Rethinking Passion

Rethinking Passion: Lessons from ‘Maska’ and Beyond

Lately, social media has been awash with debates over the value of pursuing one’s passion. Critics argue that young people should be pragmatic, focusing on careers that ensure financial stability rather than chasing potentially unprofitable dreams. But does this mean we should dismiss the concept of passion altogether?

Take the 2020 movie “Maska” as a case in point. The protagonist, the son of a famous Parsi cafe owner in Mumbai, is expected to continue the family tradition by running the beloved Rustom Cafe. However, a fashion show victory ignites a new dream: becoming an actor. He invests time and effort into acting classes, chasing what he believes is his passion.

This storyline raises an important question: what is true passion? Many young people declare, “I have always wanted to be a lawyer/doctor/actor…” But as the movie progresses, the protagonist realizes he is not happy with acting, despite his initial enthusiasm. Instead, he finds joy in baking buns at the family cafe, a task at which he excels and finds true contentment.

Defining Passion: Action Over Wishful Thinking
The confusion stems from misunderstanding what passion truly means. Passion is not mere wishful thinking. It is an action-driven concept. Passion involves engaging in an activity to the extent that one loses track of time and achieves high-quality results. It’s about doing something so engrossing that everything else fades away.

Practical Implications
For parents and youth, understanding passion as an action rather than a thought is crucial. When a student claims, “______ is my passion,” it’s essential to probe deeper. Are they actively engaged in this activity, or is it just a dream? Without practical experience, jumping into a field can be unrealistic and unwise.

True passion often borders on a kind of “craziness”—an intense focus that makes one lose track of time, like an artist or a photographer, immersed in painting or photography for hours without realizing the passage of time. This level of engagement often leads to exceptional work, as dedication and immersion naturally enhance the quality of the output.

Passion vs. Wishful Thinking
To differentiate between genuine passion and wishful thinking, we must emphasize action. A true passion is something you actively pursue and lose yourself in. It’s not just a daydream but a consistent effort that brings you joy and fulfillment. This distinction is crucial for making informed career decisions.

A Balanced Approach
While it’s essential to follow one’s passion, it’s equally important to be practical. Passion should be combined with a realistic assessment of skills, opportunities, and market demand. Pursuing passion with a pragmatic approach can lead to a fulfilling and sustainable career and most importantly a happy life.

Ultimately, understanding and nurturing true passion requires recognizing it as an action-oriented pursuit. Encourage young people to explore their interests actively and gain practical experience. This approach ensures they find not only what they love but also what they are good at and can sustain in the long run.

As Steve Jobs famously said, “If you want to do something great, do what you love, and love what you do.” True passion lies at the intersection of enjoyment, skill, and sustained effort, where dreams are actively pursued and realized through dedicated action.

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