The importance of passion to our careers
Here’s a letter that a doctor wrote to lawmakers in Washington DC:
In the letter, he discusses the $230,000 debt he went into to become a doctor. He also discusses how doctors work over thirty hours straight and have to constantly be available to patients, even at home.
But what struck me most about the letter wasn’t the staggering debt or the massive time commitment it takes to be a doctor; what struck me was his unwavering dedication to his profession:
I want to make it clear that this letter is not just another story about the difficulties of becoming a doctor and being successful in medicine. I do not want you to think I am complaining about how hard my life is and used to be. In fact, I love my job and there is no other field I would ever imagine myself doing.
There’s a perception of doctors as being wealthy and prestigious, and I’m sure some students choose to go into medicine because of that reputation rather than because it’s what they want to be doing.
But the writer of this letter was passionate about his job and was willing to make enormous sacrifices — in time as well as money — to achieve his dream, and that, for me, was truly inspirational.
While wealth and prestige might factor into our career decisions, it’s passion that makes us feel pride in our work when we’re underpaid and unknown. And it’s passion that gets us through those tough times because, even with all the hardships, there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing.