All the talk today is about finding happiness and what we are passionate about. If you find your passion then theoretically you have found your purpose in life which leads to ever lasting happiness. It provides fantastic drama but it also leads to some heavy conversations and some very high expectations which sets the stage for disappointment.
The other day, I asked myself, “Is there a simpler way to look at this conversation?” In college, I started out majoring in physics and was so excited to study everything from astronomy to quantum mechanics but when I began studying astronomical spectroscopy, my heart sunk. I wanted to see the rings of Saturn but all we studied was the chemical composition of Saturn’s atmosphere. The intellectual challenge felt wonderful but I realized I had fallen in love with the pictures telescopes provided and the philosophical beauty of nature, not the mathematical equations. Also, it took me twice as long to solve the equations compared to everyone else and if I couldn’t keep up in class, how was I going to keep up in the real world and help people.
So I switched majors and studied behavioral science. If I was going to be a good officer, I needed good people skills. From there I studied anthropology and then character education helping students from across the globe figure out how to take ideas and concepts presented by leading business, educational, and military leaders and hopefully make the world a better place. I even thought about becoming a military chaplain because I wanted to have a purpose. No matter what I studied, if I like I could not use what I learned to help someone or a group of people, I was a failure.
Everyone learns something, shares the new information, and tries to help others. Even if the intentions are malignant everyone does this. Jim Jones and Adolf Hitler weren’t exactly the best men but they learned something, shared it with the world, and hoped it would help make the world a better place.
Every time I chose to study something new, all I wanted to do was help someone and share it with as many people as possible. Is that too naive?
What do you do when you learn something new?