Interest vs Passion

Saturday, March 11, 2006

There are a good number of 'interests' that I have which may or may not actually be my passion. The difficulty is seperating the temporary interests from the passions. Is there a need to differentiate them? Ordinarily, I'd say no. However, as I look at myself, I realise that I'm the type of person who needs a good solid definition of both in order to get a clearer picture on what I should and should not concentrate on and invest my time in.

Apart from God (it's a passionate love definitely), what are the other things which inspire me, which I enjoy doing, for which I have the constant drive to run for. Is it music? Computers? Journalism? *cough*Sports*cough*? Anime and Manga? Gaming? Reading? Designing? I enjoy all of them... and to a great degree, I put in a lot of effort into some of them to the point that it may just become tedious boring and uninteresting. This is bound to happen to any interest... because I believe that too much of anything is bad anyway. However, without focus, I really feel that although I may do quite OK in some of these things (probably average or a little above average), I excel in NONE of them. It reminds me of the way I introduced myself back in JC. (People were quite irritated because they didn't like that I seemed so 'high and mighty'... but then things have changed somewhat since then) Asked to introduced myself and my interests, I told them I could be aptly described as a Jack of all Trades, but Master of None. It still holds true today.

Let's start with my 'seemingly' musical background. I 'know' how to play the piano, violin, drums, guitar, harmonica and if it's counted, the recorder. Granted my experience in some of them could equate to literally ZERO, but for others I seem to do pretty OK. Strangely, the ones I excel in the most are those which I had little or no formal training but picked up on my own (namely the guitar and drums), although to be perfectly honest my standard isn't even worth mentioning. There are so many better players everywhere and I don't think myself as anywhere near 'good'. Likewise, my 'skills' at singing is far below what would be considered good, as is my skills in computers, gaming and designing. I enjoy doing all of these, I really do. However, I just don't seem to focus much into any ONE of them and really excelling in them. Whether or not this is a good thing is debatable.

To focus on a passion means to sacrifice time and effort into doing one particular thing (something I believe the Japanese are very good at). They dedicate themselves as much as possible to that ONE thing they enjoy doing and although they may not turn out the best in it, they know that they focussed and worked hard to achieve what they could. Sadly, I can't say the same for myself. I don't see any ONE interest that I have that would have me drop most others for the sake of pursuing it. This has however, caused me to be in the above mentioned dilemma, since I fail to really excel in ANYTHING. I truly feel that one of the best ways to describe me, is mediocrity. I feel like Archie Andrews™ who's constantly being defined as the most average teenager (or in my case, person) minus his good luck and the girls. I don't think there's anything wrong with being average in many different things, but honestly, it isn't gratifying to be 'broad' in terms of knowledge and skills, instead of 'deep'.

For starters, people remember the greats of different areas, not the average joe's. It is the people who excel in a particular field that make history, that are considered successful, that achieve greatness, not the people who are average in everything. Not that recognition is everything, but honestly, noone average has ever been considered successful, and neither has anyone who moderately succeeds in a lot of different areas. I may claim that I enjoy living my life this way and that I want just an average, simple, mediocre life. However, I don't believe ANYONE truly feels that way inside. We all have dreams of success, of achieving our dreams, of becoming what we want to become, of accomplishing great feats, and this comes only through focus.

That said, it is still not clear to me what exactly I'd like to excel in. I enjoy doing a variety of things, but I really feel that this results in me being an average all rounder. That doesn't speak very highly of myself. I will however say this: interests and passions are judged based on achievements, in terms of skills, in terms of knowledge... but they are a far cry from one of the most important thing that we should focus on in life, character. Interests and passions can help to mould and shape our character, and it is very important that we do so. I'm still thinking long and hard about whether or not I ought to give up certain interests and focus on other passions, or whether things are perfectly fine, that I just want to remain mediocre. I'm also wondering that if I WERE to choose to focus only on certain passions, which would they be? I'm further contemplating what I want to achieve out of life, in so many areas, and I certainly hope God gives me the wisdom to choose the right ones. What are the right ones? Those that are according to what He wants me to do...

Posted by Gerald at 3/11/2006 12:04:00 AM