Week One: Jasmine Dierenfield

Before watching this Ted Talk featuring Larry Smith titled “Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career” I didn’t put much thought into the connections between relationships (romantic and platonic) and careers and passion. I figured that people don’t have great careers because they fail to pursue them because they don’t want to fail, or lack the motivation to actually make anything happen. Honestly, it was an issue that I never gave much thought to. However, this Ted Talk broadened my mind and gave me material to think about past the extent of this assignment.

The reason you will fail at a great career is because you make up excuses to not pursue your greatest passion. What it came down to, even with the people who find their passions, was valuing and hiding behind human relationships. This, at first, seemed ridiculous to me. I value my relationships with friends and family more than almost everything, but then I got to thinking about it. I moved away from my family to go to school, a selfish act that will only help me pursue the things I love. I have a really bad habit of wanting to please others and make them happy, despite how it makes me feel. During the Ted Talk, Mr. Smith  asked, “Do you want to look at your spouse or kids and see your jailers?” My answer is no. I don’t want to look around at the people I love and feel trapped and as if I missed out on what could have made my life and career great.

This isn’t to say that I don’t want friends and a family: I do. However, I also want to escape from being a slave to those around me. I want to be able to go wherever I need/want to go in order to find and pursue my passion. People, according to Smith, are afraid. That’s what it comes down to. We are afraid to pursue our passions, to look ridiculous, and to fail. In result, we take refuge in human relationships.

I think that at my age (19, turning 20 this month), I should be focusing more on my passions than I am. I have a lot of relationships that I need to work on in order to become more independent – like I know I am. I have always wanted to support myself, and I recognize the value of self-fulfilling happiness. Although I’d like to have people who I love and love me in my life, I want the ultimate happiness of my life to come from pursuing my passions. I cannot say that I have a passion now. I have a lot of interests, but there hasn’t been one that has jumped out and said, “Hey! It’s me! Let’s spend a lifetime together.” I have aspirations and dreams and desires, and I’m going to follow them in order to find my one passion.

My plan is to travel to every country in Europe. This satisfies a few of my interests: travel, writing, photography, language, and culture. Hopefully, by pursuing these I can find my true passion. Hopefully, I’ll continue to pursue it and prove Smith wrong: I will have a great career.