While speaking at a San Diego university recently, I was
fortunate that I was not asked to leave the stage. You see,
I chose to share with the students in my audience some
I announced that, while many would receive their degrees,
few – very few – would end up pursuing careers in their
chosen field. At this point, the faculty began giving me
I went on to say that, while most students were there to
pursue a dream, the dream they were chasing was not their
own. Many students enter college to live up to the
expectations of family, friends, and society.
They’ve been told they should become an accountant, lawyer,
doctor or teacher because of the great future and financial
gain. In trying to do what others think they should do
rather than following their individual passions, they rarely
continue along the same path once they leave campus.
Instead, I painted a different sort of picture. Using an
off-the-wall example to illustrate my point, I asked each of
them to imagine that he or she really wanted to become a
I said, “What if you took the same period of time and energy
pursuing that dream, your dream, your passion? What if you
began as an apprentice at a banjo shop, and then worked hard
to learn everything about banjos?
After four to six years, the same time you would have spent
earning a degree that you would not use anyway, you would
instead have become an authority on banjos. A real banjo
aficionado. Know why?”
“Because you’d be following your passion,” I continued. “You
would become captivated by the topic, and the pursuit of
this goal would no longer feel like work, as much as it
would be a part of who you are.
Staying up late reading and learning everything there is to
know about banjos, listening to old songs and then creating
new ones would not be a chore; it would become your joy,
because you’d be doing what you love.”
Now here’s the best part. There will always be a call for
authorities in any area. So no matter if your pursuit is
toward playing the banjo, inventing new ice cream flavors,
or discovering the latest medical breakthroughs, there will
always be a demand for your services, thus creating success
in your chosen field of endeavor.
This is where true happiness and fulfillment comes in:
getting paid to do what you enjoy most while living the life
you love. Because…
When you do what you love, and love what you do, you’ll have
success your whole life through!
Gregory Scott Reid