“Pursuing Passion” is a very hot topic now a days starting from students to people struggling with mid life crisis. I never heard about this during my college days or even during career decision. There was no career decision really and it was simply go with the flow or take which is in more “demand”. But now things are changing. Even parents are (to some extent) are encouraging kids to pursue their passion now a days which is not a common thing in India earlier for a reason. I will talk about the reason in a min. May be parents have missed so much to pursue their passion so as usual they want their kids to pursue what they have missed ;). But this is not the main reason.
You may heard and know about “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs“. I personally think Maslow got this concept very accurately and it is applicable all the time. And this can answer many of the question on why you crave for different things as you progress in life at different stages of life.
Refer to the picture below (Sorry, it may not be very clearly visible)
First and foremost need is physiological – need for basic essentials like food, water, air, etc. Then Safety needs. Once these two are met then we look for relationships, love, etc. Then comes to achievement, ego, self esteem, recognition,social status, etc. Then comes to “self realization” – asking all esoteric questions (for a good reason). Why I am here and what is my purpose, I want to change the world, I want to live my mission, passion, etc. If you are asking these questions then most probably you have crossed the first 3-4 needs or you are under severe stress/depression ;).
So coming to the main topic, what changed between earlier days and now a days? What really changed is your bottom 2 or 3 needs are met much easily than for your parents. Economic development is the main driving force behind this. This is the main reason why most advanced county (economically) people start pursuing they dreams much early and hence further more economic advancement and it goes into positive loop. Now we will see the similar positive loop happening in India. So you may now understand why they had to force you to go with which in more “demand” that what you are most interested in. So don’t curse your parents as they have taken the best decision based on where they were in the needs hierarchy.
At the same time, any time in your life if you miss some thing in the hierarchy then you slide down the level. For e.g if you have achieved massive success but if you do not feel the belonging then all your success looks like an illusion. If you are suddenly have life threatening problem then you won’t care about relationships, you simply want to survive. Hopefully you will not slide in the hierarchy.
On the progression side – More the economic development and advancement then more and more people would be pursuing their passion. This will fuel and multiply the development at much rapid pace.
Nice thoughts, YK