Monday Musings #4: Passion First

A hard life – we work because we have to. We work in order to be able to afford the activities and the things that we want.

A good life – we work because we want to. We get paid doing what we love to do.

We are often forced to make monumental, life-changing decisions when we’re hardly ready to do so. The best example would be our educational paths. We have to decide on our course of study at an age when we’re not even sure what we want for a career in future. Is it any surprise, then, that so many of us switch jobs so readily, ending up in a field that isn’t even related to our course of study?

My fiance and myself are prime examples. We are classic cases of what the older folk might call “a complete waste of a good education”. [#humblebrag] He has a law degree from NUS, but he intends to move on to real estate management when we shift to the USA. No need for a law degree for that!

As for myself… I was a convent school girl in primary school, doing well enough from then on to earn full scholarships paying for my entire education from high school to junior college to university and then a government scholarship bonding me to the civil service for a few years. Then, because I suddenly developed an interest in nail art, I completed a part-time Diploma in Nail Technology and… fast forward to now – BOOM, I’m running a nail salon with my partner Jenrine. Yeah, no need for a university degree for that either.

So getting to my point… what I’m trying to say is, passion counts for something everything. If you really like something, just go for it. You could make it your career. After all, people change and as our interests evolve, we might have to make a painful decision for the better.

It’s not about the money. (Although more money is always welcome.) Think of it this way – if you’re going to spend 5 or 6 days a week working, you might as well enjoy it.

And another reason why passion is everything – I believe that when you’re passionate about something, you’ll give it your all, and passion will translate to excellence. If you’re going to be a carpenter, be the best carpenter. If you’re going to be a hair stylist, be the best hair stylist. If you’re going to be a nail artist, be the best nail artist. No matter which field you choose to be in, focus on being the best and that will naturally take care of the rest (you’ll earn more than enough when you’re on top). It will take time, but passion will get you there.

Maybe I’m being too idealistic, but one can always dream…

2 thoughts on “Monday Musings #4: Passion First

  1. Laura says:

    I’m currently struggling with the decision to move my life in a different direction. I graduated college last year, and it’s been a constant struggle! I have some of that “old fashioned mindset” in that I don’t feel that my passions are “worthwhile” commitments, so it’s definitely hard. I’m so impressed you made it all work for you, you are a source of inspiration.

    On another note, you’re coming to the States?? Is it too personal if I ask where? I don’t think I’ve heard of any nail salon here that offers work like yours, it’d be super exciting if your brand or type of art moves over here!

    • Ying says:

      Hi Laura, thank you for sharing! I’m surprised you feel that way, because I’ve seen so many amazing stories of people in America who pursue their passion in unconventional fields and end up being very successful, so I always think of America fondly as the land of dreams and possibilities… it’s one of the reasons why I’m moving there! Here in Singapore, most people just go chasing after paper (qualifications) and go for white collar jobs. I hope things work out for you 🙂

      Yes, I’m looking to move to Chicago with my fiance. I’m glad you think my work is unique, because I’m counting on that 😉 I intend to open a nail salon there too when I move!

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