Passion over Conformity?
What is more important? To be true to one’s own self or living up to people’s expectations of us?
What is more important? A life of comfort and security, or following your passion, calling, or vocation even if that meant giving up, or at least risking a comfortable and secure life?
We’re living in a society where conformity has become so much the accepted norm that we rarely even ask ourselves the above questions. And yet, the questions still lurk.
One wakes up in the morning and looks ahead at his day. Another day at the office. Just as it was yesterday and just as it will be tomorrow.
There are times we may feel that the sheer monotony of it will simply suffocate us. Then we start to think about things: the bills that need to be paid for; our social identity and prestige; what others expect of us; and so on.
And all too soon, we tuck that discontent under the carpet and carry on with our usual life. However, are we supposed to do that?
What holds more importance? Money, prestige, social position, security, comfort or, a life that brings us joy and fulfillment?
Don’t we deserve to feel happy and excited every morning as we wake up; to give ourselves over, body and soul, to something we love and cherish; to work at something that makes meaning to us and that we feel will make meaning to others as well?
Well, on paper, it’s easy enough to conclude that one ought always to follow one’s passion(s) and not stay hitched to something that brings little joy or satisfaction to him.
However, anybody who has ever tried to tread off the beaten track will know how complex the task is in real life. After all, there is a reason why all too many people among us keep working at things they have little liking for?
So, what exactly are the challenges and struggles that one faces when trying to follow what he believes to be his calling?
Things That Make It Hard to Follow Our Passion
- The Lack of Money: Well, more often than not, following something we love will bring little financial rewards (during the initial phases, anyway). Pursuing a traditional career affords us a degree of security in terms of our financial position.
- Our Social Identities: We are used to being labeled by society as such and such since we were mere toddlers. If someone has been a straight A’s student their whole life, they’ve been to prestigious schools, and so on.
People closest to them expect them to go on to work an ordinary job. Then suddenly they want to be a guitarist and join a musical school. Those that knew them while growing up would start to question them.
One must never ignore or lose sight of the fact that it is not only others that discourage us from pursuing our dreams. Often we stay too attached, even if subconsciously, to those labels and identities, to our past successes, etc. And then it becomes too easy to pass on the blame to the others.
- Our Own Inner Fears: Finally, our own inherent fears often prove to be the biggest obstacles in the road to following our passions. We are afraid of failure, we are afraid of poverty, we are afraid of disappointing ourselves, we are afraid of being looked down on by others.
Often the case is that we lack the inner belief that we have what it takes to overcome the obstacles that life throws at us. Like all our well-wishers, we know all too well that life as a guitarist or musician is not going to be an easy one, and we like to believe that we can actually weather all that roughness. Unfortunately enough, our fears get in the way and sow self-doubts in us. And once that happens, it is a sure recipe for failure!
So, how can we overcome these obstacles and live the kind of life that we truly cherish?
One way is to follow the examples of people who have chosen unconventional career routes and have still achieved success. Even amidst us, there are enough people who have the guts to forego conventional careers, follow their own hearts, and still ‘make it.’
Mohammed Ali Rashid, a fitness enthusiast, motivational athlete, and car enthusiast who has made a name for himself as a powerful social media influencer thanks to his YouTube video content, is a shining example of such a person.
Mohammed Ali Rashid: the Man Who Followed His Heart
Although video content creation is one of the latest crazes today, superior content creators on YouTube with a big enough following can earn a sizable income. Being a YouTuber or a social media content creator is rarely considered a conventional or viable career option.
And yet, that mattered little to Mohammed Ali Rashid, who has always made it a point to pursue his passions and do what he likes to do as a motivational athlete, a fitness enthusiast and coach, an ardent follower of pro fighting, and boxing or as a car lover and reviewer
Rashid maintains that he could have chosen a career that could have earned him greater financial rewards. However, he chose to be what he is since that gives him joy, meaning, and fulfillment in life. He concentrated on things that he already loves and created and shared content that he felt would benefit his viewers.
According to Mohammed Ali Rashid, this is what makes him happy and keeps him motivated to create more inspirational content for his loyal audience.
We all can take a leaf out of Rashid’s book. The happier we ourselves are, the more we can spread happiness to people around us. It is only through being our best selves that we can make any significant contribution to society and the world at large.