So the thing nowadays is to follow your bliss. I’ve heard and read, “do what you love and the money will follow.” To an extent, this makes sense because if you have intrinsic motivation, you seem more likely to outwork/outdo others in your field. Also, why waste your life being an accountant if you could be the world’s best baseball player, or better, teacher? However, for a variety of reasons, not all professions are treated as financially kindly in the system in which we live.
Is it fair or just? Not always. But remember, it’s not that bankers get big salaries- it’s that society as a whole, including you and I, choose to function so that they get those big salaries. Same with child labor. It could end just like slavery. Equally true with environmental degradation. Some are reaping what they have not sown, yet we are all somewhat guilty.
I’ve met not a few people who have left high paying jobs to be teacher or to start up their own business or do something intrinsically rewarding. That’s awesome. Does the fact they had the money first hinder what they’re doing now? Did they gain skills that they used in their current professions? Absolutely. And do “passions” often change over time? You betcha.
And what if you don’t have a passion to pursue? Well then, explore. If you don’t totally hate what you are doing, continue. And work doesn’t have to be the main source of fulfillment in your life. For people who love their jobs, that’s great, but they also run the risk of neglecting other, arguably more important things. For people that have passions that take them away from home, it’s a tough situation. A decision, certainly, but definitely a hard one.
Right now, I am kind of pursuing the money. Indirectly, because I’m in school. I have a nervous breakdown every other day about not finding a job I’ll actually like and not find too corporate and evil, among other things. But there are a lot of passions in my life, and not all of them need to be a full time thing (for now). There is something to be said for supporting oneself, and certainly no harm in that. Sometimes I get frustrated because no one thinks about things like dignity or social responsibility or get out of the box at all, but that’s just something I have to tolerate for the moment. And it hasn’t stopped me from finding myself. Quite the contrary, I’ve found a lot of things that I am not.
I probably could have come to the same understanding through another path, and intrinsic motivation may have been a greater factor in another setting. Regardless, I have intrinsic motivation to learn, do a good job, and use the tools I’m getting now to help others and myself in the future. I wonder if I’m being “punished,” for trying to be practical, and not really figuring out what made me passionate, but the truth is I just have to be happy I had a choice, and that I made one. I may be unhappy at times now, but I’m still having amazing experiences. I may seem overdramatic, but I’ve been living more and more into my life, and this is the real thing so we better make it count!
Well, I can’t tell you whether pursuing passion is a good idea for you or not, what your passion is, or where you’ll find a job you’ll like. I’m still trying to figure out that process for me, and it is far from over. It seems a little luck and grace as well as a ton of hard work is in order. Yes, I notice the irony or working and studying and paying money just in hopes of working in the future- yikes- but if it gets you to where you want to go, it’s not so bad. And you’ve learned better for next time, and the deepest learning often happens through mistakes, or rather willing to admit you were wrong.
But anyway, if you’re passionate you’ll find a way, because it’s your passion. And there’s nothing wrong with earning your daily bread along the way in as ethical a way as society and flawed human nature will allow, and admitting there can be two sides to every story.
So go feel free to pursue happiness, utility, money, passion, love, God or whatever it is- just follow it well, remember you reap what you sow, think positive, dream big, live well. And give a little thought to the Man Upstairs who is always there for you, waiting to help.