Right outside my office building, there is this large hoarding to which my eyes stray every morning on my way to work. It says, “I choose to take my own path” (DELL). Forget the rest of the advertisement (you can check out what it means at http://takeyourownpath.com/).
The concept of Taking one’s own path makes me quite uneasy. How many of us have been (or will be) bold enough to drop everything and follow our dreams? To have the courage to take a chance and see if we are successful in what we love to do? What pulls us back from pouncing on our aspirations is the fear that we may be wrong, our dreams may not be what they seem, and we may end up adrift like a raft without a rope to pull it in to the mainland, which may capsize when the water current is too high. If such a situation arises, we are afraid we may not survive the thought that it was of our own doing.
My Father loves photography and used to spend all his spare time indulging in the different aspects of the art. But he too, considered it as a hobby, never attempted (as far as I know) to make it his career. Photography was confined to his spare time when all his responsibilities towards work, family, friends and others were attended to.
(The uncaring daughter that I am, I never knew if my Mother harboured any such dreams during the days of her career! She is addicted to books and would put her hand on any that comes her way, maybe she would have made a good writer, had she given a try!)
I know many others who have hobbies they can make their careers with, but are afraid to take the leap and continue to cling to their unsatisfactory jobs. While it does have a certain advantage when your hobby is not bound to a deadline and you can be as unhappy at work as you please – “it is only a job” – it sure takes away the pleasure of “loving one’s job”.
I stand at a juncture where I can now take a diversion from the straight road ahead of me, try to cut across the bushes, but at the risk of finding myself in the middle of nowhere, and regretting that decision for life. On the other hand, I may end up finding a destination beyond my wildest imaginations, that would make me immensely proud to have been brave enough to take that step forward. In other words, throw software development to the wind and try my hand at what I love doing.
Comments? Share your success stories. Motivate me!