When I tell people I’m a journalist, before I tell them the stories I enjoy telling, they blurt out what they think are stories I should be telling.
The second I say journalist, a file in that person’s brain opens up and releases their preconceived opinion of what journalism can entail.
Because of this, I’m told I should be writing stories about disruption in politics, government corruption or tragedy due to society’s systemic problems.
While those stories are interesting and important to tell, they’re not the stories I want to tell, which makes them stories I, personally, shouldn’t tell as a career. If I did, those would most likely turn out like this:
I’ve written and talked about politics and hard news before, and enjoyed it, but that doesn’t mean those are the only stories I want to focus on as a journalist. I was able to enjoy working on those stories because they were stories I wanted to tell, not stories someone told be I should be telling based on a generalization of the “journalist” title.
Alright, you have my little anecdote, so how does my frustration with title generalizations relate to you?
Has anyone told you not to go into a possible path of higher education or take a certain job because it doesn’t make enough money and that you should look into trying something else?
Did you hear what they have to say and begin to doubt your choices or worry about setting yourself up for the future?
The point I’m trying to make here, is the person that should make decisions about your life and how you choose to live it…is you and only you.
If someone tells you that you should be doing something, but quite frankly, you have no interest in it, you’re not the person that should be doing that thing.
Stories, projects or jobs that should be done should only be done by those who have a passion to tell or do them.
You need to be able to connect with something or find an interest in it to do something the right way. Without an interest or connection to it, the result will be mediocrity at best.
With that said, however, don’t be afraid to open up to new ideas. Don’t automatically shut something down because you can’t relate to it in a split second. Give other ideas some thought and then decide if those are worth pursuing.
The only things you should be doing, are the things you actually want to do.
Mediocrity is the result of pressure.
Quality is the result of passion.
If you have a passion, follow it. Don’t let those who doubt it or don’t understand it tell you what you should be doing.
Unless you want to be miserable, you already know what you should be doing: What you enjoy.