This I Believe

Wise - Kent, Washington
Entered on April 24, 2007

My belief, although considered by some a cliché, has been something proven to me over and over throughout life. I believe, if you’re not passionate about it, don’t do it.

Throughout my short life, I have experienced many different people with many different jobs. Some are doctors, some are garbage men, some are teachers, and some are CEOs. Of all these people, the happiest are passionate about what they do.

This has never been as clear to me as to when I met Mark, my new driver’s ed teacher. You see, Mark used to be a millionaire. He was a Boeing executive. Mark was also slowly killing himself with his high stress job. He hated it. So, Mark went back to school where he became Dr. Mark. Mark didn’t like this either. So, he quit. Now Mark teaches driver’s Ed, and he is one of the happiest people I have ever met.

My belief doesn’t just apply to careers. It is shown in students and athletes everywhere. The last person to leave the gym every night is the one who loves it the most. The student who does homework that isn’t even assigned is the one who cares the most. When you love something, you want to put in that extra effort. You’re willing to sacrifice to succeed in it. And, if you care enough, that sacrifice isn’t such a sacrifice.

Passion is what drives our lives and we look forward to the moments when we can express it. Passion is something that no one can take from us, it can change, but it is never taken. Some of the greatest artists, athletes, and activists were passionate about what they did. Maya Angelou, Michelangelo, Martin Luther King Jr., and Michael Jordan were all passionate, and still are, about what they did or still do. They had dreams and they followed through because they had a passion for it.

I believe I have learned a lesson that some people take years to learn. Like my uncle who has a degree in oceanography, yet made his millions designing cabinetry, some search half of their lives to find their nitch. That one thing that makes them excited to wake up every morning. Others, like my grandfather, Dr. Wise, never find it. Finding what you care about most, means forgetting the respect that might come with other jobs and choosing the thing that best fits you. Like Mark, this might mean your going to love teaching rowdy teenagers how to drive, rather than making important decisions in the wild corporate world.

I believe everything has a price. It’s what your willing to pay that makes the difference, and only when you truly love something does money become no object.

I believe having a passion for what you want is all you need, and if you’re not passionate about it, then don’t do it.