All men dream, but not equally.
Those words come from T.E. Lawrence. A man who came home after serving many years in wars, battles, and sieges, but two months later, died doing what he loved, riding motorcycles.
There has been a sweeping trend found in the years of college and the few that succeed it. It is the idea that we should do what we love. People proclaim this thought not knowing what it truly is. “Do what you love” is not advice, it is a luxury. And just like any luxury, it is reserved for the few.
Not everyone can afford to do what he or she loves. They may not have been born into enough money or born with enough talent to pursue such dreams. Others may not develop any overriding interest in anything. This is not their fault and it is not their obligation to dream as high as the person next to them especially since this fixation for the aforementioned proverb, do what you love, can become unhealthy.
T.E. Lawrence was right but his saying was lacking for we also all dream differently. Yes, we dream and aspire in different levels but also in different fields. All these dreams and aspirations are varying but what can be found as a common denominator through all this is passion. The problematic mantra, do what you love, assumes that life is so direct. This causes people to think that life’s process is so short and that passion must ultimately lie with the job you have.
A simple revision to the saying addresses this concern as ‘do what you love’ becomes ‘do for your love’. The new saying and thought takes into account that your job is not the end of everything. Although in most cases, your job or career will take up the majority of your years, it doesn’t mean that you are reduced to it. It is not your identity.
So how exactly do we do for our love? That is by answering the question “Where does your passion lie?”
Life’s process, once again, is not direct. Passion can be found on both ends of the struggle. This means that while others conveniently find their passion with their interests, education, or jobs, we are not limited to this. The rest may find it further down the process. Sometimes your passion lies in where your education and jobs lead you.
There is this preconceived notion that money is bad. The truth is it is only in the misguided use of the excess of that money can it be deemed evil. There is no shame in seeing a job or career and thinking only about the pay. A job will always be a source of income. Although it is admirable to look for something more from a job, it is also unnecessary.
We invest so much into our forecasted careers because of all the time spent in those classrooms. In college, there are so many people trying to teach you so many lessons that we lose sight of its true importance. We are almost obsessed with our career path as it is shown with our indecisiveness. It is seen with the shifting culture in college and the prolonged job hunting that follows it. We must not let the idea of a job consume us because if we do, we will miss the point of college and more importantly education. College, unbeknown to many, will always be about the relationships we build, both the professional and personal ones. We keep trying to find a job we love when we are already surrounded by people that need our love more.
The complete quote from T.E. Lawrence goes like this: All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
The fate of T.E. Lawrence almost serves as a cautionary tale to those trying to turn their interests into their careers. Although it may work for others, there may be more reasonable opportunities to take. We can’t all dismiss the job that pays better and has more security for a pipe dream. Not all of us can afford that choice and that life.
In the end, you are not your career. You are not your job. You are not your course. So be prepared to have an identity when all that is gone.