As someone who has gone through the struggles of ‘finding my passion’ and then wondering what to do with it, I find this article “Screw Finding Your Passion” a terrific read. I don’t normally share articles or click on all those articles on the Facebook feed, but this is an exception.
I find myself nodding along to the points brought up in the article. The phrase ‘finding your passion’ is often constructed as some elusive idea where you had to go out to actively find something that you are very very interested in and hopefully luck out with finding something good (and one that can learn you loads of money along the way). We often talk about how it’s ‘lucky’ for someone to have already found his/her passion at an early age or that it’s amazing that someone has turned the passion into a full time job.
You already found your passion, you’re just ignoring it.
This line really resonated with me. It’s so true. There’s something that tends to dominate the most of our time or something that makes us happy when we do it. That’s passion. Passion comes in all forms and all areas but I guess most people would only want to acknowledge certain passions but not others. When I first started being obsessed (ie passionate) about the Korean language years ago, majority of the people told me I was wasting my time and that I should pursue more productive stuff. I don’t know what changed, but I’ve been receiving very positive remarks these days, complimenting me on my linguistic abilities and saying that it’s a productive skill. Frankly, I’m bewildered but productivity or usefulness was not something I considered when I picked up the language. Like what the author said, I just went and do it cos I wanted to do at that point in time.
I know loads of people like to rationalise their decisions and I’ve been asked the WHY question so often. Why Korean? Why foreign languages? Why linguistics? Why why why. The honest answer is cos I was interested in it at that point in time and I felt like doing it. A very unsatisfactory answer for some but like what the author mentioned in his article, no kid would rationalise what he / she wants to do. I just felt like doing it and I think that’s enough reason.
If you’re passionate about something, it will already feel like such an ingrained part of your life that you will have to be reminded by people that it’s not normal, that other people aren’t like that.
This is exactly how I feel towards foreign languages! Or maybe languages in general. The line is blurring.
When I first started learning Korean, I didn’t think that I would branch into Japanese or even have a renewed interest in my own native tongue.
Finding your passion is one thing, what to do with it is another.
For those who have been reading the blog for a long time, you would know that I struggled with the latter issue. It’s still an open question for me, but I’ve learnt that the only way to find the answer is to keep moving forward. Pursuing your interests on the side doesn’t make a notch lower compared to pursuing your interests full-time. Integrating your interests in your work is an option, so is leaving it as a hobby.
Currently, I’m re-visiting my love for translation (among some other things). I’ve been helping out at luv.kr for quite some time, working on the Korean-Chinese(traditional) translations for the articles. Was it something that I’ve ‘planned’? Nope. In fact, I’ve always been more interested in Kor-Eng translations and have never given thought to the possibility of working with Chinese instead. But it just happens that the opportunity came along, I took it and now I’m having a lot fun with it. In fact, I’m likely to start on a bigger project, this time dealing with Korean-Chinese(simplified). Again, it’s something new to me and I’m going to just do it.
Is this the way I’ve planned to ‘pursue my passions’? Not quite. But I know for sure that I’m always moving forward and enjoying every bit of the journey along the way.
In case you got distracted by my opinions, here’s the article I wanted to share!
Would really like to hear from you guys! Haven’t done an open thread for quite some time, but for those are reading (yes, you!), please share your experiences and thoughts too! Today would be a good day to stop being a silent reader 😛 I’ve already shared my two cents, and would love to read yours!