Many college students begin their academic journeys with the scarlet letter “U” of the undecided major metaphorically branded across their chests. Although parents, educators, and their more self-assured peers often frown upon this choice, the truth is that getting college right the first time around is more important than most people might assume. In fact, some students make the decision to go back to school either at their alma mater or through online classes primarily because they didn’t follow their true passion in college the first time. Why is following your passion so important? Consider the following reasons.
1. You’re More Productive When You’re Doing What You Love
Ever notice how easy it is to sacrifice time and energy to do what you love, but it takes hours of self-discipline and motivation to try to accomplish something you hate, but have to do? This phenomenon is not just based on conjecture, but actually has a great deal of scientific evidence to back it up. After endless research on the subject, New York University adjunct assistant professor of psychology Scott Barry Kaufman claims that there is an undeniable link between passionate staff members and productivity levels in the workplace. He emphasizes desire as the drive that increases productivity. When you have passionate employees, you, in turn, have workers who will show up on time, and go above and beyond to get the job done.
2. You Feel More Accomplished in Your Life
Life truly is too short to spend it doing anything less than what you love. Financial security and a prestigious professional reputation are both valuable things, but they don’t even come close to the value of ending each day feeling truly fulfilled in your life. When you follow your passion both in college and in your career, you tend to enjoy your life much more than you would if you spent it working toward materialistic goals like money and power. These concepts are fleeting, but the rewarding experience of doing what you love stays with you throughout your life.
3. You Perform Better at Your Tasks
Perhaps related to the fact that following your passion generates productivity, people also tend to perform better than average when they are completing a task that they love. Attesting to this fact is an especially memorable quote spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which reads, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” This quote not only indicates that following your calling leads to better performance, but also that each profession has value in the world, whether you’re a world-famous artist or just a simple street sweeper.
Some people may have you believe that following your passion in life is impractical if it doesn’t lead to the generation of material wealth and professional establishment in society. In some instances, it may very well be true that your passion doesn’t align with the values of the world. However, your own priorities should be organized according to what makes you happy and personally fulfilled first and foremost, so you can spend your days working toward professional goals that will make you feel like the richest man or woman in the world.