After seeing the movie Dangal, it came to my mind that what the father did to his daughters can be called the antithesis of modern parenthood. The strict regimentation, mental cruelty and physical toughness they endured lead them to find their glory. As a parent I would not follow this method with my children. It led me to introspect on the cliché “chase your passion”. Does passion drive mastery or mastery drive passion?
At least in the movie it came out clearly that mastery of skill dominated till the girls came to realise their passion. In this modern entrepreneurial world, this is different. We tap the passion quotient and then look at the mastery of that passion.
Is Choice Good for Passion?
I recently had a discussion around choices. In the old days, there was no choice, we will gain mastery first and then maybe we find our passion. In our days, we were expected to get good marks in 10th, good marks in PCM, first class / Distinction in Engineering, Campus Placements (or not), First Job, Confirmation, Promotion and then the cycle goes on. We are constantly pushing ourselves to follow a specific success template. Will this template work for our children?
Evan Kruschak says “Choice is a tragedy.” In today’s world, we have umpteen choices and so making a choice is arbitrary and scary. What is passion? It is a strong and barely controllable “emotion”. However, if you look at this from another angle, we can say that both mastery over a skill and being passionate about the challenge will result in a state of “Flow” (Like in Dangal Movie). If you observe below, it takes many stages of development to reach FLOW (Highest Challenge and Highest Skill)
So, does “Follow your passion” make sense?
Matching your job to a pre-existing passion does not matter, Evan Kruschak (#Nerdwriter) reveals. Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.
We are now living in an entrepreneurial generation. “Follow your passion, chase your heart” is the new mantra. Now for a moment I was wondering, do I tell my daughter to follow her passion, chase her heart and invest her time in finding those flow triggers. Some of the questions I face is “How do you identify your passion?” “How do you know if it is the right struggle?”
My daughter tried Badminton, Guitar and Tennis. She could not continue. However, when I look back, she is passionate about Dance (literally her hands and eyes talk to us all time), Basket Ball (she will crucify us if we ask her to give it a miss for another programme). In both we did not notice any passion when she was 6yrs, we had enrolled her to get engaged. Over a longer period (7 yrs.) she is on the path to mastery. In my view, at least Badminton / Guitar / Tennis were Pass-(ing-emot) ion. She wanted to try what her peers were doing. However, Dance and Basketball is in her muscles now (Knowledge is only a rumour until it lives in the muscle)
In short, you must be open to trying different avenues. You will go through trauma, suffering and doubt. If you sustain, you will retain passion and you will be on your way to mastery.
So instead of chasing passion, chase mastery.