How Far Can You Go for Your Passion?


Passion (Pash-uhn):  a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.

Probably one of the most frequently used word by the young generation today.  Everyone’s just looking for what they are passionate about. Be it choice of a career, a sport they play, person (or persons?) they love or simply something that they just love doing. One needs to be ‘passionate’ about something or you are just wasting your life.

The generation before me (born in 70’s), and to some extent my generation (born in Late 70s / early 80’s) didn’t attach so much importance to passion. It was a ‘good-to-have’ criteria. Good if you have taken up your hobby / liking as a job, good that you could marry the girl/boy of your choice, good that you keep on harbouring your passion despite a complete lack of interest in other areas of life. 

As a result, lot of folks, have their ‘moment of passion’ in later stages of their careers, post marriage, post children or even after reaching the pinnacles of their career. And then they follow their passion with much more conviction and purpose. I must mention about a dear friend of mine, who despite a so-called-successful career (and much more ahead!) would rather choose baking cakes over utilization of technology for better sales and operations. For baking cakes gives him joy and satisfaction like nothing, and he sees his future as a Chef rather than a CIO. Hats-off to you my friend!

Similarly, one of my friend and ex-colleague has gotten through the much-coveted galleries of Ivy League and would be taking a two-year program in US. This is post his marriage of two years (no kids though), and his wife will not accompany him – instead, she is focussing on her own passion working at grass root levels in rural India, in an NGO.

Rules of the game have changed today – the present generation puts passion before anything, and seems to be much clear in their thoughts very early in their lives and the best part is, they are not afraid of making mistakes. The change is indeed infectious and these guys / girls have become inspiration for lot of us who are still struck in second gear. For this generation, it has become a way of life, the formula of being accepted and recognized socially – with or without support from parents / other stakeholders.

Coming back to my generation and generation before, If I look around at my elders and peers, we like to play safe – Like to be in complete agreement with the theory of risk taking capabilities being inversely proportional to age. We evaluate, look at pros and cons, compare as-is with to-be and more often than not, return to our current state, accepting it as some kind of reality that we can’t change. For us, the reality takes precedence over the happiness to be attained through following your passion. Its almost like one in hand is better than two in the bush. But then, you must make peace within or you will keep lamenting your decision, reflecting in your work, personal life, and everywhere…

So, its a big decision, similar to that in front of  Chaitanya in this wonderful short film (in Telugu, with English subtitles) on similar dilemma, ending with a beautiful conclusion to choose between  – “dying once or dying everyday?” Alas, not everyone is as lucky as Chaitanya to get to travel in future and compare the  better of two states, for life is cryptic code that looks easy if we look back and impossible to crack if we were to see our future.

All said and done, it all boils down to one question – How far can you go to follow your passion?

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