Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Passion, Aptitude, and a Choice

Photo by Umar Mita

"I want to pursue Psychology. Is it difficult?"

Psychology, like how my professor puts it, is the most difficult science in the world.

Why? Because the subjects you put under the microscope are humans. Humans are complex and sophisticated. In every behaviour there will be more than one explanations from more than one perspectives.

The lectures are long. A typical Psychology lecture lasts 3 hours and that's one lecture mind you. But Alhamdulillah, I manage to stay focus throughout the lectures. The only time when I wouldn't be able to listen properly to the lecture is when I am tired.

Long lectures aren't my biggest challenge. I can handle long lectures. My biggest challenge is the readings. There are a lot of them. That is my biggest challenge because reading textbooks doesn't interest me and I get distracted/bored easily while reading.

So yes, Psychology is difficult. But so what?

So what if it is difficult? You want to run away just because that's the reality? You want to pursue something just because it's easy? If that's the case, then you have to do some major changes, starting with the way you think. Pursuing something just because it's easy is not the way to go in life.

Despite all the difficulties, I still decide to pursue Psychology. Why? Because I love it. Because I am passionate about it. Because I am good at it.

Don't pursue something just because it's easy. That's a weak foundation to stand on.

Do it because that's your passion.
Do it because you're good at it.
Do it because that's what you want to do with your life.
Do it because that's how you see yourself benefiting the people around you.

Don't do it because it's easy.

"How did you choose Psychology?"

My initial program of study was Biotechnology. Psychology didn't come to mind at all.

I took a first year Psychology course as an elective, something to add on top of my Biotechnology degree. I still remember the moment when I was 50/50 about taking that first year Psychology course because the feedback that I got from my friends wasn't motivating. They hated that course.

But instead of being discouraged, I took that course anyway because of one simple reason - I like people and I want to learn more about them (and myself). I closed one ear to the stuff my friends said and took the course out of interest.

Best decision ever.

I feel in love with Psychology from that first year course. We just clicked. Mind you, I'm talking about the very same course that my friends hated. You might have had the same experience where your friends discouraged you from pursuing something you have interest in just because they don't like it. If I succumb to peer pressure, I might decide to drop the idea of taking that course. But I asked myself what I wanted and I wanted to take that course. So I did.

I didn't know it before but I realized soon after that this is what I want to do with my life. I like science. I like Biotechnology. But I love Psychology.

So at the end of my first year, I changed my major (with the permission of JPA - my scholarship). I am in my final year now and still pursuing Psychology.

People can only assist you in life. They can offer advise and support. But they can't (or shouldn't) dictate your life for you. It's YOUR life. The choice is in your hands and you alone are responsible for that choice.

Psychology is not my friends' cup of tea, but it is mine.

And it's delicious.
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