I am returning from a very productive business trip and as usual my plane ride is spurring ideas to write. It might sound strange but the plane take-off reminded me of a topic that I was thinking about earlier in the week – passion in life. It is amazing how much force is needed for a plane to break the inertia and build the momentum to take off. I was wondering if it is same with big initiatives in our lives. We need to put in lot of focused effort to accomplish big things in life. Gas propels planes; what propels us? Passion!
I remember the time when I was preparing for my entrance exam for under-grad school. I wanted to get into the best school in the country but the competition was brutal. One in hundred used to make into the school of my choice. I hear it is even worse now! What were the chances of a student from a small town with no guidance succeeding while many bright candidates were preparing for the same exam from almost four years in advance? Well, I was determined and passionate to get into that school. So for next two years, I never slept more than two hours and studied almost 19 hours daily. Everybody, including my parents thought I had gone mad. While everybody was sympathizing with me for all the hard-work, I never even once felt like it. I was having fun and was in a totally different world. Waking up after two hours of sleep was a piece of cake because I was so eager to go back to my books. It was a sheer pleasure to spend every minute studying. Those were the best two years of my life. The icing on the cake was passing the test with a good rank. In those two years, I learned many things in math and science, but I learned an important lesson of life: if you are passionate about something, you can always achieve it.
There is no greater pleasure than following your passion. It is even better when your passion becomes your livelihood or way of living. I am convinced that one can scale great heights in career or personal life by pursuing one’s passion. I grew up in India, where kids are not [at least when I was a kid] exposed to arts, sports, and other activities unlike kids in the West. Studies are the way of life and a good student is expected to pursue engineering or medicine. Many bright students end up being successful doctors, engineers, and managers but it doesn’t surprise me to learn how many of them are still seeking that one thing they are passionate about. Even though the western education system is not perfect, I like the aspect of exposing kids to many different things early on. I hope my five year old will find that one or maybe more things that he is passionate about and will pursue them for life. There is no greater pleasure than living your passion.