The pitfalls of our society

Growing up, we were told by the people around us to work diligently towards our future so that we could to be a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, to go into STEM, and to have a career in esteemed professions envied by people who failed to keep up with the incessant rat race contrived by our society, and to lead a pleasant lifestyle with financial security, with the end goal in mind to retire comfortably. And we are driven to work hard academically because what is etched deep in our very souls ever since we have a conscious mind are the preconceived notions that successful people out there are who they are today because they strived hard for their academical achievements, and the ability to have a career in such a competitive profession coveted by others, many a time perceived to be a reflection of one’s character and aptitude. On the other hand, for people who are deemed to be less successful to us are often perceived as individuals with questionable character and their lack of success is simply an indictment of their poor work ethics along their approach which they adopted in life. Meritocracy huh?

As a result, some of us might refrain from pursuing our callings in life because we are terribly afraid that we might be less successful than other people who stuck with a tested and proven route to success whereas were we to pursue our passions as our career, our future will be in uncharted waters with no job security ahead; notwithstanding the extreme outliers in the various areas of passions of course.

However, the flip side of pursuing our passions and being successful at the same time would be having a genuine interest which lies with the professions that are well paid because we are more intrinsically compelled to work hard for our career, and our work is undoubtedly more rewarding than a soul-sucking job that is demeaning and question our self-worth.

I recently had to make an extremely heart-wrenching decision to forego what I wanted to do in life yet when we are left with no options, we have no alternatives but to embrace the suck. Because sometimes passions do not put food on the table and when you fail to meet ends meet, it becomes as clear as day that perhaps pursuing what you love to do in the grandest scheme of things would cause you more mental anguish down the road than doing what you dislike to do in the first place.

Such is life.