just a regular brag; it’s really a problem. It’s one thing to be inspired by one thing consistently, something that drives you to keep creating, keep working, keep evolving; it’s another to be ‘inspired’ to do virtually everything, but not actually being able to do everything. It also tends to create confusion that just leaves me feeling stuck and unable to accomplish anything meaningful.
It was that inspiration that motivated me to start my Ph.D. in the first place, and it is that same inspiration that made me want to start writing things like this. The problem for me is separating false ‘inspiration’ from actual, real INSPIRATION. Get it?
Let me explain.
I recently attended a scientific conference where I presented my work in front of some of the most intelligent, successful people in my field. Seeing their passion and commitment to science and being completely immersed in the research world like this was inspiring to say the least. The old career goals as a researcher didn’t seem so awful anymore, and a part of me wondered if I could only work in a different lab maybe things would be different. But at some point half way through the week I had a moment of clarity; I realized that I was just enamored with the IDEA of research, I didn’t REALLY love it.
This realization is very scary for me. What else am I inspired by simply because I’m surrounded by it? How do I separate the real inspiration from the second-hand inspiration?
And then the even scarier; will I ever find the thing that I’m truly happy doing?
At this point, I don’t have an answer — trust me, I wish I did. But at the same time, it weirdly offers me an opportunity to try a number of different things until something ‘sticks’.
How did you find your passion? Is inspiration easy to come by and hard to keep for you? I’d really love to hear your stories!