I thought I was going to give a full blown overview on my experience at the NSBE National Convention, but I think I’m just going to reflect on one of the things that was said at the Golden Torch Awards. I’m paraphrasing, I think, because my memory is fleeting at the moment. But, one of the awards recipients said to do [what you’re doing] for passion, not for position. She was of course referencing her NSBE executive board position, but it really hit me because it meant so more more when I heard it.
A lot of people tend to get into fields and fight for positions for money or attention/recognition/bragging rights. For some people, this is motivation enough to succeed and effectively do their jobs. But, what about everyone else?
I can only speak subjectively, so I will talk about my personal experience. When I am passionate about something, everything follows naturally. Take my passion for academic diversity initiatives, for example. Because I care so deeply about making a change, I’ve associated myself with NSBE (providing job opportunities and networking for me), received an assistantship at Pitt, started writing my first successful blog, got the opportunity to travel, and in an indirect way, was prepared for internship interviews (I was able to translate my passion into work ethic and communication skills). All of these opportunities sprouted from decisions I made based on passion; but, they provided me so much more beyond what I love because others recognized that enthusiasm and all of the skills and talents that came along with it. From my experience, if I’m passionate about what I’m doing, I am more willing to go above and beyond, which in turn opens doors and propels me to greater opportunities. Only then will financial stability, titles, and recognition reveal themselves to me.
Because I can’t give you more than a personal point of view, I’ll stop here, hope I sparked something in you, and give you these following quotes, which I believe sum up the point I was trying to get across:
Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you. -Oprah Winfrey
It’s hard to tell with these Internet startups if they’re really interested in building companies or if they’re just interested in the money. I can tell you, though: If they don’t really want to build a company, they won’t luck into it. That’s because it’s so hard that if you don’t have a passion, you’ll give up. – Steve Jobs