The Pursuit of Passion

A life spent without pursuing one’s passion is a life wasted. Passion is the spice of life. It is the elixir that gives meaning to our purpose in life. Life’s holy grail is to discover our passion and then immerse ourselves fully in the pursuit of our passion. Finding our passion is not something that happens per chance. It requires intense soul searching and introspection. We must first get to know our own self without bias, prejudice or external influence. The best time to discover ourselves is during our adolescence; those beautiful short years of innocence, rebellion, values and valour that we live before the dogmas and conventions of society mould us into conformity. It is also important to discover our passion early in life otherwise we may spend the best time of our life climbing mountains that in the end turn out to be the wrong ones. In the English educational system, students are encouraged to take time off and travel after high school or university graduation. The objective is to discover yourself and your passion. After my graduation, I went travelling for six months with a good friend of mine. It was the summer of 1981 and we travelled through Europe on a shoe string budget spending nights in campsites and doing odd jobs in different tourist towns when we ran low on funds. This journey was probably the most enlightening experience of my life. Having being confined to learning in classrooms I was suddenly exposed to a world hitherto unknown to me. The six months of travel gave me a deep insight about myself and set me on course to what I wanted to do in life.

For those who discover their passion and take the leap of faith to pursue their passion, life can be an enjoyable and exhilarating journey. For those who have never searched for their true self and opted for an existence dictated by conventional norms, life can be a drudgery. Many people are forced into such a life on account of financial necessities. They are born to be doing one thing but they end up doing something else which perhaps offers greater financial security. No matter what the financial implications, I think that we should have the courage to live our lives to the full. This can only be achieved by finding our passion. If one is passionate about photographing rare birds then being stuck to a 9-5 job or being enslaved by a business venture which does not permit the pursuit of the passion is a colossal price to pay. Go pursue your passion. Live free because you are born free.

Even in our choice of profession, we need to ask ourselves whether we are happy doing what we are doing? If one has a passion for sales then he would be the happiest while selling. He would be enjoying meeting people and will be gratified when his customer is happy with the product or service which he provided. If one has a passion for accounting, he would be thrilled every time the assets and liabilities are perfectly matched in his balance sheet. I see so many people in so many walks of life stuck in the wrong profession. A salesman who is just not performing but continues with the profession suffering the misery of failure just because of the lure of the forever illusive commissions that the job offers. A young golfer aspiring to be another Siddikur but languishing in hardship because he neither has the talent nor the passion to be the best. His days turn into months and the months turn into years and soon he is no longer the young golfer with big dreams. He has joined the ranks of so many who have been jilted by golf and have no recourse to any other profession because they pursued golf for the wrong reasons. Not for their passion but for fame and fortune. I don’t think it is ever too late to discover ourselves; to be true to ourselves and then have the courage to pursue our passion. That is life’s holy grail.

No matter what the profession, no one succeeds by just working 9am-5pm. You work 9-5 if you are doing a mundane job which offers no satisfaction or challenges. You may earn a living but you will not be able to unleash your full potential. You may become good but you will not become great. Every successful person from every field of endeavour is happiest when he is pursuing his passion. There are no time limits. There is no line dividing work and pleasure. Work is pleasure and pleasure is work. All this talk of work life balance is mumbo jumbo created by people who are not living their passion. Does a fish get tired of swimming? Does an eagle get tired of gliding? These creatures are at their glorious best when they are exploring the vast expanse of the ocean or the sky without restrain. They are doing what they are born to do.

Tiger Woods is possibly the greatest golfer in the history of the sport. He famously said that he cannot guarantee that he will win every tournament but he can guarantee that he will work harder than everybody to keep improving his game. He reaches the practice range at the crack of dawn and says that if he finds someone is there before him it spoils his day. He wants to be the first one to reach the practice range and the last person to leave it. Why does Tiger work so hard? It is his passion that drives him.

The 1997 Game 5 of the NBA finals has come to be known as the “Flu Game”. Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time had come down with a flu. It was obviously an important game for MJ’s team Chicago Bulls. Everyone was disappointed that MJ would have to miss the game because of high fever. When the game started, MJ was in the starting lineup. Chicago Bull’s 90-88 win in that game will go down in history as one of the greatest basketball games with MJ recording an unbelievable 38 points with a body temperature of 103 degrees. MJ was not going to lose his pay cheque if he did not play that game. He had to play because nothing could keep him away from his passion.

