Didn’t people say to follow your passion? Do what you love!
But how do you do that? When do I know I love something and should pursue that? Famous and successful people such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Elon Musk, Platon, Oprah, etc. fulfilled their potential by following their passion/interest/whatever you call it and honing their specialized strengths. Didn’t they?
This semester I found my passion. Not that awkward passion where it’s a means to an end, where it is the thing I have to do in order to be successful, famous, or do something better, etc. But, a passion where even if hell breaks lose, that passion can still get me out of bed. Sounds almost like a cliche commercial? Yeah, I also found it hard to believe I found my passion.
How did I do it?
many factors : 1) Divine fate that gave me my teachers this semester and my mom
Because everyone will experience laziness in some point in life (unless you have special powers to not be lazy, then please share with me), this post will be dedicated to “laziness”. How I find my passion without overcoming laziness? Doesn’t it sounds like the wackiest idea? Thus, this post is actually about recognizing and embracing laziness.
Disclaimer: if you think laziness should be fought and conquered, this post might be a nice twist to think about. It is going to get real as it is.
Merriam-webster called it an “disinclination to activity or exertion : not energetic or vigorous”
google said it is “the quality of being unwilling to work or use energy; idleness.”
people around me told me to stop being lazy
resist that laziness
Could laziness actually be a sign that whatever I am supposed to do might not be the right thing for me?
but no, you are lazy because you are not studying! if you don’t study, you will never get far in life!
Laziness: Scars, Blood and Tears
Throughout my academic years, there were times I did not want to do my homework, I did not want to go to class and I did not want to do anything. These went on for hours or sometimes weeks. My younger sisters can still remembered how much I tried to avoid doing my homework – so much that I hid under the table to watch Youtube, ignoring all reality. A pathetic sight for the High School senior and as the oldest sister. The constant procrastination and the lack of motivation was an uphill battle. I fought and failed, sometimes overcoming it. But every time with scars, blood and tears.
Up until this Spring semester at Harvard did I finally realize that maybe, laziness was a sign my heart, brain and the whole body are telling me something – something crucial – something important about myself. Maybe, laziness is the calling that I am not fulfilling the potential in me, that I am not doing what I was meant to do in life.
How did I know?
This semester, there were a dramatic decline of occasions where I was beating myself up to go to class or complete my assignment. I only cried once and that was because I was so ill. But compared to last semester at Harvard and at University of Illinois, I was not depressed. Learning feel so freeing. It is a joy to learn. I got a lot of assignments and papers to finish but every moment of learning was so meaningful. Moreover, I finished my papers days ahead of the deadline!! To actually truly love what I’m learning, without psychologically forcing myself to do so. Even with job rejections and a potential B-/C grade for my class at Harvard, I really enjoy learning. Most importantly, I came to find out how much I want to teach and to learn together. I found my passion and I did not have to overcome the laziness.
If my laziness has a face
These learnings would not have dawned to me without my professors, Tina Blythe and David Rose, as well as my classmates for those classes. Without the struggles in my academic career from elementary till my masters’ studies, these reflections. would also be impossible. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not a pure sciences or research hater. I’m reading books about the life of tree and medicine and I like conducting experiments (eg. my Chinese medicine experiments).
But as you might see in my blog, my way of understanding and expressing my learning in pure science and even writing research paper is different from the conventional way. Some amazing people are adept in the conventional way and that’s great! But, for me, I could not do it and I became lazy. With fate, friends and family, these faces of laziness were signals that I listened to and learned that I might not meant to go into the conventional research. At least for now and not PhD for the near future.
Laziness and passion
My passion lies in teaching. I want to give spaces for students who similar to me or are being called lazy. At least, to me, their ‘laziness’ are the ways that I can help them to find out about their interests and passions. Hopefully, help them to where they truly want to be.
That is to me what teaching is.
and where my passion/interest lies. or whatever you call it.
All and all
When you become lazy, listen to what it is telling you. Maybe you need a rest. Maybe you are meant for something greater.
whatever it is, you might not have to overcome the laziness.
Simply listen to it.
To whatever that laziness whisper to you, I believe no interest is waste of time or else, Steve Jobs wouldn’t have said that calligraphy inspired him with iconic fonts of Apple.
To me in the future
when you are lazy, don’t jump into quick conclusions that laziness is an evil thing to be overcome. Maybe, your intuition and soul is telling you something important. Listen and you might discover something invaluable.
Passion is a fluid thing. It transforms and change so don’t beat yourself up, if somewhere in your journey, life takes you to a new path.
Featured illustration by cosmosnail