Hello everyone and welcome to the personal development segment of my blog. Today’s episode which is Episode One is called ‘Passion or Practical: Deciding Education, Careers and Business Choices’.
In the process of making important decisions such as what to study, the career path and industry to work in and the business choices and ventures to pursue, we often ask ourselves do I follow my head or my heart? Do I do what I love or what makes me money? Do I follow passion or what is practical? Decisions, decisions, decisions!
Before, we delve into this topic, I believe it is important to differentiate the two words- passion and practical.
What is Passion?
Passion is intrinsic. It is something that naturally excites us or evokes positive emotions and makes us feel good about ourselves or our pursuits. For instance, I can say, I am passionate about creative writing because it is an activity which I enjoy and strive to master. With the example of my passion that I just gave I stated it was something I enjoyed. The enjoyment is the intrinsic aspect. Also, I said it was something I strive to master so it is a passion that I wish to excel in. This simply illustrates that passion is internal and often based on emotions attached to the activity. Furthermore, passion is something you don’t always naturally have to be good at but aim to improve because you like it.
What is Practical?
Practical is extrinsic. It is often a means to an end. This means it is centred on outcomes and effects rather than internal emotions. It’s centred on external reasoning. An example of being practical is stating that I will start creative writing because if people read my work I can sell it, become famous and win awards. With this example, it appeals to outcomes rather than the process.
This begs the question is it better to be practical or passionate in education? I will always say with education it is better to be passionate. This is because if you are passionate, you are most likely to excel. Why? Passion will always drive you to success because you are interested. This interest will encourage you to go the extra mile and will help you exert your very best! It is important to say that passion alone cannot get you there. You need passion, hard work and a hint of natural talent and abilities. Nonetheless, passion makes it easier to succeed. What about being practical? Yes, it is true that picking something practical can open windows of opportunities as subjects considered practical can often lead to better career prospects. However, if you pick something like mathematics which is a very practical subject but do not excel at it. It is often difficult to pursue the field anyways. Therefore, I will always say it is better to pick what you’ll thrive in more than what looks good. At the end of the day, in the world of academia, it’s more about the grades rather than what you studied. Nonetheless if you can pick something practical but something you’re still passionate about, it shows you are definitely on the winning team.
Moving on to careers, is it better to pick a career or industry that you are passionate about one that is practical? Personally, with jobs, I think it is important to pick something that is practical and by that I mean something that would make you a substantial amount of money. This is because an occupation is an occupation at the end of the day. Whether it is practical or one that you are passionate about. This means there is an aspect in that work that you are bound to hate and I think if you pursue a passion, you may struggle to make ends meet, it may be difficult to find the perfect role that fits and more importantly, the passion may dwindle because the passion aspect of the work has been routinized and can seem as a chore and something that is no longer enjoyable.
What about the world of business? Is it better to choose a business venture that you are passionate about or a venture in that is more practical? I believe it all depends on the nature of the business. With a business or a venture that is not for profit, I believe it is better to choose passion because you will be more dedicated to the cause. However, if it is a business in which you wish to make money in it should be more practical to help you make a profit.
- Passion is intrinsic whilst practical is extrinsic.
- Passion is intrinsic whilst practical is extrinsic.
- In education, it is more important to be passionate.
- In careers, it is important to be practical.
- In business, it depends on the nature of the business. However to make money, the idea has to be practical.
In conclusion- In an ideal scenario, it is important to balance both passion and practical. This combination is the winning strategy because it is essential that you balance what is practical and what you are passionate about.
This concept can be summarised in the quote: ‘ Passion with no practicality is a drum not worth beating’ .
Traditionally, to beat a drum means to draw attention to or publicise something. This quote simply means passion with no practicality is something not worth shouting about. Alternatively, to beat the drum you need an internal motivation and an external outcome. It is not worth beating the drum without the interconnectedness of both the internal and external.
On that note, I’d like to thank you for listening and I hope to see you for the next episode. Please stay in tune. Thank you very much for listening. Bye-bye.