All of us have a great purpose in our life. Something special that our inner being demands from us. If we fail to discover this calling then we have done an injustice to the special gift that enables us to achieve greatness; a gift which can bring us eternal joy and happiness.

Comments (19)
  • Honorable Sir, thanks for this inspiring articl.
    It is important to feel motivated and inspired in one’s career. Without the drive to excel, his performance will lack passion and, in turn, the organisation may suffer. Productivity allows him to work in the most efficient manner, which make room for downtime and encourage work-life balance. If one is passionate about his job, he is likely to take an active interest in learning every aspect of the work.

    • Assalamu alaikum
      Respected Brother, I am younger to you presumably by 2/3 years since I completed SSC in 1982. I enjoyed my school days.
      Career.. Yes for some reason it did not work out. I was too passionate about that. Did not leave any stone unturned to decorate me while competing with my peers. It ended in the middle, after almost 24 years.
      I enjoyed reading your article. I do not have to agree with all your views, but definitely a soul searching gave me many answers. I am a young entrepreneur in Real Estate .
      Looking forward to read more articles in future.
      Ehsan

    • Thanks dear Arshi for your wonderful inspiring thought provoking article. I lived and enjoyed a life the you prescribe. In reality I am a most free man than people perceive or conceive. I am a free thinking person and writer. I never ran after money. I live a very modest contented life. Always happy and smiling. Stay happy and smiling

  • I like to follow you
    through emails.
    Thanking you in advanced

    • Poetry

      Do not live in your body
      It is full of desire greed and lust
      destined to dust.
      Live in your soul
      It never dies and
      destined to eternity
      to meet the ultimate soul( paramatma).

      Ershad Mazumder

  • The pursuit of passion is the heartbeat to dive an individual towards the right direction. That comes or shows from the inner side. It can be said the rhythm of life that most of us can not discover even trying the whole life.
    If someone can feel the passion that person can move forward accordingly at least make a strategy or plan to set a goal towards that.
    We all should discover the theme at any way even being distracted from the regular life or job either. It sounds a bit unpractical considering our regular system, but we should.
    Fully agree with ………

    All of us have a great purpose in our life. Something special that our inner being demands from us. If we fail to discover this calling then we have done an injustice to the special gift that enables us to achieve greatness; a gift which can bring us eternal joy and happiness.

    Thank you very much for this write up and will be awaiting for the another gem.

  • Yes sir, life is about evolving mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Each of our days comes with its own ideas and with its own troubles. Each day comes with its own possible and impossible. It says, life is a journey of tenacity. Only the tough gets on to the top through the storm. We need to take the steps one by one, though the errand may be arduous.
    Wonderful writing, the skill, the narration and the use of vocabulary. These are the writings that we wait for.
    Keep writing Sir. We need all these stuffs, regularly.
    May Allah be with you always!

  • It’s a good inspirational article based on critical observation and real life experiences.

  • Dear Sir
    Thanks for a wonderful inspirational article.
    The article awaken us to rethink about our education system, socioeconomic culture and vision of life .
    The article emphasized on the freedom of individuals to chose the way of life which may ensure a better society of passionate people.
    The article can be a precious guide specially for the younger generation who need to understand and determine their vision of life.

    • Sir, Assalamualikum. Thank you for writing a soul searching article based on practical experience.

  • The Article” Pursuit of Passion” is philosophical in nature and was interesting to read! Except that introspection alone does not serve sufficiently, guiding a right passion from the wrong one!
    The buck stops at the exhaustive reality of ‘limitation in empirical human introspection’! Here is the compelling proof: “They have rather behaved with the age-old human nature of denying what is beyond the grasp of their limited knowledge: The Qur’an 10:39.

    With my origin in rural Bangladesh, I would be interested to be known and exchange thoughts and ideas with Mr. Hyder!

    Dr. R. Raashed, Sydney.
    Director, Islamic Bank Australia (IBA) Project.

  • Remember the movie,”Life is Beautiful”. Myself and your friend Kamran studied at Northeastern
    University,Boston during the 70s and early 80s of last century. I believe you came to Boston for
    a visit but I left for home by that time.

  • Good afternoon sir

    Thanks for your informative & value changing writing with greatest references. It will be great help for rethinking & reconcile ourselves.

