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Passions, Pursuits, and Purpose Part 1

This article is addressed to the student.

What plans are in place for your life?
Part one: Passions

by Audrey Johnson

I believe that if you have a passion, and if you are actively pursuing it, you can determine your purpose in life. That purpose can lead to pay in various forms and at various stages in your education. We will address passion in this first of three articles.


What motivates you?  For what reasons do you wake up each morning and stay up late at night?  I believe that God has endowed me with certain gifts and abilities.  Having three children, I see the different passions God has given each of them.  Looking back on my childhood, I recall the passions that motivated my parents.

Horticulture was the passion that drove me to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY).  I loved gardening!  Happy childhood memories of my mother’s garden and my paternal grandfather’s collard greens growing only three blocks away, fueled my desire to pursue this field of study.

Later, a love for education of special needs population was the reason I obtained a Master of Science in Special Education, with a Teacher’s Certificate, from Temple University (Philadelphia, PA).

Writing is another activity I enjoy.

My eleventh grade son’s passions are meteorology, politics, and sports.  When he was seven years old, he began checking the temperature on a thermometer between the front door and the screen door.  He continues to watch the weather reports on the evening newscasts and the winter storm predictions given by local TV meteorologists.  Cutting out the newspaper forecasts allowed him to create a collection of notebooks that he “read.” 

Following athletic teams is a part of my son’s life.  As a young child, he would hang photos of athletes on his wall in his room.  Organizing athletic teams of his own is also something he enjoys doing.

My ninth grade daughter’s passions are fashion, dancing, and acting.  As a young girl, she wore earrings she created from pipe cleaners.  Dressing up and making arts and crafts were activities she enjoyed.  She and her brother created and performed various family plays.  Not surprisingly, she designs and creates many outfits.

Passions, pursuits, and purpose all originate from the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Maybe you cannot answer that question, or the answers keep changing.  Perhaps, you are not sure what purpose you have in life.  Maybe you don’t even know what your passions are, or what you should be pursuing.

 http://Educationplanner.org has a Career Assessment and The Career Key “for career development. “The Career Key” will help you evaluate who you are, and what you may want to be “when you grow up.”  On the home page of Education Planner, select the “Discovering” section.  Within this section, select “Your top career choices.”  Complete the assessments that quiz you on your personality likes and dislikes, and determine your likely path.  This is probably just one of many resources to assist you in translating what you love to do in life into what you want to do for a living.

Expose yourself to various opportunities to test the waters to determine what you enjoy doing.

This helps you determine your passion, if you are unsure.  What areas of interest do you have strong feelings of hope, joy, and desire for? 

Your interests may change, but as you approach the college application process, it is important to identify your passions.  You will select a major or majors, and then apply to colleges that cater to your intended path.

In the next article, we will discuss pursuits.

What do you find yourself involved in as a result of your passions?

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