Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Great Debate: What do you want to do with YOUR life?

I had the infamous "doing what your heart desires" debate with my friend from Princeton and the premise of our discussion is worth mentioning here. We debated the typical "would your parents let you do what you wanted" and the importance of education and I've come to a distinct (but perhaps not unique) conclusion: many parents may SAY they support their kid in whatever they want to pursue, but that's not often the case. Let me explain...

I know many people, including this person with whom I debated, who feel passionate about something "else" - that is, something they're not currently pursuing but would, in all likelihood, make them happier. In this case, the person is studying business/economics but has a stronger interest in fashion. In the case of a different friend, he is studying aerospace but has mentioned to me before that he would have liked to study architecture (and probably would have been a great architect!)

So now why do these people - and believe me, there are many more examples - all follow a more "conventional" route? It can't just be a parent's pressure - there's also pressure from society and, well, the pressure each person puts on themselves.

So should everyone just follow their passions? No, not necessarily. I think people should follow their passions to the extent that their passions align with their abilities. It's certainly the case that this world isn't structured so that everyone can do whatever they want. And, of course, I'm certainly not advocating doing whatever you want because you may be very, very bad at it.

Hypothetically, say I greatly enjoy math - deriving formulas is MY inspiration (ha, that'll be the day!). But assume that I'm very bad at math and very good at... litigation. Well, I would (likely) feel strong pressure from my parents, friends, and other acquaintances to become a lawyer, or at least something related to my strength, rather than a mathematician.

But my take is that shouldn't be the case - I should pursue whatever makes me happy, with a slight nod to practicality. And I don't think enough people do that. So, who knows, maybe this post will inspire at least one person to think again about what their passions are and to think about whether they are pursuing what makes them happy. It's definitely not too late to go after that thing that inspires you. And if you don't know what makes you happy, maybe this will get you thinking about it a little more!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd also like to add it doesn't seem like you can ever truly find out what's the best fit for you... but you can certainly keep trying new things and hopefully find a passion!