Why my passion is not my profession

My name is Carnell Tate and I was born in Fort Hood, Texas in 1996. From there I moved to Huntsville, Alabama when I was two years old until I was ten when I moved to where I currently reside, Georgia. I graduated from Sequoyah High School in 2014 and I am now a pre-engineering student at Valdosta State University under the Regents Engineering Program the Georgia Institute of Technology.

I was never privileged with having a single passion; the kind of interest that guarantees a cumulative, well focused occupation of a person’s time and energy. Throughout many biographies of every era from Isaac Newton to Jimi Hendrix, you find men and women who discovered what made them “them”. Being exceptional at a young age cemented their place in history as they tested the limits of human potential. To be brilliant is to be obsessed. What else would make a Swiss patent filer named Albert work around the clock to formulate the most profound equation in physics-E=mc2 , or a college dropout named Bill start the most profitable computer company on earth-Microsoft?
The desire to be great or more precisely, the desire to become rich consumed me during my early adolescence. To me, greatness was being free from the mundane burdens of the middle class. As early as fourteen years old, I picked up books like “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” which gave informative drops of Olympic nectar from the gardens of the wealthy upon my middle class taste. My head filled with stock market strategies, tax evading secrets, and investment vehicles that add more zeros to your bank statement.
As a boy who was barely into his first semester of high school, I was fixed upon obtaining overwhelming success. So I became an entrepreneur at heart. Nothing resonated with me more than the idea of being a leader by defying the odds and risks of the marketplace to create jobs and opportunities. There was no more settling for a job or settling for an opportunity someone else created.
Although noble, my worldview was flawed, however. I didn’t realize that getting rich does not count as a passion. Steve Jobs didn’t revolutionize the cellular industry only because he wanted a truckload of cash. Likewise, Mark Zuckerburg didn’t create the largest social network ever because he knew he’d end up with a multibillion dollar company a couples years later. Success came to them because they applied the talents they had and made their visions real by doing what they loved.
Well fortunately for me talent is in abundance in almost every form. I was halfway from receiving my black belt in karate by the time I was eight, mastered music theory and piano by age twelve, read at a college reading level by middle school, I drew, painted, and could sing, and made A’s in math and science throughout the years. Yet pursuing any one of these skills as a career never appealed to me. The phrase “You can be whatever you set your mind to” was never a boring cliché in my case; I know how true it is. My problem wasn’t the “being” part; it was the “set your mind to it” part.
As a career, I have chosen to enter Georgia Institute of Technology’s Engineering program. My career choice could have easily been journalism, graphic design, cooking, philosophy, law, or any other fields related to my talents. Some of these would more than likely be more enjoyable than engineering. So why didn’t I choose my “calling”? I am in it for the money? Maybe. I don’t see it as an obsession with money. Rather, I view my talents as hobbies as opposed to trades or skills to profit off of. By pursuing a career that allows me to live comfortably, I can freely practice these hobbies as much as I want on my leisure time. My love for guitar won’t disappear if I work an engineering job; neither will my appreciation for painting or anything else. Aside from the narrative society hums to, my passions have no need to be profited from. The profit I get is from simply enjoying them.

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