It’s worth chasing excitement

The Kontent - Scott Nguyen
5 min readJan 13, 2023
Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

I believe that the ability to choose is a luxury. To be able to choose how you live your life, what kind of job you do, your hobbies and your overall lifestyle is something that not many can say. That’s why if you have to choose something, you should choose something that excites you. The feeling of excitement is a catalyst to propel further action and helps carry the momentum forward.

You can define excitement in many ways but it usually comes down to seeing what else can you learn and want to share that feeling with others. It’s a child-like quality that we should adopt more of. When you see a child’s genuine interest in something, you see it radiate from their expression to the tone of their voice when they share it with you. Any activity that brings this type of emotion should be explored further.

The activity doesn’t have to be something you’re good at nor should it be something that others may deem boring, but it should be something that brings a level of positive emotions. I have to include positive emotions because there are a lot of people that do things that bring nothing but the negative out.

Please note that I’m not saying the traditional advice of following your passion because I’m not a big believer in it. A quote from Cal Newport’s book, “So good they can’t ignore you”, sums it up well:

“Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.”

There’s a correlation between being good at something and enjoying it. If you’re someone that plays sports, it’s way more fun when you know what you’re doing. You can also say when you become good at something, you start seeing more and more success, which makes the activity more enjoyable. Imagine doing something where you never win or have any success, that’ll be terrible and discouraging for most.

It’s hard to say something is your passion without skin in the game first. But that doesn’t mean your feelings towards an activity are wrong. In fact, I’d argue listening to your feelings and exploring them through putting in time towards it. There are certainly too many things to do with the short time we have on this planet, but there’s more than enough time to get sufficient or even mastery at a few. does that activity give you the feeling of “that’s not so bad, I could do it again the next day?”. If so, take advantage and let the momentum carry you toward it.

You’re obviously not going to enjoy every single second of it and will even feel the negative emotions creep up, but I’d argue that as long as you have some sort of excitement each time, this is enough to make it fulfilling and meaningful. For myself, whenever I was working in corporate offices, there was never a sense of excitement. Sure there was stability financially, but just being there felt absolutely miserable. There are signs that tell you something wasn’t for you, and being in an office environment wasn’t it. The caveat is having the experience to understand what you like or dislike, but the main factor is that I stuck it out for years before coming to that conclusion. It’s not helpful to immediately leave when there are hardships at the beginning stages.

Fast forward to a new job where I worked outdoors and had direct contact with customers, and while the hours and work were long and tiring, I’ve never felt so alive. I felt a sense of fulfillment and energy throughout my whole shift. But most importantly, I was excited to tell my partner about it and couldn’t wait to do it again. I immediately thought, if every work day was like this, this is a life or job worth living.

This concept of excitement has changed the way I think and how I approach life. If it excites me, it will be something I add to my daily life. I’ve come to realize that over the years, there are only so many things that give me this excitement so instead of fighting it, why not maximize it? It’s very cliche, but once you go through this experience, you can understand why some people call it a calling.

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome and challenges when it comes to adding new things is sticking it out for a bit. In the past, particularly in jobs, whenever I would go from office to office jobs, the results would be the same. So unless I changed my environment or industry, I would be left with the same feeling of regret and dissatisfaction. But I was careful with the same mindset when it comes to cooking and networking. I didn’t like to do any at first and I was worried if I didn’t like anything at first, I wouldn’t continue it.

For this hurdle, I encourage focusing on building a skillset that will help you regardless of what jobs you might take after and to get good at your job. The key ingredient is getting good at it so you can discover if you’re passionate or even if you like your job. If you don’t, the skills you developed can create enough capital for you to go elsewhere.

When people think of their dream job, they forget to include the process of getting it — skillset capital and connections with the right people. As we get more experience and skills, I believe in letting that feeling of excitement have a chance in paving the way. If you know that even on the worst day of work, it’s not that bad, then it means what you’re doing is not only tolerable but worth chasing in the long term. As you stick with it for the long term, all of the skills, connections, and efficiency that you attain only get better.

I’m chasing the very same feeling when I look for new things to do or new people to meet. It’s what brings me enjoyment and happiness in life and being able to choose how you live your life is one worth living.

*Check out my last article on New Year reflections*

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The Kontent - Scott Nguyen

I write to get better at writing and to learn. IG: stayingkonnected Podcast: Staying Konnected