Rati Agarwal

What do you do when you want to do everything?

By | Rati Agarwal | Process Leader | Diligence Champion | Education Evangelist | Solopreneur | Speaker | Trainer | Author

From the day we start kindergarten, it seems, we’re told to pick a niche or a specialty. “Do you want to be an engineer, or a doctor?” But that’s increasingly not how we work.

In a world of increasing specialization and the division of labor, I’m a scary thing: a generalist.

I did engineering in Computer Science, but my professional journey is no way related to it. I entered Education industry as a Professor, then shifted to e Learning company and now I am purely a content person. One thing that remained constant was I was always appreciated in all my roles. Should I call myself an expert??

I don’t have a particular interest but somehow every role kept me around a group of people who would want to hear me out.. A #speaker then..with sensible words.. A #wordweaver then.. with statistics and facts A factual person.. n the list goes on and on..

Sometimes I feel like a collection of loose ends I can’t tie up. My personal and professional interests don’t really relate to my degree. I love writing, dancing, graphology and photography…

It’s not easy to be a generalist

I have mixed feelings about not choosing a specialization. Society leads us to believe that we must find and follow our passions in life. But it’s not always that easy. Passion is a feeling that many people misunderstand. And this confusion leads them to conclude that they have no passion for anything.

If this sounds like you, here are some things you ought to keep in mind.

1. Understand what passion feels like to you.

Perhaps the biggest problem with the culture of “living your passion” is that passion feels different for different people. The traditional vision of passion is of a person who wakes up in the morning with a spring in their step, chomping at the bit, and raring to go.

There are plenty of people who feel and show their passion in a different way.

Since you are reading this article, you’re probably one of them.

You might have an underlying enjoyment of something without necessarily feeling compelled to do it every waking hour.

2. Don’t limit what passion means to you.

Once again, the common belief is that a passion is something big and bold. You don’t need to impress others with your passions. They are yours, after all. If you get some enjoyment or meaning from them, that is what matters most.

3. You won’t always feel willing or able to pursue a passion.

Yet another myth that people believe about passions is that you must always be ready to follow them. That if you are really passionate about something, you won’t let things get in your way and you won’t compromise.

Don’t be so hasty!

Just like everything else, if you look for perfection in a passion, you will never find it.

4. Don’t expect “results” from your passion.

If you think you have no passion for something because you aren’t achieving certain things in it, think again. There is no need to put pressure on your enjoyment of a passion by insisting that, if it really is a passion, you’d do X, Y, or Z.

Just enjoy the process of doing it, whatever that may be. Remember the dancer who dances purely for enjoyment, regardless of how well they could.

5. You can work passions around constraints of circumstance.

Do you struggle to feel passionate about something because you don’t have the time or resources to fully engage in it?

If you think you might have a passion for teaching, but you don’t feel able to switch to a teaching career right now, you can still share your wisdom and knowledge with others through a blog, videos, podcast, or by doing talks to the public.

In other words, don’t kid yourself into thinking you aren’t passionate about something just because you can’t change your entire life circumstances to accommodate it. Find ways of bringing it into your life without making big changes.

6. Your career can’t always align with your passions.

Many people think that when you have a real passion for something, you should try to find a way to turn that thing into a way to make a living.

But here’s the truth: it’s not very common for a passion to fit nicely into a career or business.

7. Don’t worry about fitting passion into your education.

When you’re young and looking at course options for college or university, the advice you might hear is to choose something you are passionate about. and you felt blank..

Remember that you are not alone in this.

It’s rare for someone to have their whole life mapped out at such a young age.

8. You might have lots of little passions instead of one big one.

Some people have lots of interests and hobbies and yet still see themselves as having no real passion for anything in particular.

The phrase.. Jack of all, king of none…

You might say that your passion is actually in diversity. You enjoy sampling as many different things as you can instead of focusing on just one.

Or perhaps you simply like the challenge of trying new things. That might be your passion.

9. Consider whether you might be depressed.

If none of the above makes any sense to you, it’s time to consider the possibility that you might be depressed.

If you think there is the slightest chance you might be depressed, it’s time to speak to someone – a doctor, support worker, or even a close friend or family member. (I am no expert.. just a suggestion)

If you have no passion for anything, your unrelated interests open your mind to innovative ideas…

Call yourself “An #Expert #Generalist”….


Rati Agarwal

Originally first published by Rati Agarwal in LinkedIn




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