I stood in front of the TV, watching these children talk about various ingredients and recipes on CBS’s Man vs Child, totally forgetting how late I was for work and how my boss would have my head. I just stood there, shoes hanging at the tip of my fingers, office bag struggling to stay put on my shoulder.
The little Asian girl, not older than 7, was competing with a grown man of about 45 or 50, the snow of white hair crowding his faint blonde hair made it a bit tasking to figure out if the white hair was from stress or age. He struggled to keep up with the little Asian culinary dragon. She chopped vegetables, as she explained what she was doing and why it had to be done that way to the judges and her fellow teammates—the eldest being 13. In her cameo appearance, the little Asian culinary dragon, as I like to call her, explained how much she loved cooking. She further explained recipes and various foods she had shared with friends and family. She spoke with so much passion and courage, it was evident she loved cooking.
My eyes were still fixed on her, as though in a trance, watching her chop some greens with such expertise, when the strong vibration of my phone snapped me back to the present. My shoes and bag finally slipped, hitting the ground, as I dashed towards my phone. It was my Co-worker Keena, in her usual alarmingly high pitched voice, asking why I wasn’t at work at 8:20. I stared at the time on my phone in disbelief; I couldn’t believe I had been rooted, staring at the Asian culinary dragon for nearly 30 minutes. I told Keena I was on my way, begging her to cover up for me in the meantime.
As I drove to work, I couldn’t help but remember the pretty little dragon in the CBS studio kitchen, chopping and chatting with so much enthusiasm. She obviously loved what she was doing and she is nothing short of favored having discovered what she is crazy about and could make a decent living off at such a young age. I tried to think of exactly what it was I loved, something that could bring the kind of professional fire I saw in that little girl’s eyes. I thought about my present job and I couldn’t help but wonder if I would still do it if my salary was cut in half.
Studies of successful people have proven that there is a strong complementary relationship between believing in a mission, enjoying the job and the overall performance of an individual. You will agree with me that an individual’s intellectual capabilities can only take him so far in the heights of a career path. It is believed that most people with a lot of responsibilities to take care of, are usually faced with the choices of getting a job with a higher pay, which enables them take care of their urgent needs or continue to pursue their passion, with limited resources available to them. Now most adults with family are known to settle for the former. A couple of years on the job and you have these people trying to convince themselves they love what they do.
The truth is life can be really tricky and filled with so many uncertainties. So you have most people stick with a job they believe is secure and promises a decent retirement plan, than risk it all and deal with the possibilities of failing. But didn’t we just agree that life can be tricky and funny? What happens when this individual gets laid off his job after investing years into it? A job he didn’t even love in the first place.
Happiness is one of the most gratifying and powerful elements of life, which is totally free. There is a difference between loving what you do and convincing yourself that you love what you do. How do you differentiate between the two? By asking yourself these questions, you will find out that the answer will come naturally, with little or no deliberation.
Passion is undeniably essential in reaching your potential. Push your insecurities aside and allow yourself take that bold step towards actualizing your dreams. At the end of the day, we all have to agree that nothing comes easy. So why not strive through the difficulties? Because believe me when I say there is a pot of gold at the end of every occupational rainbow.
Piece by Sefinah Lamii.