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How do you find passion?

I'm only 16, but over the past few weeks I've constantly been thinking about the selection of a life goal and what I want to be when I grow up. I think this decision is one of the hardest decisions to make, and I want to find what truly makes me happy. My questions to TED Conversations are: How do you find your passion? When do you know you've found it? What is your passion?

My answer would be like this. I find mine by learning about science. I know that somewhere in math and science I will find my passion, and I love learning about them. I know I'm close to finding it when I do something that genuinely excites me no matter the repetition. And I think my passion is physics or chemistry, that one I can't really answer.

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  • Dec 6 2011: I think finding your passion comes from doing those things in life you must do to survive, doings those things you want to do because they seem fun, and finding answers to questions that you think need to be answered. The challenge in the first part of your life is to try enough new things to make the probability high that you will find your passion. Look at many arts, sciences, technologies, businesses, and trades. Do you like working with your hands? Do you like being outside? Where do you want to live and what career opportunities are available in your area? What balance of personal satisfaction and rewards or riches are you seeking? Do you want to work alone or with a group? Many questions to answer. Often a parent, teacher, counselor, relative, or Scout leader involved in the career that interests you might have some insight into a good career path. Many groups have Professional Societies that provide learning opportunities for young folks. At 16 there are many branches of Science that you probably haven't been exposed to yet, so look for places to explore and learn more.

    I found my passion in building things. The challenge to find the best design for a given set of requirements always seems to challenge me. Now I help others solve similar design related problems. I chose an engineering curriculum, thinking they usually made good money and had lots of job offers. It was a lot of work, but I liked to work. I took a job that was the best money and once there, seemed to enjoy designing and building research projects to prove concepts. It was like an extension of several labs from school. It involved a fair amount of traveling, reasonable expectations, and a constantly changing set of problems. It was fun and i became pretty good at it. i felt like i was contributing and helping the customer. Now I get a similar rush mentoring younger engineers and solving more complex problems. No regrets.

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