Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Drive and Aspirations

There will exist that one thing that a person is willing to spend the rest of their lives doing. That's what I truly believe in. I mean, I feel that I'm truly privileged to have found the things in life that make me feel alive, the things in life that I'll be doing for as long as I can. I've talked to friends, people who are deciding what course in university to pursue, people who have entered into the working world, and I have come to the understanding that maybe it's the norm for the common man to have little idea of what they want from life.

What are the most common fields of choice fresh undergraduates choose to pursue? For some of the brighter individuals, it's always the choice of law, medicine or business. Why? Simply because those are the choices that are likely to lead to the most profitable careers. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all law and med students are in it for the money. But there's a point to be noted when an individual puts Law and Medicine as their top two choices for uni when in reality they are absolutely nothing alike.

I've been told before that 90% of people hate their jobs and it seems that some of my working friends support this statement. This has led me to question, "Why on earth do people continue to strive at something the despise?". I grant, not everybody may have the ability or the circumstances to allow them to pursue what they really want but 90% of the entire workforce? I'm hardly an adult myself but I refuse to believe that dreams and aspirations are really that much a fairytale, figments of a immature man's imagination.

I truly believe that every person has at least one thing that they want to do, that one thing makes the world and all its troubles seem insignificant. And if there really exists that one magnificent thing, we will want to keep doing it over and over. Eventually, we would become so good at the things we're passionate about that the larger society will find a use us, a use that both benefits society while allowing us to pursue the things we really have a vested interest in.

At this juncture, I should qualify the difference between passion and escapism. Playing computer games simply because we're too jaded to do anything else should not be confused with passion. No matter how much vested interest we may have in these activities, at the end of the day we're only pursuing them as a form of escape. On the other hand, if we are willing to put in as much effort into such 'escape' activities as say, a Korean professional StarCraft player, then that may be considered passion (of course, nobody should ever estimate the amount effort Korean StarCraft players put into their profession. E-sports is as much a legitimate sport as any when players are executing over 300 actions per minute).

Nevertheless, there will always be a trade-off. We cannot simply be good at something and expect employers to drop from the sky to offer us jobs to do specifically what we're good at. They is always some middle ground to be broken. For example, if one is passionate about cars to the point that one buys all kinds of car magazines and the like to keep up with the specs of the latest model, perhaps one could pursue a job where one actually designs car parts. Sure it's more work than sitting on one's ass while scrolling down an automotive website but one is still working with things that spark one's interest more than the average man.

So yeah. Don't settle for the average. Don't just dismiss dreams as simply dreams. Life is too precious to be spent hating it.

"Stay hungry, stay foolish." ~ Steve Jobs

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