Have you ever asked your parents about following their heart or finding their passion?
I asked my parents and here’s what they said:
“Passion? What passion? Life was very tough back then, all we did was study hard and then get a job that paid well. We worked a lot, sometimes overtime and that’s exactly what you should do instead of wasting your time writing stories.”
Does that sound familiar? Does that mean I should just do what they tell me, disregarding anything else that might seem interesting to me?
The brutally honest answer is, No.
Why You Should Follow Your Heart
Picture this. You keep doing what they tell you to do. Fast forward to the future, the day when eventually, they pass away.
Now what? Who’s going to tell you what to do?
Let me tell you what would happen when that unfortunate day comes. You will feel lost, directionless, disoriented and you wouldn’t know whether what you’re doing is the right thing to do.
You’ll doubt and question every decision you make, wishing your parents were here to tell you what to do. Furthermore, when you start transforming, changing and becoming a different person, that’s when you truly transition from being a child to an adult.
Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Well, guess what? This day is going to come, whether you want it to or not.
One day, you have to grow up and transition from childhood to adulthood.
When that happens, do you know what you’ll have to do?
Accept responsibility for your life. Make your own decisions (some will be good, others will be bad) and accept the consequences of your decisions.
Since this day is bound to come, why wait for a series of life events to get there? Why not start today, right now?
Control your fate. Start making decisions that you think are the best ones for you, being responsible for your life and stop blaming your failures and misfortunes upon your parents.
Now you might be thinking –
“What about what my parents think? What about what my relatives and neighbors think? I don’t want to disappoint anyone, nor do I want to fail in front of all of them and be labeled a failure.”
There are two aspects to this line of thinking that most of us have. The first one is fear of failure and the second is the fear of disappointing our parents and other important people in our lives.
Why the Fear of Failure Shouldn’t Stop You
Let me ask you something.
Has tripping and falling down multiple times ever stopped you from walking again?
I bet it hasn’t.
Then why should a single failure stop you?
Remember, if you fail at something, it doesn’t mean the end of the world. It just means that there are 9,999 other things for you to try, which you might be really good at.
Why the Fear of Disappointing Your Parents Shouldn’t Stop You
Parents are always going to be the way they are. They’re always going to say the things they always say.
Ever wondered why they do what they do?
Three reasons why:
- They want to protect you.
- They really do need you, they don’t want to lose you.
- They don’t want you to deviate from the norm. That would mean they themselves have to face a new and uncertain reality that they know nothing about.
But remember that parents, just like you and I, are ordinary human beings. They’re allowed to have their fears and uncertainties and are also fully capable of making mistakes and wrong decisions, just like you and I do.
So what does this mean?
It means always honour your parents and respect their wishes but keep an open mind and do what you think is best.
Even if that means not obeying every wish your parents have. Your parents might resent you for your decision, for going against their wishes but do you know what they’ll do when they see you doing remarkable work, doing what you love? They’d feel proud, with tears of joy in their eyes and pure happiness in their hearts.
Isn’t that what you’ve always wanted? To make them proud? So go on and start exploring new options. Try doing things you’ve never done before. Say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that comes knocking at your doorstep, don’t overthink it.
That’s how you ultimately figure out what your passion is.
Now does that mean you drop everything you’re doing right now and start taking over 10,000 quizzes on finding your passion?
Because nobody can tell you what your passion is. It’s something you know and you decide for yourself.
In addition, because you do all the finding, exploring and discovering while continuing what you’re already doing. That means you keep looking for your passion, while still studying hard and aiming to get decent grades.
Where Should I Start?
Try joining your college basketball team. Take part in student council activities. Start writing a blog. Learn a new language. Take that Udemy course you always wanted to, but never quite found the time to get started with it.
What is it that you’ve always wanted to do? What’s stopping you? Tell us and we’ll get back to you and help you in the best possible way.
In the meanwhile, check these resources out for more inspiration:
- How books can open your mind, a 6-minute TED story of Lisa Bu, who went against her parents’ wishes and forged her own path in life.
- The Only Way To Be Happy Is To Let Go Of Your Parents’ Opinion Of You, a short post by Lauren Martin, a senior writer at Elite Daily
- What Should You Do When Your Friends and Family Don’t Support You, a 5-minute video by Derek Halpern