Most of us want to be somebody in different shapes and forms.
But to be where we want to take a lot of decisions that overwhelm some, discouraging them from going on.
I’ve heard about following your passion many times before, but it isn’t really telling you what to do after that. That’s why those who followed their passions find themselves unable to move past the dip and stop their pursuit altogether.
Instead of just following your passion, you need to take the necessary training to move forward.
Like Edward O. Wilson wrote in this book, first passion, then training.
My confessional instead is intended to illustrate an important principle I’ve seen unfold in the careers of many successful scientists. It is quite simple: put passion ahead of training. Feel out in any way you can what you most want to do in science, or technology, or some other science-related profession. Obey that passion as long as it lasts. Feed it with knowledge the mind needs to grow. Sample other subjects, acquire a general education in science, and be smart enough to switch to a greater love if one appears. But don’t just drift through courses in science hoping that love will come to you. Maybe it will, but don’t take the chance. As in other big choices in your life, there is too much at stake. Decision and hard work based on enduring passion will never fail you.
—from Letters to a Young Scientist by Edward O. Wilson
To be honest, I still want to be so many things in life. But opportunity cost is real, and I am not getting any younger. The same with you too.
And perhaps, what we need is to be “smart enough to switch to a greater love if one appears.”
We can be anything.