Finding your passion and other shenanigans
So, recently among everything, I managed to finish watching Marvel’s Loki Series. I totally agree that you didn’t want to know that information but, let me tell you why I brought this up. There are these two lines that came from Mobius that got me thinking. During Loki’s interrogation, Mobius asks Loki, “What makes a Loki tick?” and another time, he askes “What makes a Loki, Loki?” So, I asked myself, “What makes me tick?” What things motivate me?
Since our childhood, we’ve been trained to look up to somebody and “be like them.” When we were young, we all wanted to be doctors, engineers, accountants, lawyers, and all sorts of “socially — accepted” professionals. So we followed a predetermined path, that was governed by the three most stressful exams. Yet, somehow we are finally here, as undergraduates.
Except for a very few of us, we really didn’t know what we were doing, or at least what we are doing right now. Maybe we needed this, but the reality is way more different than we expected. When we got here, things took a turn and we were all in a whirlwind, ever since. To put this in short, we don’t know what motivates us anymore. Technically, we didn’t know, from the very beginning.
At the end of a quarter of our lives, we are still trying to find our motivation. You and I both agree, that’s pitiful. Anyways, this post isn’t a rant, this post is all about how to find that missing piece of your life and navigate through this tornado.
Let me tell you my experience. I had several hurdles in my life. It was all smooth and soft until the Advanced Levels but, things got changed. For the first time in my life, I got to taste the feeling of failure and the feeling of repeat. Two attempts later, and lots of doubts in between, I was finally at the best technological university in the country. As anyone would say, life was “supposed to be” beautiful thereafter. But it wasn’t. I hit another wall and eventually end up in my field of specialization. Disclaimer: I had a choice, and I made the choice. That’s how I ended up there. Not because I had no other choice.
Regardless, I didn’t have any idea about the things I’m going to do in the future. Two and a half years of my undergraduate life just went by, with no purpose or anything. All I knew is I had to get through it. So yes, I did well in my studies, but I was yet to find that missing piece of the puzzle. It took me six months as a trainee to see where I belonged. During my time as an intern, I was fortunate to see both the industrial aspects and academic aspects of my field of study. Given time, I found myself invested in problems, trying to solve them. I needed some momentum to get by, and research and academia are where I found my momentum. Ever since I fully focused on academia, I found myself constantly growing. I am not the same person I was two months ago. I may not be the same person two months from now. I learn things every day. I observe new things every day. I finally have come to the stage where my work “motivates” me. I’d say for someone who had no idea about the future two/three years ago, now I have a clear picture of my future right in front of my eyes. I might only be adding a simple brush stroke per day, but I can see the picture is evolving. Momentum brings you motivation. Motivation brings you confidence. Confidence brings you self — satisfaction, which is something hard to come by nowadays.
Finding your motivation is not a textbook thing. Part of it has to do with intuition, and part of it has to do with “ignition.” By ignition, I meant that moment that sparks your intuition and your inner consciousness would say “this is me, this is what I want to do,” and that my friends, is the moment of truth. Your whole life is going to get changed. This might take years if you don’t get the support of your surrounding.
That’s where a mentor can help you. He/ she would be your evaluator in disguise. He/ she would help you to shape what you already have and gain what you don’t have. He/ she would not drag you on a certain path, but they would definitely help you see the several paths that are open. Maybe even help you to see which path has more lights and fewer thorns.
I found my mentor through ScholarX 2021. Two months later in the program, I am fully focused on my path, with the help of my mentor. For the last two months, I have done things I wouldn’t even think to do if I haven’t had a mentor. Success just got spiked and it’s exponentially growing. If this happened to me, there’s a more than enough chance that this would happen to you.
So today I didn’t write for those who are already in this program. I wrote for the future.
To someone who’s planning to apply for ScholarX2022 or to the mentee who’s reading this once they got in,
You made the right choice! You’re on the right path. Be sure to keep your mind sharp and grab everything you can. Six months later, you’d see a different version of yourself. I assure you, that version would be the best you’ve seen until then.
PS. This was like a diary entry and might not help those who’re already in. I am writing another post that might help you in doing the literature review of your undergraduate research. So, stay tuned. See you in a week.