As a family member goes off to college this fall, many well-meaning folks and myself gave her the advice – “do what makes you happy”. Because that’s what makes you successful right?
In this case, what makes her happy is to become a microbiology major and someday become a doctor while doing a music minor, which seems a solid and safe start.
But what if ,what makes you happy is something that is not going to set you up well in life?
If what makes you truly happy is playing video games all day or marathon watching movies , then study IT or artificial intelligence so you know how video games work or journalism , so you can become a movie critic.
It’s great to dream and achieve impossible futures. President of the United States, Nobel prize winner , become an actor or singer, be a chef on TV or become a world-famous harpist.
In life, this does not happen to every person and the reality becomes, you are finding it hard to make ends meet , you end up depending on your family , have low self-esteem, end up depressed and not happy doing what you once thought was your passion.
Balance and thought , cautiously adventurous and planning your future with foresight is the key to success. Always having a solid academic background while nurturing your passions on the side is what I think will be the right balance.
Someday in your future those two worlds will collide beautifully to make you fulfilled in life and be self-sufficient and financially stable and independent. You become a whole person that is easily marketable to the workforce.
If you do go into a field, that is hard to succeed then always have a solid plan B with education to back it up.
So yes, do what makes you happy, but also do what makes sense.