Yesterday morning started off like every other weekday. I got in the office, grabbed some water, and heated up my not-so-tasty frozen breakfast choice of the day. There was the obligatory greeting from one of the admin secretaries. I asked her how she was. She said, “well, it’s almost Wednesday, so only 3 more days til the weekend.” I agreed.
Later that morning I had the privilege of sitting in on an orientation class for some undergrad students who are here for the summer to do research. One of our professors said something that has stuck with me. It’s not a new concept, but one that keeps getting drummed into my head. He told them that their main goal this summer was to find their passion. He reminded them that as juniors and seniors, they had very little time left to find what they really love. He said, “if you don’t find your passion, what you really love working on, then you’re gonna spend the next 40 to 60 years coming to work hating it, and that’s gonna suck.”
He’s absolutely right. But I thought to myself as he was speaking….who are these lucky ones that find their passion and get to do what they love for a living? Do you think all these admin secretaries that come in every morning and count the days til the weekend, or til a holiday or vacation, are really pursuing their passion? Do you think they went to school and said, when I grow up, I wanna be a secretary and take orders from others? Somehow for the vast majority, I doubt it.
So where did they go wrong? Where did the vast majority of us go wrong? My guess is money. We were too broke to take the time to find what really drives us. No, we were too busy paying bills, tuition, car payments, and believing that eating Ramen noodles for the 7th month in a row sucked too much. So we grabbed the first job we could because it offered some sort of financial security. One day, we said, one day we’ll find our dream job and love what we do for a living.
The funny thing about one day….it never comes. Life gets in the way. You have a family, then you’re tied to that job to keep food on the table, tuition, car payments, and something a little better than Ramen noodles. I guess there are some success stories out there. Some veer off the career path they’ve been on and finally find their calling. You read about it in the blogs all the time. But what about the others? Do they stay in the same stale boring job, ticking off the days til retirement? What kind of life is that? Because by the time you can retire, more than likely, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be 75 years old. I don’t know about you, but I’m guessing my get up and go won’t be the same in 30 years. Doesn’t sound like a great way to spend the final years of your life.
What is your passion? Can you find it while there’s still time?