Re: More Than Success

I know that it’s not possible to have every teenager pursue a passion. Many don’t have one at this young. However, they should be introduced to many more things than they are now. I also know that in the long run, sometimes ends have to be met, which means not always working towards your passion. I’m not denying that.

More Than Success

I like this post by Zach Bruggeman and like him I found my passion very early in life. I agree a lot with what he wrote about exploration not being encouraged in schools. I didn’t feel that was the case when I was in school. Grades and success on tests was what mattered most and I hated it.

I was interested in many things as a teenager such as carpentry, construction, automobiles, games, computers, networking, the internet, art (drawing, painting, calligraphy), programming, etc. I think all of these interests helped me find my true passion as a programmer.

Zach also mentioned in his post that he’s tried pushing his friends and gets a ridiculous response from it. I’ve gotten the same response before and along the lines of the quote above: “sometimes ends have to be met, which means not always working towards your passion.” I both agree and disagree with this statement.

I agree that everyone needs to know their priorities and make sure they keep them in check. Family is important and continuing to provide for it is not something you can/should change. However, I disagree that this stops anyone from changing anything in their life. Other priorities are a common excuse people tell themselves which stops them from doing anything. A lot of these other “priorities” aren’t always priorities but just a false sense of busyness. I think many people are just overwhelmed with the amount of things on their mind that they feel they can’t do anything. I’ve definitely felt this and still do, but it seems when someone feels this way they don’t change anything regardless. It’s a completely different problem solved by getting organized.

Other activities such as browsing the internet, watching YouTube videos, getting stuck on TV shows and binge-watching them on Netflix or iTunes are all things we do and can change. Is taking a break and having some entertainment bad? Absolutely not and I think it’s necessary. You can’t always be in work mode but you can’t always be in play mode either. It’s a balance to keeping yourself sane, and it can be very easy to swing heavily in one way or the other.

I think people need to be more willing to make personal sacrifices in order to explore new things that could lead them into finding their passion. I don’t believe the changes have to be permanent but there needs to be some focus change in order to take steps, even if it’s only 2 weeks at a time. If you can’t stop watching your favorite TV show for 2 weeks so you can use that time to explore some new interest, then I don’t think you’ll ever find the time. No amount of inspiration can change that attitude.

Understand that your passion will not always be the same and could change in a few years. I’ve found this is the case for me as well. Yes, my passion is still in computers and programming but in different aspects of it. I’ve gone from front-end programming (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) to primarily back-end programming (PHP, MySQL, Node.js). I started in client work, moved on to products, tried freelancing, and eventually settled back into products. Honestly I’ve even felt I’d more enjoy a leading role and I am working towards that now.

This post might seem like a rant post, and it is a little. I just wish more people would take a look at their own lives and see what they could change in order to find their passion. You don’t just find it, I didn’t just find mine. It’s a process that varies in length and is continually evolving. If you just skip the exploration of interests and try to decide what your passion is, you will most likely fail. What you think your passion is could be completely different once your start exploring.

Find the courage to explore your interests because doing so is your path to finding your current passion.

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