On days I feel trapped by society’s expectation and standardized interpretation, I am thrilled to learn that there were and will be courageous people who choose a career and life that they love and not the one society tells them is good for them.
For instance, Thomas Lauderdale from Pink Martini‘s first career was in politics. A Harvard graduate, Thomas used to actively attending every political fundraiser event until he found his true passion in music and started the band Pink Martini in 1994. It was a moment to remember as I heard the team sing and perform at Kennedy Center in five different languages – English, Japanese, French, German, and Farsi last week. Their music was energetic and charismatic. Their enthusiasm on stage reminded me of what we should all be looking for in our life – PASSION.
Passion can be defined in various ways. But common traits studies find are that passionate people are diligent, happy, and exciting people. How can they not be, when they are able to pursue what they love and care about?
Economically speaking then, the world may be a better place if more people could pursue a career they love. Many, however, feel stuck. Stuck in the expectation that their parents and colleagues have built; stuck in the assumption that society has set what is considered a good career and bad career; and stuck with financial responsibilities that restrains one from acting too freely. As a result, the supply and demand is not met. There are job hunters always looking for a better job, while the HR departments are always looking for better people. Both sides complain that there isn’t enough resources.
If there was a startup or software that did better supply and demand matching, it would be a great hit! But until then, I think of these 4 aspects as a reminder to how to find a more passionate tomorrow.
1) Time is short. There is always not going to be enough time for you to know what you want, what the HR wants, and what the world will want from you. Remember every time and moment is the first and last. We should treasure each moment and make full use of it. Don’t waste it.
2) Try to understand what you love, what motivates you, and what you care. There will be people, food, music, books, jobs, and things that you care more than others. Jot them down, focus on appreciating them. If career is part of it, go find what you are passionate about and where to pursue it. Don’t let them decide what they think is good for you.
3) Listen, and listen more. We talk too much. It’s time that we observe and listen to others more carefully. This can help you internalize and understand what you like and don’t like better than speaking out loud. Some wisdom can be best learn from others but if you don’t shut up you will never learn what they want to teach or share with you.
4) Don’t forget, you are human at the end of the day. You will make mistakes.You will change your mind. And you will learn how to forgive. Be humble and kind to others.
And. Some days you need to rest your head a bit with good music and stare at night fireflies like this and smile.
It’s all about finding joy in the most unexpected moment in life.