Written by: Rana Khaled Awwad
Edited by: Yara Mohamed
“life is not about only two choices; it is not about heart or mind; it is not black or white, for it is the mixture of all of them.A rainbow, you can say. Passion is the only thing that can lift you from ordinary to extraordinary.”
Rana Khaled Awwad
“- Many fresh graduates, middle age employees and professionals consider career shifting. What do you think about this move? And from your personal opinion, what do you think is the reason behind the increase in career shifting?
– Hostile cultures, lack of vision or plan, lack of appreciation, course of monetary.”
When I read these lines in an article, I came to wonder: What about passion? Why is everything bound to positions, salary, prestige…etc.? Passion is the last thing taken into consideration. On the one hand, there are people who spend their entire lives searching for their passion; they keep getting and leaving countless of jobs, hoping to glimpse the light of their passion in any position they take. On the other hand, there are people who do nothing but the things they are passionate about, even if these things do not make them earn a good salary or have a normal stable life. The question is the following: Which one of these is the optimum? Which path of these should one take to be satisfied? Which choice is the best? The answer is NONE.
Kentucky spent his entire life having an unfulfilling job. Even though he was not satisfied by his position in a chicken-serving restaurant, Kentucky believed that this career is strongly related to his passion, and made up his mind that if he does not earn what he dreamed of, at least he is learning something as the base of his dream job. At the age of 60, Kentucky got fired from the restaurant. Even at the age of 60, he had not found his passion. Afterwards, he started applying what he learned and invented additives to give chicken its unique taste. After several trials and countless steps, Kentucky founded his franchise and found his passion, KFC, as it is known today, and lasted long enough until this day, even after his death. He stayed in a position that did not satisfy him originally, just to learn something which led him to where he wanted to be. He did not like his job, but he knew that he did love that career path. There is a difference, and this difference is the guideline for most of our choices: knowing that you are on the right track.
Sometimes most of our problems arise because we fail to recognize our own priorities; we have the misconception that if you are a successful practical person, you should spend each second working on reaching your aim, and when you do, you spend even more time to reach even higher ones. The more time you spend working, the greater the achievements. Ask yourself: Does it make sense? Is life all about working? Is your life work-centered? Is neglecting your family, health, social life, and your own passion for the sake of work the reason behind your existence in life?
To answer these questions, take a look at the following figure from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephan Covey:
We are all surrounded by these four categories; however, we always fail to prioritize our daily activities. If I ask you to determine which one of these categories would be your priority, which one will you pick? Mostly number one: “Important and urgent”.
However, it is number 2: “Important but not urgent”.
Maybe our endless tasks, countless deadlines, and continuous exams are urgent. We all have obligatory tasks that we tend to forget what is most important to take care of: For starters, your health is important. If you neglect your health because you are so indulged in what should be done, you will suffer from health problems—maybe serious ones because of stress, and your health will be gradually transformed to something “urgent” to attend to. Your family is important; if you ignore this aspect of your life, other aspects will collapse. In many cases, the high divorce rates lead to dissociation of entire families, just because of the inability to make balance between priorities. Your passion is important; your passion is the reason behind your existence; that is what adds meaning to your life; that is what defines you and makes you unique. However, your passion should not be neglected for the sake of a good position or an extraordinary salary, and the career path, of your choice, should not be threatened by your passion. Let’s be even more specific: Your career should not be threatened by focusing only on passion.
One of the lines that caught my attention in one of the magazine’s interviews with one of the most successful people in his field and may validate my perspective is the following:
Interviewer: One of your hobbies is fishing (important), does this influence you or empower you in an indirect way at your work?
Interviewer: Helps me relax and think (effect of passion). I also love to travel which also helps.
Based on my experience as a clinical pharmacy student, my college always puts me in great stress because of our never-ending exams. Even though I did choose this major, I decided to cut off everything I am passionate about (important) in order to focus more on college (urgent). Unexpectedly, my academic progress was not as good as I expected. Consequently, I decided to proceed with what I am passionate about; I continued with my German course along with the new academic year. Even when I had an exam the following day, I insisted on attending my 4-hour German class. Because I balanced between my passion and my choice, I got high grades, even better than I had expected. It increased my sense of responsibility and decreased my stress. It added something not only to my day, but also to my soul. It let me do what I should do with passion, not obligation.
Life is neither black nor white without a shade of grey. Why do we keep confining our choices between spending our lives doing either what we love or what we should do? Why is it either the heart or the mind, but not both, even though God gave us both of them? Never neglect your passion, but not on the expense of your career. Yes, life is not about only two choices; it is not about heart or mind; it is not black or white, for it is the mixture of all of them.A rainbow, you can say. Passion is the only thing that can lift you from ordinary to extraordinary.