Follow your passion???

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To follow your passion seems like truth craved in stone when talking about career path or career choice these days. It’s like it’s a shame if you do not have your own passion.

From speech of Steve Jobs:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. 

TED Speech Why you are going to fail to have great career.  You do not even have the gut to face your kids truthfully if you do not follow your passion.

The best-seller book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking: people will entrench themselves to be more extrovert during work if they treat their job as callings.

Influenced by such a trend, a lot of adults including me, try hard to search our passion and follow our passion. However, does it make any big life difference by following such advice for our career? We are still lost, from time to time, in the never-ending questions of what I am good at, what is my passion, and where should I go. We roughly know what we are good at, but we also can push ourselves a little bit further out of our comfort zone; we recognize things that interest us, but it’s such are big area you could find related pieces here and there.

Is it good advice to find the passion and follow the passion? Yes, it is; but it does not mean we have to follow it literally.  Do not get me wrong, I respect Jobs and love his speech, I like the aforementioned TED talk and phycology book; the point is we’d better take it with a grain of salt. Here is my argument.

To find the passion and pursuit the passion is a blessing. Here is how it works:

  • You need to encounter a significant event in your life to notice some domain; for example, to have a great mathematics teacher in your secondly school
  • You can afford to have a try in such domain; for example, your parents are rich enough to send you to a prestigious mathematics colleague
  • You just happen to have a talent in the domain; for example, reasoning and argumentation in pure mathematic theory
  • You are also granted with other virtue (by birth as nature or by learning as second nature) like hard working to overcome the boredness or challenges along the journey
  • You are lucky enough at the critical moment; like you are nominated to a prize when the outcome of the study you join just perfectly met the demand of financial industry while study of your competing peers will only be fully recognized 20 years later when they have died

The bloody hard truth is it’s just so common that we can have deviation anywhere along the journey and majority of our life will not draw such a beautiful curve, if not perfect.

My question would be are we doomed if we fail to find the only “passion” and follow it? What if in the above perfect story, the great teacher is a physical teacher; will the road lead to similar honor in another domain? Maybe yes.

We are shaped by our gene, family, tradition, religion, society, and even peers, in one way or the other. Few people can get out of such influence; even they thought they get out of it, they may just enter another big trap. A typical example is the youth of China in Cultural Revolution in 1960s and 1970s who stood against their family and even humiliated their parents in publicity because their parents were born in reach lord family. Rebellion and revolution to follow obsessive passion can be disasters.

You would argue that such tragedy is perfect example to prove we should pursue harmonious passion, rather than obsessive passion; the latter one causes conflicts within your life but you cannot get out of it because your total self-esteem is build on it; well the former one allow your passion to get well along with other party of your life and you can easily disengage it when you see conflicts.

Few people understand themselves fully and make the decision authentically; or technically, such 100% fullness and authenticity is just not possible. I cannot deny the fact that building self-esteem and getting social recognition is one of the waves to push us forward.

“Know Yourself” is a journey, is not a gift from birth; and may not be a present from Gap-Year.

My another question is does it matter if we got lost from time to time and what is wrong if we do not stick to the only passion and the ruling lover of career.

Then, what I am going to do for my career? Well, I have to admit I have not figured a way out yet and I do not think there is the best approach for every normal person who is not so lucky to get perfect career curve but how still wants to achieve something except for raising 2 kids.

Here is what I have been trying partly and I want to just continue:

  • I agree that anyone will have some preference for work; it may come from our strength or experiences. Build your career on it.
  • It’s true that we need hardworking to reach a higher level; we need patience to pave the way toward any achievement.
  • Accept the a coin has tow sides that we deserve better as long as we keep trying, but as Diane says from The goods wife – “you are brilliant, but you are not God’s gift”.
  • Follow your heart at every decision point, yes your heart; because following your heart is the only way to get a harmonious life and.
  • Learn to enjoy the raining and storming, the same as every sunny day.

Yes, I think Harmony is more important here than pure passion –  the alignment of your past, current and future as well as among, you, your family and the world.

Does it sound like I return to the starting point?

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