Recently, I was talking to my daughter, Sarah, about education, creativity and pursuing what one is passionate about—all of which were included in Sir Ken Robinson’s Ted Talks (2006 and 2010). Raising our daughters, we’ve encouraged both of them to pursue their passions and here’s why:
• It’s in alignment with the way we’re wired. As children, we are creative and there’s no limit to our dreams and imagination. Why change this just because we get older?
• People can make a living doing what they love—pursuing their passions. Think about how wonderful it would be to find a career that allows you the opportunity to live out what you enjoy doing the most. Other’s can do it, why not you?
• It’s noble and authentic; passions flow out of who we are and who we’ve always been. If you built things when you were a kid and would just love to build things as an adult (carpenter, furniture maker, construction), or love books and would love to be a librarian or bookseller, then that’s awesome.
• There’s no regrets. Those that live through their passions don’t feel like they “should’ve” or “could’ve” done this or that…because they’re doing what they’ve always wanted to do.
• Those that live through their passions tend to be more positive and have a positive approach to life.
• Encouraging our kids (as well as our friends and extended family) to live doing what they love most helps them to reach their full potential.
• If we don’t encourage them to do what they are passionate about, they’ll listen to someone else who insists they can’t. When this happens, their chosen career path (and everything it touches) becomes fraught with fear and apprehension rather than creativity and innovation.
• When we are encouraged to pursue our passions, we quickly find that we are equipped with what we need to succeed.
• By living through our passions, we’re not only helping ourselves, but also helping others see that it is possible to do what they enjoy, too.
• Doing what we enjoy most, is just plain fun. In Sir Robinson’s talk, he said that when we do what we love “an hour feels like five minutes.” Conversely, when you’re not doing what you love, “five minutes feels like an hour.” I like the first option.
When we encourage our daughters to pursue their passions, with one interested in the visual arts and the other with her passion in the dramatic arts and photography, we often get the standard funny looks from other parents along with the occasional awkward, “Oh…that’s…nice.” But regardless of where our daughters’ education and careers take them, I believe that they’re well equipped to live out who they are, not who we wanted them to be.