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What are you trying to be?
Remember when you were a child and people would ask what you want to be when you grow up? Now that you are grown up, do you know what you want to be yet? Are you excited about what you do? How do you find your mission in life? Have you ever wondered why musicians spend so much time perfecting their craft when the odds are heavily stacked against them ‘making it’?
Last semester, I took online courses in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning through Stanford University. It was an amazing experience. Their approach to online learning is cutting edge, and I really think it is the way of the future. When I told people about taking the courses a common response was, “What are you trying to be?”
That’s a very understandable question, but it made me chuckle inside. Society kind of plants that logic in our head as children. “You plan to be something, and if things go right, that’s what you BECOME.” That kind of has the mission backwards. You don't do something to become that, you do something because that's what you are.
When some people asked “what are you trying to be?”, it's because most people take courses (which isn't their thing) to get the documentation necessary to get a start in an occupation they wish to have. With me it’s different. I put in the time and energy required for two difficult college classes, despite the fact that at the end I would only receive certificates of achievement and the classes are not directly connected with my career.
Why did I take these classes? Why did I spend all that time watching lectures, taking notes, quizzes, exams? The answer is simple: I didn’t have a choice. I have a passion for learning and a passion for figuring things out. I can’t stop learning and my curiosity is almost insatiable. I’m like an explorer of knowledge. I learn not to ‘be something’, but instead because that’s who I am. Many have heard the phrase, ‘attraction isn’t a choice’. Similarly, the passion for your mission isn’t a choice.
I’ve been in the science field for a long time. I found my own special niche in the field that gives new problems to solve all the time and the opportunity to learn new things. It's great for me, while others would be like "Problems? Why would I want all those problems?" But with me, it's like "Yes!" because that's who I am.
Your mission doesn't even have to be your career. Many men use their career to support their mission.
How about you? What drives you? Where does your passion come from? Feel free to discuss this in the comments below.
If you want great advice on pursuing your mission, I highly recommend the teleseminars, at http://www.menspsychology.com/university.