What Is the Best Career to Follow?


How do I figure out what I want in life ? My parents always tell me that to succeed in the world follow your passion but I dont know what is it that I want. Whenever I try something new I get bored by it. I cannot decide which career I should take and I am feeling very hopeless now .

—anvita, india


Dear Friend,

“Passion” is not something we create by thinking about it. Like “falling in love,” it simply happens. So, for now, put aside the otherwise common advice to “follow your passion” owing to the fact that it hasn’t shown itself!

Instead, then, focus on the qualities of service and activities that engage your mind and heart creatively. They can be very humble activities and even something your parents or others might not think much of. Examples include whether you are a good team player; have good people skills; or, by contrast, do better working on your own, getting deep and focused into what you do. Consider whether you enjoy helping others; or, maybe designing or inventing or constructing things. It could be sewing, cooking, or working with children. These are simply examples: think of working with your hands (body) vs. with you mind; working with people vs working alone; working with adults vs. children. Giving guidance and instruction vs. working to support another person.

My point, then, is to think not of a career or job but of the qualities of what engages you. For example, if you enjoy helping or training other people then there could all sorts of positions available that would lead you in that direction. Furthermore, if you develop your strengths then you will develop what we call the “magnetism” to attract to you, as needed and as earned, ever more appropriate and satisfying forms of service. You won’t necessarily need to go chasing after anything: it will COME to you! But you DO need to put out SOME ENERGY IN SOME DIRECTION or another. You cannot wait passively for success to come to you unasked!

Lastly, it is well said that it doesn’t matter what we do; it matters, more, HOW we do it: joyfully, willingly, consciously, creatively, and as a devotee, as an act of devotion and service to God through the form (and people) that your job gives to you.

And, if all of that fails: simply do what is front of you by necessity and by what is right for you to do. This can even mean taking whatever decent job is available to you in order to get started. Success in life is primarily the function of the effort and energy we put out. The Bhagavad Gita declares that taking action without personal desire, without attachment, and without undue concern over its success or failure (but, still doing our best!) is the fastest way to achieve lasting happiness and to drawing to you God’s presence and peace.

Blessings and all the happiness to you in your life of service and devotion!

Nayaswami Hriman