Growing up, every time I’d be at a buffet, my parents would tell me to avoid fillers and get only foods with the biggest bang for buck.
Sound familiar? We’re all told something similar one point or another as kids.
It makes sense. In a society where success of what we do is determined by its monetary value, it’s normal to make decisions that reflect that.
What we don’t realize is that by always choosing only the things that give us the best value, we’re losing ourselves in the process. We become caught in a cycle, day after day, week after week, working towards financial success without ever giving ourselves a chance to pursue our dreams. We lose sight of our passions, lose sight of the people we care about and lose sight of our dreams. We stop following our passion; we blame it on old age, missed opportunities and never-ending responsibilities when the reason all along is that we’ve been too preoccupied with how much money we’ll make, or how much money we can make.
We’ve let monetary success dictate our lives. Even when meeting new people, we’re more easily impressed by doctors, lawyers or successful entrepreneurs not because of the impact they’ve brought to society, but because of the symbolic ties their position has with monetary success.
Food choices at a buffet might seem innocent enough, but the impact is a lot deeper than imagined. If as kids, we’re already discouraged from choosing what we want to eat at a buffet because it doesn’t gives us the greatest value in return, how are we to grow up knowing we can follow our dreams? How are we to know that we can follow our passions?
Follow your own passion — not your parents, not your teachers — yours.
— Robert Ballard