Paulo Coelho, famous for his book The Alchemist is known for advising people to follow their paths. “Be true to yourself,” is a common refrain of his.
While the benefits of being true to oneself are obvious (you are happiest when you doing as your soul desires and you achieve excellence in the field in which your passions lay), it is often made difficult for people to be true to themselves.
This is because first, as individuals, we often get lost in the maze that this world is and we forget that we are unique. We think that we should tread where others have trodden. We believe that the only way to be successful is to do as others have done. We forget that these others, who we seek to emulate because they are successful, became successful because they looked outside the box. They looked into their hearts, discovered their passion and worked on it the way others have never worked on that particular passion and they achieved success.
Look at this way, when you are too busy trying to be like Angelina Jollie or this and that successful or famous person, when do you truly discover who you are and what you want? You might never and this means you will never discover your true potential.
Perhaps I am putting this in the abstract and need to bring it closer to home. You know how parents or society think that you ought to study certain courses to be considered successful. You have to study Law, Medicine or Engineering to be given respect. Well, sometimes, some students are passionate about Art yet their parents think that they ought to study engineering. As a result, they end up studying engineering, acquiring first class degrees and getting first class job. However, all these “achievements” bring no joy and success. Why? Because they are not that student-turned-employee’s achievements. They are their parent’s and so it the parents that experience the joy.
Success comes to those that are passionate about what they are doing. A person working at their passion is willing to go the extra mile, be innovative and be creative. Individuals who are untrue to themselves never works this way and so they end up being mediocre. Besides, things come easy when one is working at one’s passion.
You want to work easy. You want to be happy. You want to be excellent at your job. You want to feel like what you are working at matters and the only way you can do this is by following your path, by remaining true to yourself, by working at what you are passionate about.