July 23, 2016

The Most Important Thing That I Learned This Summer

I’ve often been told that passion leads to success. It is one thing to hear a quote and another thing entirely to experience it firsthand. This summer, I was hired as an intern by Rui (pronounced REY) Wang, a computer science professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as well as the founder of Ray’s Hobby and OpenSprinkler. During these three months, I learned a handful of technical skills as well as professional skills such as problem solving and communication. But most importantly, working in the business led me to begin my own business. Not one out of desperation, but one out of passion.

Passion for hardware gadgets and a desire to improve other people’s lives is what drove Rui to begin his business. Like Facebook and  Snapchat, each of their founders had a certain focus in mind, whether it was to create an online platform where you could look up other people, or to develop a system for sending explicit pictures, these businesses didn’t begin with the goal of making money in mind.

For the majority of my life, my life goal was to make money. Everything that I wanted to do in life seemed to be revolved around money. In order to finance an adventure to the peak of Mt. Everest, I would need anywhere between $50k and $100k. To be able to invest, I would at least need a few thousand to make it worthwhile. To design my own house, I would need to purchase a house and have the time and money to finance a study in interior design. Though these pursuits of mine don’t directly need money, in order to make time for these things I would need to be able to sustain myself while I spend time on these things.a And because of these pursuits, my goal inevitably became to make as much money as I could. That was also my initial thought process to becoming a computer science major. After working at Rui’s and coming close to finding something that I am passionate about, I realized that the joy that money brings is much more inferior to the joy that doing something you love brings. However, it’s also equally important to find a passion that can provide enough money to sustain yourself and your family. If you happen to be passionate about a field that is employable and financially rewarding, count yourself lucky. If not, then you may have to continue searching for that passion that is just right for you. I truly believe that everyone will be able to find that passion. With the world so big and there being so many things to do, if you can’t find one, remember that you can always create one.

Every once in a while, I make new revelations and this summer my revelation is: finding a passion is more important than making money. I’ve known the facts for a long time. Passion brings happiness, … but just like many people, they don’t accept it because they are stuck in between a state of doubt and one of not being able to find their passion. I am here to convince you that if you want to be happy, and if you want your life to be meaningful, the goal is to find your passion in life. I believe that everyone’s meaning of life is determined through their passion. No matter how long it takes you to find it, you should settle for anything less than your life passion. It’s possible for some people like Rui to have found their passion as a child. Others discover their passion in high school or in college. Many people don’t discover their passion until they’ve already started working but I believe that everybody will find it. We all have a purpose in this world and if we aren’t predetermined with one, we have the ability to give ourselves one.

Up next: Looking to read about the business I mentioned at the start? Well, don’t fret because it’s coming out next.

© Wesley Tian 2019

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