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    On the importance of early detecting your main interest and inclinations

    2nd August 2006

    This essay is primarily targeted at the teenagers up to 17 years old, but can also be helpful for up to 25 years (in the extreme cases). I did realize the things I am describing here quite late – only somewhere in the third year of my bachelor diploma studies. The following text is based on my own experience, and may not be appropriate for everyone.

    From my early childhood, I did not want to specialize. I just didn’t like the idea of doing only some limited portion of work, when there are so many interesting things to do. Becoming a specialist a priori seemed the way to boring life, because as a specialist you must do only the small subset of things related to you profession.

    Opposite to becoming specialized in some field, I imagined doing that and this for some short periods of time, and eventually becoming a ‘specialist in everything’ (which pretty much equals to a ‘specialist in nothing particular’).

    Evident drawback of dispersing efforts is that although you can do anything good enough, you can hardly achieve excellence. And without excellence you are not that needed in the market. Without staying focused on a single subject for a long time, you do not grasp all the specifics of it.
    Another drawback is the lack of motivation. You do have temporary interest, but if there are many of them, it is again ‘Yet Another’ thing you do. You can be motivated by being paid for your activities, but that is different from real, persisting from-within motivation.

    1. The earlier you become motivated, the better for you.
    2. Experience is what matters the most. If you have it – you can get the necessary certificates. Education is good, but experience outperforms it. Still: early education is easier.
    3. You should try new opportunities you find at least a little bit interesting or challenging – but do not do that at once for all opportunities you see! Get them one by one, and it’s nothing bad in stopping at one of them for better acquaintance.

    If you find yourself in a position of being unable to find what you are interested the most in, you must no relax! If you live with the understanding of not beign devoted to some idea, and do not take steps to resolve this issue, you may fall far down the social ladder. Probably the only reliable solution for such a person is taking the hardest, the most challenging opportunities you encounter. This way, want it or not :) , you will eventually specialize or get experience sufficient for good and satisfied life.

    I am still a bit undesided on what is my main interest. However, I did define the small subset of what interests me most, and I’m dispersing my efforts in this relatively small circle. The problem with my advice at the end of the previous paragraph seems to be in taking actually the most challenging opportunities – if one has a choice, he’s more likely to go the easier way.

    There is one more danger in staying ‘undefined’, even if you do follow the hardest path. You may get stuck in the ongoing activities, and then, even if you stumble upon what you’d like more to be doing, you may simply fail to step from ‘stable now’ into the ‘uncertain future’. This is especially the case as you grow older and older.

    One more, final word of warning for the ‘undefined folks’: do not just idle with no aim, earning some or even occasional income. (I’ve heard from an Australian friend of mine, that Australian young people do not continue studying at the universities after school – a lot prefer to become construction workers.) If you go the harder way, you are likely to end up with more support behind you, unlike the case when you ‘go easy’.

    Update:see this post for an easy way to find your life mission, if you’re completely lost.


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