“Pursue excellence, and success will follow, pants down!” ~ Rancho from “The 3 Idiots”
“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.” ~ Vince Lombardi: (football coach and speaker)
Enthusiasm! Passion! Dedication! Ultimately, our careers, our relationships, our lives, will likely be defined by these words. But these qualities are elusive at times and can take breaking away from expectations and paths others have set for us, or that we’ve set for ourselves by settling for something short of our dreams. In a world where we are reminded to “take it easy,” it seems that the ones who find their passion are oblivious to this advice and give 110% to every thought and every action, and they are the few who will achieve the most.
“Today my respect for that idiot shot up. Most of us went to college just for a degree. No degree meant no plum job, no pretty wife, no credit card, no social status. But none of this mattered to him, he was in college for the joy of learning, he never cared if he was first or last.” ~ Farhan Qureshi (Character in movie ‘The 3 Idiots’)
On the weekend we watched a great film – the Hindi movie “The 3 Idiots”. We loved it! The director created a story about 3 unforgettable, inspiring, tear-jerker college students, who become the best of friends. It is the first Bollywood film to get a big release inChina which eventually helped it become the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time both at home and in overseas markets.
In the movie three engineering students share a room in the residence of Imperial College of Engineering (ICE). Farhan is studying engineering (something that is his father’s dream for him) over his own wish which is to become a wildlife photographer. Raju is studying to get a degree and thus raise his family out of poverty. Rancho, however is there studying because he has a passion for machines and devices. He believes that success in studying is not achieved by solely memorizing definitions given by textbooks or professors, but by understanding and applying the concepts. Rancho believes that one should follow excellence, not success; because if excellence is followed then success will come.
Rancho’s different approach is looked down upon by the professors and especially by the dean of the college. In contrast, the dean’s favorite student believes in mindless memorizing over understanding, in order to reach his goals of corporate success and social status.
The movie is a big hit here inTaiwanwith many students and even parents that we have talked to. We found this to be very interesting and quite surprising, because of the different approach to learning that Rancho takes and that is promoted in the movie: love and passion for learning vs. just memorizing facts. The main characters are encouraged to follow their hearts and be passionate about what they choose to do with their lives. InIndiaand amongst the Chinese, this is not what parents encourage their children in, as the focus and the demands of the educational systems are still very much set on getting good grades and memorizing facts. The stakes are high when making the sort of changes this movie encourages and it will take time for this ideal to translate into a synthesis of passion and excellence.
Other cultures have moved in the direction of encouraging students and the population in general to follow their heart, their dreams and passions and this has developed a strength of creativity. It hasn’t necessarily led to passion in everyone though, as there is still a great majority who just coast along, existing day to day without real passions or goals. But, have you noticed that the real leaders live, and talk about, passion?
Here are some inspirational quotes that illustrate the importance being passionate about what you’re doing. You are naturally motivated and driven when you are enthusiastic about your work. People with such passion are even willing to go the extra mile without much prodding from others. Why? Because you’re doing what you love to do, and you’re following what your heart wants to do. It is interesting how a wind can blow out a candle, but it also fans a fire…passion can be fanned by adversity in much the same way.
“A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means.” — William Hazlitt
“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.”
— Author Unknown
“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” — Anthony J. D’Angelo
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman