Transforming Passion into Profession


If you have read any of my blog postings before, I mention how pursuing one’s passions are mostly a good thing. Although passions endure with a healthy dose of sacrifice in pursuit of their ultimate end.

One of my passions has been writing to you about how I think lifelong learning and continuing education is not just a luxury but an essential component to growth regardless of age or year in school.

But I realize that my passion is limited and must continue to grow as well. It must change from just being convenient expressions into a disciplined position coupled with dedication. In other words, my passions must be taken seriously. They must transform into an enduring profession.

What do I mean? Take for example a professional singer. What is the difference between a professional singer and one who sings occasionally at parties and get-togethers? Both are likely to receive applause from their audiences, but an obvious difference would be that the professional receives money, while the occasional singer may not. But this kind of answer is too simple and short-sighted. Since both singers are passionate about singing, it would be very likely that in most cases both would sing for free.

What I think the larger difference is that the professional singer will sing even when she doesn’t feel like it. She’ll sing when she has a sore throat, haven’t slept, or experience life changes, such as death of a love one or fight with a close friend. The occasional singer would find these changes as legitimate reasons for not entertaining this time; the professional singer continues on.

This must be the same case concerning my passions for lifelong learning and education. Whatever form I may use to express them, either writing books, articles, or still blog postings; conducting speeches, workshops, or sessions, all must be carried out with an unwavering focus. Because I realize something else about the professional singer: She sings as a treat for us, but therapy for herself. Singing can make all that befalls her seem bearable, can make her gray day become a yellow one, and her saddened heart a source of energy underneath her songs.

Perhaps the real reason why I give the analogy of learning to singing, is because I can’t sing though I wish I could. Yet more important, the analogy provides me a score to keep writing, keep learning and of course, continue on.

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One response to “Transforming Passion into Profession

  1. As for professional versus amateur approaches to one’s passion, I see it as capitalizing on and maximizing one’s strengths. In the literature on using the theory of multiple intelligences in the classroom, instructors have indicated that when students are given options, they migrate to what comes naturally to them – and feel as though they are taking the “easy route.” Why should we drag ourselves to unfulfilling jobs and limit our time spent on our passions to a few hours a week? A person who is lucky enough to find employment within an area of passion should be encouraged to pursue that option.

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