Being Passionate about One’s Work

I was sitting at the Peet’s Coffee location across the street from my Chicago condo earlier today, reading analytics books and writing down ideas. Typical weekend activity for me– engaged in learning, being stimulated by insights, ideating about how to put it all in practice. There was an older man across the table from me, who was reading his morning paper while sipping a cup of coffee. He kept looking at my table and I thought maybe he thought he knew me or something. I don’t know this guy. It was a little creepy. Then, several minutes later, he got up to leave but not before passing by my desk and asking what I am studying. I didn’t know what he meant at first, but it occurred to me that he thought I was a student. Ha, I guess I can’t complain if people mistake me for being younger than my actual age. I said I was studying analytics, and hoping he won’t ask me exactly what it was because I was so immersed in my book that I didn’t have the patience to engage in conversation. He said, “It looks like you are very passionate about what you’re studying. I can see you’re so focused, and your passion for it shows.”

I’ve been described as a passionate, excitable individual, and I usually don’t like it because it connotes that I’m emotional especially among people who mistake my excitement for being temperamental or melodramatic. On this occasion, I’m glad I am seen as one 🙂 I’d like to be seen as someone dedicated to my work, which is why I continuously strive to work on something worth doing. One of the biggest motivation in my life is purpose, the fuel that keeps me going when I know that my work matters and it is a means to bring out something good in this world. I hope I get to use my skills– in marketing, analytics or otherwise– to bring value to society, whether economically, socially or spiritually.

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