Pablo's blog

A bit of this, a bit of that and a lot about computers

A message to kids: what is your passion?

This message actually applies to everybody but I think it’s obvious how it applies to adults. What most kids don’t realize is that it applies to them too.

If I ask you “What is your passion?” and you don’t give me a straight, simple and quick answer, you are in trouble.

My passion is programming. When I start programming the world around me fades away; I forget about time, I forget about people, I forget about sleeping. I don’t even feel sleepy. If I spend two days without programming I start to feel uneasy. Five days and I’m going crazy; I start writing algorithms in napkins. I think that’s how a passion feels like.

I believe it doesn’t matter what your passion is as long as you have one. I’m fortunate that my passion is an extremely profitable one. Work and play are the same for me. Even if you think your passion is not on that category, you may be able to force it into it. And enjoying one’s job is the best thing that could happen to anyone.

I think most adults recognize this. I would hope so. Most kids don’t even know what I’m talking about. They don’t know the feeling or that the feeling even exists. I was, again, very fortunate of finding my passion when I was 7 years old.

It’s very important to find your passion as soon as possible, so you can align your life to it. I loved to program and now I work as a programmer. I didn’t wait until the second year of Computer Science to find out. It would have been way too late then.

If you think your passion might be programming? Pick a book, start writing code. You think it’s helping animals? What animals have you helped so far? Go out, find an animal, and help it; go to a shelter and feed an injured dog at least. You think it’s money? You better had a spreadsheet with your income and expenses, even if your income is your weekly allowance.

Let’s see a couple of activities which seem hard to turn into a passion for a kid.

Medicine? Go and do a course in first aid, it doesn’t matter how old you are, they’ll probably let you do it. Read about about anatomy or any other aspect of medicine. You can start at the Wikipedia and read for as long as you want. If you get bored in 10 minutes, that’s probably not your passion. Get a microscope and play with it. There are experiments to extract DNA from some plants, do them. There are experiments to figure out the type of blood of a person, do them.

Watch Dr House, ER (does it still exist?), Grey’s Anatomy and whenever there’s an illness in them do your own research. Start a blog and for every episode explain how wrong they are. Watch documentaries about real emergencies, even about forensics and corroborate what they say, blog about it.

Talk to a medic, ask them how it is like to be a medic. Ask them what was the most interesting case they’ve had. Probably they’ll have some reserve in talking about them, but if you are interested, they’ll find something to tell you. People love talking about themselves.

And then find out the thousand experiments to do and things to learn about medicine that I don’t know about because it’s not my passion. I already gave you a lot of ideas for not knowing anything about the field, if it’s your passion you’ll have many more.

Law? Watch all the law-related TV shows, there are a lot. Are they right or wrong? Same as for medicine, go and do your own research, blog about it. If you are old enough, try to get a job as a clerk, or errand-boy in a law firm. You’ll learn how that world works.  Get yourself real cases to read an analyze. Are public trials conducted where you live? Can you get into one? Do it. Can you go to congress sessions? Do it.

Help someone with a contract. Contracts move around all the time. Work contracts, leasing contracts. Most people, me included, glance over them and sign them. Help someone understand a contract, by understanding it yourself first. I don’t have the time or the money to get a lawyer to review everything I sign, but if you were my neighbor and want to help me for free, sure! Go ahead! Do know about any potential liability problem, though.

Find a lawyer and ask them about their job. Ask them about cases. And then learn about the thousands of things you can do in relation to law without being a lawyer that I don’t know about because it’s not my passion.

You don’t have to wait until your are 17 or 18 to start doing all that. You can start today no matter what your age is.

Leave a comment: What is your passion and what are you doing about it?

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2 thoughts on “A message to kids: what is your passion?

  1. Beautiful, heart-felt piece, Pablo.

  2. Thank you Paul.

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