The Dark Side Isn't That Dark

Anakin Skywalker did it. Got tempted. Went client side. Scored a company Star Destroyer. Worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the decision makers. Played with carbonite and lightsabers. Got to blow up shit. Cool.

When you think about it, Vader had it pretty, damn good. He made a brave move. But he followed his heart, worked hard and built a Death Star.

Recently I jumped. Agency to client-side. Saatchis to speedway (yup, you heard correctly).

It was scary. Felt crazy. I’d be going from a view of the Opera House to a flag stand. But my gut said go AND my head agreed; this is as rare as a unicorn, for usually there's a little niggling doubt somewhere between the two.

What had my head and heart singing in harmony? Passion, my friend. Passion.

In working terms, it’s a word tossed around frequently – maybe too frequently. So much in fact it’s morphed into cliché. Used wisely, it’s the ultimate oral shortcut to sway someone into thinking you’re enthusiastically interested. I’m guessing it’s the most used word in job interviews. Drop the word passion into a conversation and your chances of getting the gig improve exponentially, "Yes, I'm passionately passionate about passionately producing time sheets passionately. Do I get the job?"

Thing is, when it comes to things career, I can’t fake passion. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never needed to. I’m one of the lucky ones; since day dot I’ve loved motor racing, and since Year 7 I’ve loved advertising. Never wanted to do anything else other than write ads (and drive F1 cars – yeah, well, there’s still time). What’s interesting and scary to me is that over the years I’ve met many who have had no idea about what their ‘career passion’ was. This is alien to me. Like I said, I’ve never, for one second not known what I’ve wanted to ‘be’. Had friends who topped the HSC, went to Uni to do accounting or science, and are now landscape gardeners and happy as hell. The power of passion? Maybe it hits us at different times in our lives. Like love. You never know when it’ll tap you on the shoulder.

So at around age 12 I felt the advertising passion tap.

And few months ago I got another tap – the ‘hey, time to put some focus onto your other passion’ tap.

There’s that unicorn again – this time telling me to put two passions together and make a new career out of it. Vader would be proud.

And here I am. It’s not exactly rubbing shoulders with Bernie Ecclestone, but I couldn’t be happier. Still creating. Learning a lot. Eyes opening to an alternate way of doing things. Working hard. Loving it.

All thanks to real passion.

Passion is an incredible force. Was powerful enough to lead me to the dark side. May it lead you there, too.