Passion vs Profit

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 A recent article by Jessica Baptista of the World Youth Alliance talks of how the youth in Mexico veer toward business rather than the humanities. Capitalism appears to be at the forefront and the youth is becoming more practical about their choices when it comes to their education. This may mean a sacrifice when it comes to one’s passions though. You may have a good head for numbers but it might not be something you’re in love with. After all, one can be good at something and not really enjoy it. If you’re good with math, the people around you may tell you that the “sensible” choice is for you to take a business course. However, they don’t think to dig beneath the surface. What if the math whiz loves to dance? What if they’re good with numbers because they mastered it while keeping count while moving to a musical rhythm? There’s a lot to be said about the potential harmony between humanities, arts, and what society deems as “practical.”

Zen Pencils actually has two rather thought provoking comics pertaining to doing what you love versus making money. The first comic is based on a quote by Charles Bukowski who lived a hard life before finding success as a writer.

He tells people aspiring toward creative pursuits to stop making excuses about finding the “perfect conditions” to make their art. If you’re truly passionate, you’ll find the time. The math whiz we mentioned earlier doesn’t have to give up dance to take up business, right? He or she can still crunch numbers by day and dance by night. It’s all about gauging how much passion you have to lay it all on the line. Can you be a bit of a superhero and juggle two “identities?” The kind of person who can be a mild-mannered accountant at the firm and an amazing break dancer at the club is the Clark Kent aka Superman of this post-recession generation.

The second comic based on a quote from Alan Watts further stresses this point though he’s a bit more optimistic than Bukowski.

Unlike Bukowski, Watts wants us to do what we love NOW. Don’t bother with doing jobs for money. Just follow your passions. This is a bigger risk. It means you may have to go hungry sometimes. It means dealing with the potential of going broke. It’s all or nothing. Personally, I prefer Bukowski but I understand what Watts is trying to say. What’s the point of living your life if you hate what you’re doing? Better to live a hard life doing something you love then coasting along doing something you’re not happy with.

Just keep in mind that the main point here is you have to stop waiting and start acting. If you want to be a writer but you think you’re too busy right now, then you probably don’t want to be a writer badly enough. You’ll probably just keep finding excuses not to pursue your dream until it’s too late. Suddenly you’re eighty. Sure, you were awesome at business but did you ever get to do what you wanted?

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