It is not enough to know what we don’t want. We often choose something only because we don’t want something else. This happens in politics all the time, when people only vote for one party or candidate, because they dislike the alternative. Far from solving any problems, this attitude merely delays the disappointment.

Finding out what we really want is therefore essential.

Are we truly passionate about what we really want and believe?

Are our beliefs really our beliefs?

How important are our beliefs to us?

How vital are our beliefs for us? Would we die for them?

What is a life? What is the value of a life?

What is the difference between merely existing and living?

Is life worth dying for?

Can we change our beliefs? Our life?

Do we have the courage to change our attitude and break with our past?

Do we have the courage to unlearn?

Do we have the will to learn again?

How flexible are we?

Are we passionate about our goals and priorities, our former field of study, our lead models, our hobbies, our environment? Did we choose wisely, were they our decisions?

People are not born with a passion, but many will fail to grow one which is really their own. It’s also worth noting that just because we have been doing something for ages, doesn’t mean that we’re passionate about it. True passion requires that we have found our true selves. Passion leads to active engagement, taking a personal interest and assuming responsibility. Doing is an integral part of the satisfaction.

“The value of the achievement lies in the achieving.”
(Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist)

This requires that society de-stigmatizes certain jobs and certain ways of life.

But we are society, are we not?

For example, as a house owner, I can assure you that I would pick a great plumber over a mediocre lawyer anytime.

Without passion, the only satisfaction comes – if at all – with the remuneration. And I know quite a few people, who deep down feel miserable despite fancy job titles and big paychecks.

What’s the difference between a fancy title and an iron chain anyway, as both are quite effective in ensuring that we don’t “leave” or change? The price?

Always be hungry – for more – was some early professional advice that I got. Well, this might work, but only if we really like what’s on the plate.

Kicking the habit and going new ways is not possible without taking risks and assuming personal responsibility. We must dare to reject compromises and be courageous.

Don’t try to play it safe all the time.

“Talent and genius operate outside the rules.”
(Carl von Clausewitz, general and military theorist)

For example – a small example that is – many years ago, I learned to ride a motorcycle by riding around a ping pong table at 2 o’clock in the morning. This would not have been possible without the support of a very good friend at the time, who was also courageous enough to lend me his bike. By the way, it was a Honda CB 750 Four and I’m proud to say that I only broke one mirror.

It is never too late to be courageous. Have the guts to try something new and forget something old. We can’t buy back time, but we can optimize the time left.

Let’s dare to deviate from the norm, as trying to be everybody’s darling means ending up being nobody’s. Let’s dare to be different, think differently and prioritize individually.

Let’s dare to be passionate and go our own way.

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
(Frank Zappy, musician)

As I’ve mentioned before, we are definitely not on the safe side sticking to the norm by following trends or other people. For one, it is useful to remember that nothing trends forever. After all, if it did, it wouldn’t be a trend. Not so good for economies of scale, but that is not our problem. And then, don’t forget all those charismatic people, who have led their followers into the abyss. “Actively supporting”, because we are convinced and “passively following”, because we’ve always done that, are definitely not the same thing.

Yes, swarm intelligence does exist and it works, but so does swarm stupidity.

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