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What's your excuse for not pursuing your passion?

Mr. Smith talked about all kinds of excuses we are making for not going for it in life. I have many tiered dreams in life, and while some are checked off (like working abroad), others still need to be (like changing the world). I find myself thinking that there are too many gatekeepers in the world and too much potential for environmental destruction (i.e. putting out a certain product), so I am always rethinking my "passion", and hoping that I don't come across something where others or the world have to suffer just because of my own ego / narcissistic need to self-actualize.

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    R H 30+

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    Mar 14 2012: I'd like to look at one part of Genevieve's question: "...too many gatekeepers...". I noticed the majority of respondents are caucasian. I would like to offer a difficult and controversial point of view. Is it possible that many experience 'stronger gatekeepers' than others, that opportunities for the expression of personal passions may be more restricted than others experience because of what they look like, or culturally represent? We talk about our 'passions' like it's only a decision on our part. But what if the 'gatekeepers' are more real for some than others? What if opportunities are truly more limited for some than others, because they are the wrong color or culture? Is this a real consideration or not when we discuss why we don't pursue our passions? Maybe we did, and it was just too difficult to overcome, there was no where to go. Does that mean they 'gave up'? What's that like to live with?
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      Mar 14 2012: Everyone's situation is different. Everyone has to be realistic. The challenge is when to recognize whether the barriers are real or not. I have not had to overcome racism or bigotry, and I did not have to overcome physical danger, but I have had to overcome lots of other things.

      The other question is whether you want to live your life knowing "at least I tried" instead of "I wonder what would have happened if I had tried".

      I have been fortunate enough to find something I am passionate about. I don't think your goals have to be lofty or involve great financial reward. For example, I LOVED coaching my son's junior basketball and soccer teams; but the ungrateful beats grew up and their skills surpassed my coaching ability ;) How inconsiderate!

      I also think that there is a lot to be said about taking in pride in what you do; regardless of your environment - you can be passionate about doing well at whatever it is you do. It is when you hate what you do and turn a blind eye to things around you that I think a change is required.
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      Mar 14 2012: Hi RH, you've brought up a really legit concept of people just having a boot on their chest, while others seem not to. But it is all the more amazing to be able to transcend these added social difficulties. So many TED speakers (homeless, amputees, those with life-threatening illnesses etc) have turned their straw into gold--and that's the spirit we hope to see in life.

      Tan Le spoke about how she hopes to stay AWAY from privilege and the easy life because it takes the hunger for life away. http://www.ted.com/talks/tan_le_my_immigration_story.html
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        R H 30+

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        Mar 14 2012: It is certainly "all the more amazing". And I agree, TED gives us the opporunity to share true inspiration and the extent of possibility. I try never to forget how fortunate I really am, and that others may need to be 'heroic' for their fortune. I am often humbled by the accomplishments of so many. I can only hope that I may someday warrant their company. Thnx Genevieve.

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