Photo Credits: Evan Brooks
The day you decide to act on your passions is the day you begin to figure out who you truly are. When talking about an individual’s passion, two pieces of advice are usually given: either follow your passion no matter the money, or save your passion for your hobbies rather than your career. Both pieces of advice are beneficial to listen to, depending on the circumstances, and should be heeded as warnings at the very least.
Passion, in the most basic sense, is having a strong emotion towards something. In most cases, a positive if you want to pursue a career in what you are passionate about. Being passionate about something usually means you not only gravitate towards it, but you spend a great deal of time studying that subject or skill. The more time you dedicate towards something, the more likely you are to become proficient in or master the subject of study.
An article in the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine, Danielle Dreilinger touches on the importance of passion and how it relates to culture. In the article,Dreilinger states, “those who felt passionately about math, science, or reading were more likely to post better scores in each subject,” highlighting the correlation behind passion and proficiency. The higher scores were even more apparent “in cultures with an ‘individualistic’ orientation such as the United States and Australia,” as opposed to “collectivist societies such as China, Thailand and Colombia.” The difference may lie in the collectivist society, “where the students felt that having family support for their interest was just as important,” meaning if there was no complete buy-in on a certain passion, then time would not be invested towards that passion. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_important_is_passion_it_depends_on_your_culture
What has been proven so far is if you dedicate time towards something, you are likely to become more proficient. You are also more likely to dedicate time towards subjects you have an inclination towards, or a passion for. But what if you have no clue what you are passionate about? How should you go about finding your passion?
In an article published by Harvard College, by Kathleen Bellon Pizarro, they state, “if you can’t find something you’re interested in pursuing, try focusing on something you don’t like.” We are quicker to point out subjects we are not passionate about, compared to areas we have an interest in. Take the time to run through each subject and field, study that subject, and see where you stand within it. Pizarro also stated, “I know firsthand how intimidating it can be to enter a field dominated by people who don’t look like you.” Pizarro went on to elaborate how they knew how it felt “when certain people aggravate those differences instead of celebrating them.” First, differences should be celebrated because diversity is proven to aid in the expansion of creative ideas and provide important perspectives from different cultures. https://college.harvard.edu/life-harvard/student-stories/tips-finding-your-passion
Pursue your passion, but do not forget to also focus on necessary skills for life. We may not be the most passionate about business, accounting, economics or finance, but the basics of them all are necessary to know in everyday life. Just as mathematics, science and English are necessary, so are music, sports and art. No matter what you are passionate about, every subject has a level of importance within your life, and it is up to you to determine that importance.
Some of your passions may be best served as a hobby, while others are matched by a large skill pool you possess within that subject, and can also translate into a career. Lastly, anyone and everyone is able to have a passion in anything, and it is imperative we encourage diversity in all fields we hold passions in.
Evan Brooks is a fourth-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civil & Professional Leadership. EB916132@wcupa.edu