  • I enjoy so much reading your articles. Your ideas are presented in a lucid language. I would request you to bring out these articles in one volume/book. A passionate person is an’ inspired’ one. He/she is inspired to achieve greater goals in life. The mundane work ( e.g. as a waste-cleaner of a City Corporation or a book-keeper in Micro-finance Institution) to earn your living cannot/should not kill your mind. The endless beauty/mystery of Nature/Creation is an open book for the Homo-sapiens to decipher. The valuable life-span of a human being should not be absorbed/soaked up by drudgery of mechanical income-earning work. The society/socio-economic system should plan the economy in such a way that every grown-up person ( 18+ onward) should be able to earn his/her basic minimum to live a reasonable life. The western capitalist countries ( e.g. Canada, Germany, Sweden,) have developed social-democratic systems where they allow people enough incentives to relax and think/act freely. In some developing countries, there is a tendency to copy ” western capitalistic’ system almost like ‘ materialistic fetish’. To me the golden mean is a combination of ‘ western science-technology-based development’ and ‘ spirituality of Eastern Civilizations’.

  • Sir,Very impressive to your word,”You may become good but you will not become great”,and “He famously said that he cannot guarantee that he will win every tournament but he can guarantee that he will work harder than everybody to keep improving his game”.very encourage to your topic.

  • Dear Arshi Sir,
    This is a wonderful articl. Very much impressive and motivation thinking. Thank you sir. Stay safe.

  • জীবনের খেলায় সকলেই আসলে জিততে চায়। সর্বাত্মক ইচ্ছা শক্তি, মেধা, পরিশ্রম, পারিপার্শ্বিক পরিবেশের সমন্বয়েই হয়ত মিলন ঘটে কাংখিত লক্ষ্যের। নয়তোবা ভাগ্য বিরম্বনায় হাড়িয়ে যায় অনেকেরই আকাঙ্ক্ষা।

    আশায় এবং স্বপ্নেই আসলে শক্তি জোগায় বহুদুরের পথ পাড়ি দিতে। আপনার লেখাটাকে স্রদ্বা সেই কারনেই।

    দিরঘায়ু ও সুস্থ কামনা রইল অনেক আপনার তরে।

  • 1 Liking a thing utmost, doing it to the best and achieving the desired result or set goal by going all out is what the writer described in this article: “The Pursuit of Passion”. We read a lot and our teachers elaborated much on ‘My Aim of Life’ during our early schooling especially during secondary education. Invariably, there were essay writings in half yearly and yearly examinations on ‘My Aim of Life’ and many competitive examinations for job seekers asked candidates questions on ‘My Aim of Life’. Tuned finest the modern version of ‘Selection and Maintenance of Aim’ is “The Pursuit of Passion”. The Author described vividly the importance of determining one’s compelling desire or enthusiasm early so that life’s precise time is not spent in wrong course. The exercise is equally important for both academic excellence and occupational advancement.

    2. No less important than student life “The Pursuit of Passion” in professional career takes much higher magnitude. “The Pursuit of Passion” for a particular skill or trade is not only to facilitate one to reach the apex as employee or employer but also to be contained and satisfied doing a job most happily and wholeheartedly. Identifying the Passion correctly at the early years and then pursuing it relentlessly makes a man like Sundar Pichai of India the CEO of Alphabet and Google, who will take home $240 million (Rs 1,707 crore) in 2020, perhaps, the highest paid CEO in the contemporary business world.

    3. How a junior executive turns into MD of a Company or how a young entrepreneur turns into Chairman of a Company or President of a Group of Company? The dream or magic that makes it possible is nothing but one’s insistent pursuit of Passion. Discovered the Passion rightly at the beginning of a professional career, a young executive must aim to become the CEO or MD of the organization. Involved and committed his/ her pursuit of the Passion surely takes him/ her to the top position of the organization. American Business magnates Bill Gates (Co-founder of Microsoft Corp.), Steve Jobs, CEO and Charmin of Apple Inc and Warren Buffet, CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Chinese investor and business tycoon Jack Ma, all have brilliant records of “The Pursuit of Passion” in their respective occupation.

    4. I feel myself very fortunate reading all the articles of the writer in the series rather repeatedly since March 2020 and benefitting myself enormously. I am candid and sanguine the articles are of immense value for making texts for the students in the educational institutions and for professionals to make work-related studies in the corporate world and government offices.

  • Another essay chock full of insights. The author argues persuasively and passionately for finding one’s calling in life and pursuing it with passion. He furnishes many examples to make his case. We all get one life. Reading this essay helps you take charge and make the most of that life. I only wish this essay, translated to Bangla, was required reading for our school children.

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