Over the weekend, I was one of the presenters at the First Annual Act: Humanitarian Leaders of Tomorrow Conference sponsored by A Better World Canada in partnership with the Centre for Peace and Justice here in Central Alberta.
I am very impressed with the caliber of the young people that participated. Some of them have been part of successful fundraising campaigns of their schools raising monies for humanitarian projects of A Better World in Africa and other places in need. Some are into local volunteering and very aware and interested in community development, rehabilitation, health, education, to name a few. And some are eager to learn the ropes and get into small projects that they can quickly implement. Some are still figuring out who they are, what their interests are and how they can make a difference.
In my presentation, I posited that this is the time of their lives to figure out first and foremost, who they really are!
Why is passion overrated?
When I was that age and people say, follow your passion. It wasn’t helpful. I didn’t have a clue as to what I want to do and what to be (when I grow up) so to speak? There are many options and ideas presented. There are also many voices and unsolicited advice telling me what to do.
While some of my high school friends have serious inclinations of being a doctor, a nurse, a journalist, a professor, an engineer, I don’t have those strong interests. I figured out later on that I was just being normal. There wasn’t anything wrong with that. I was still searching.
Based on statistics, the average person would change careers 7x in a lifetime! While there is a lot to learn in international/community development/humanitarianism in terms of skills, career paths, and overall landscape, they can definitely learn all of that as they move along the process.
The Who is the bedrock of everything
To discover who you are as a person – your strengths, your weaknesses, your story, your unique abilities and inherent talents, and your personality/disposition is important to begin to understand what you are capable (potentials) of doing --as a vocation, career, occupation. What makes you joyful, feeling alive, being happy and contented? What makes you angry? What makes you feel fulfilled?
The school, teachers, institutions, projects, and situations can provide information clues as to who you are, the unraveling part is your doing. Nobody will do that for you.
To be continued........
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