According to the World Health Organization, the average life expectancy at birth was 67.88 years in 2010. That is, 297,314 days, 7, 135, 546 hours and 428, 132, 736 minutes. To think that it is numerically possible to calculate the average amount of time we have on this planet reassures us of our own mortality. So why is it then, that we spend more time trying to be someone the world wants us to be instead of the person we want to be?
It is a known fact that this is a dog eat dog world. What youths of today often forget, however, is that there is more to life than having a career and family. What separates us from those who are highly successful? What is it that they have that we don’t? Passion.
Passion allows you to be more than you think you can. It drives you to push limits (limits which you often create for yourself) and it gives you the opportunity to inspire. Oftentimes successful people are just like us. They are fathers/mothers, sisters/brothers and friends. In addition to these roles, however, they are recognized for being extraordinary. What keeps these people going is their passion for change. Be it Marie Curie in Science, Dr. Fiona Wood in Medicine or Malala Youssef in Humanitarianism- they all have elements of curiosity and boldness. These two elements are often driven by passion.
In today’s globalized world, we often find ourselves doing mundane things that we may either have to do (doing the groceries, laundry etc.), or things we don’t like to do, without actually experiencing it. When was the last time you smiled at a complete stranger? When was the last time you had a conversation with someone in the train instead of listening to your IPod or texting on your phone? I often reflect back upon David Wallace’s commencement speech at Kenyon College in 2006 titled ‘This is Water’. He said, “The really important kind of freedom involved attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom.’
Be passionate about something. Anything. And see how much happier you will be.