Many people have no focus in life. When you ask them why they aren’t focused, the most common answer is that they have too many interests. You can’t expect everyone to find a niche passion, like crafting bowling balls. Most people will get bored if they practice one skill for the rest of their lives.
If you haven’t found your life’s passion yet, what do you do?
Is it possible to choose one career when you have many interests?
I have always thought of myself as a jack of all trades. And as the saying goes, I mastered none. I had too many interests that didn’t mix well together.
But when I was in college I discovered the solution by accident. It was my freshman year, and I hadn’t declared a major yet. The deadline was coming up fast to declare a major. They would force me to drop out if I didn’t. I had all the majors narrowed down to Computer Science or Chemical Engineering.
I chose Computer Science. It taught me how to program computers. It was the only major I could see that I could combine with any subject that interested me. If I took up a new hobby of mixing drinks, I could combine it with computer programming by writing software to help in mixing drinks. If I enjoyed Tae Kwon Do, I could write software to help me with Tae Kwon Do. If I found passion in the Christianity, I could write software to help with my studies in Christianity.
If I had chosen Chemical Engineering, my options would have been much more limited. I could foresee myself getting bored of lab work a few years after I graduate and going into a midlife crisis.
The difference between Computer Science and Chemical Engineering is that Computer Science teaches the medium of software programming, while Computer Engineering teaches the skills of engineering chemicals. For someone like me with varied interests, it was essential to learn to craft a medium, not a set of skills. You can combine anything with a medium.
I am no longer a computer programmer. That’s because I found a new medium to work with: writing. I can write about any subject. In many ways, writing is even more versatile than computer programming. Perhaps that was what drew me to it.
If you’re like me, you have many varied interests. You’re afraid of choosing a career that pigeon-holes you into one thing. You’re scared you’ll get bored when you focus on one thing.
The solution is to find a medium to learn. Don’t learn skills, master a medium. Choose a career in something like computers, or writing, or film. Maybe even history or art. That way you can combine whatever your interest is to your medium of choice.
I am a writer. If tomorrow I find passion in fly fishing, I can write about it. Writing is my medium.