Have you ever realized this fact? The idea of going to have a weekend excites us more than experiencing the weekend itself. This is because we live in dreams more than we live in reality.
The thought of going to experience something great happens to be our motivation or dose of happiness most of the time. You may think often of the road trip you planned to go on after your exams so that you can study well now.
You may remind yourself of the cheat meal you are going to have tomorrow so that you will wake up for gym today. You will go that extra mile of washing utensils after dinner, despite feeling sleepy, thinking that you don’t have to wash them the next morning. It varies from person to person.
But, besides small commitments like these, when we try to navigate our lives through our dreams, it is more likely that we choose the wrong path and end up in a place we don’t belong unless we are aware of where our dreams originate from.
For example, taking our career, we love something and we may think we will become great at it if we pursue it. But, in the process of working our way to it, we will realize we are not really good at it as much as we love it. So, we revise our plan and choose what we are naturally good at or comfortable doing, towards which our pursuit feels easy and hopeful.
The problem is, we don’t arrive at that thought of going for what we are naturally good at so soon. Before that, we would have several occasions of failure, self-doubt, hopelessness, helplessness, etc.
There is nothing sinful about this way of living, and it is totally okay to undergo such phases and later arrive at clarity, which is what we call life. But, if at all we can take a constructive lesson from those hardships, it is the lack of awareness about our own self.
Envisioning your future
So, here I recall a ted talk I watched a few years ago where a man spoke of how to choose our passion. He suggested a simple way: ‘Don’t dream of becoming what you want to be, but what you want to do’. What is the difference? What you want to be can be the figure you dream of becoming, and that can be an inspiration from any person you see or the ideal you imagined for yourself.
The other one, what you want to do, is the work or activity you love to do. I don’t want to give examples now as it might limit your self-observation contextually.
The dream of becoming
Speaking of the first one, ‘what you want to be’ is not necessarily the original, true-to-your-self imagination. What you find so great and ideal can be anything, and the criteria we set to find that great needn’t be real and reliable all the time.
For example, you may watch Steve Jobs’ Reeds University speech, and feel like quitting your college right away because you don’t feel you belong there. But based on your societal and personal context, that might be the stupidest decision you take, because, who knows, staying there for a little longer might have revealed your true might.
However, that doesn’t imply you should never be inspired at all. Our inspiration can help us thrive and take us places if it is contextually appropriate. But the context isn’t clear all the time, and that’s life. So, here we go with the second way: knowing ‘what we want to do’.
The desire of doing
Since that should be the work or activity you love to do, you can’t deceive yourself by doing that for a long time. Based on the process involved, in hours or days, you will know whether you fit there or not.
This way of knowing oneself is comparatively reliable as this process involves your participation mentally, physically, psychologically ㅡ an engagement that’s deep and wholesome. However, trying to do it the beneficial way is the deal here.
For example, what you love to do can be unproductive, but still, you can make the best out of it. Let’s say you love eating, and you are sensitive to the flavours and ingredients. You can become a food blogger, a Youtuber who tries different restaurants and reviews them, or simply a great cook.
If you think just being a keen eater is your part and you are interested in nothing else, it is totally fine. You may also have some love for growing pets, and you can buy some more of its kind, maintain them professionally, and make it a business.
Or, you can ponder over the activity or verb that struck your mind by now and try figuring out its professional bread-winning version.
Take it less serious
It is also known that what you love to do today may not interest you later. But that change of interest won’t leave you helpless and it may even help you with further choices, just as the saying goes: your instinct won’t fail you.
Beyond all these, what’s more, important to understand is, not everyone is sensitive to what they do for earning. There are many who don’t care how dry or monotonous their work is and do that without lacking motivation drawing meaning from that process in a personal way. This article is simply for those who find it hard to navigate their way to find a suitable career path.
This also reminds me of another similar quote: process helps us define ourselves better than our product. Most of us are not ready to be action-takers and so we don’t get to see how we unfold in the process of doing, depriving ourselves of the evolved version of ourselves.