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Finding Your Passion


It is sad that there are people who go to work because they have to and not because they like or love to. Worst still some worry whether they will have their job for long. I am sure many can understand what I mean and yet, it is not easy to just leave the job just because you feel that way.  So how do you deal with such a situation?

The answer lies in finding the passion for what you want to do in you. If you can find it and it resonates in your heart, you will enjoy doing it not because you have to do it but because you love doing it. Then you cannot wait to get out of bed every day to get to work. So how can you create that passion and make you work a calling.

Let me relate and experience I had at one time when I was working at Texas Instruments (TI); it was sometime mid way in my career at TI. I was already a junior level manager for a couple of years and felt I was ready for my next promotion. I was therefore disappointed when bosses bypassed me a couple of times in favour of others. I really felt I deserved those promotions. This made me demoralized and unappreciated. At that time, coming to work became a chore as I was doing the same thing every day. I thought of leaving the company. It was not easy coming to work every day. In fact I started applying for jobs in other companies.

Then one day, I sat down and thought long and hard about what I really wanted to do – stay in the company or leave for greener pastures. After a while, I realized that perhaps I felt uninspired and unmotivated because of me and not because of the company. TI was a great company and I did not think I had reached the peak of my career there. This thought was a defining moment in my life and I decided to do something about it – I had to change to bring the fire back in me. There was no point continuing every day the way I felt. What I did next is something each one of us can do and let me share.

First, I asked to meet my boss to ask him about what my weaknesses were. I was a little direct and told him I was not interested in hearing of my strengths but I wanted to know what was lacking and what I needed to do to be considered a good performer. Next, I said to myself, that it was not the promotion that I should be interested in but to be the best in what I did and once I felt that I was good, and when my boss felt I was good, then it did not matter because I would have succeeded anywhere, if I was good in what I did. I decided not to waste time looking for another job and to focus in making my job a calling and to do it with a passion.

GUESS WHAT!!! It worked and I began enjoying my work, it made a great difference in my performance and the rest is history – I did 9 different jobs in 13 years at TI, with the most number of promotions, some lateral shifts and finally becoming the youngest director of operations in TI Singapore, leading TI Singapore to a record breaking performance in their history in Singapore in November 1997, and it was after all that, that I decided to leave to start my own company, UTAC.

So you see, it is not some magic trick that makes it all work out. When you have an intense passion for something, you will keep working at it and enjoying it at the same time. Only you can light the fire in yourself. That fire is what will create the passion in you and with that passion you can create your own success and the success of your organization.

So always start with yourself and start by finding that passion in you. Find a way to light the fire that brings out the passion in you.  Start today by asking the right questions and plotting the path to your success.

Inderjit Singh



  1. MM Johor says:

    It’s good to have you shared you own personal experience from your own perspective.
    Passion-very subjective.
    Some are lost trying to define it 😉

  2. Jack Sim says:

    Your story resonates with many mid-lifers who wonder if they should go on doing the same boring routine for the next half of their lives or to reinvent themselves and become energized again.
    I was in the same situation when I switched from commercial business into full time social work ay the age of 40. At that time, I already started 16 successful small medium businesses and still felt rather happy creating new ones. This addiction to create was interrupted by the 1998 recession and when it was not viable to create new companies anymore, I started to create NGOs starting with the Restroom Association of Singapore and then World Toilet Organization.
    Something strange happened to me when the social work became more interesting than business. I started to realize my past life is actually a futile Rat-Race leading to nothing except some numbers of dollars, cars, houses and other symbol of material wealth. When I die at say 80, everything will suddenly become not important at all. I realized that Time is the Real Currency of Life and concluded that it is a Loss-Making Trade to sell Time for Money.
    Similarly Fame, Status, Power are also matters of effervescence. I realized that I need to choose only those activities that brings the most usefullness in exchange for my Time. I decided Sanitation, Education and Poverty Alleviation would be the 3 focus areas I can contribute to the world.
    I start selling and closing the companies and fully focus social work because I think this is the best use of whatever time is left of my short life.
    I continued to start the World Toilet College, Dialogue in the Dark at Ngee Ann, Grameen Creative Lab@NUS, BOP HUB, and Kampung Temasek.

    Because of the limits of what 1 person can do, I leverage on everyone else to do the work, align to thier objectives and attribute the successes to them. This way, everyone is recognized and happy to collaborate together.

    I am very encouraged by the young people today. they are brave, open-minded, informed and both socially and environmentally conscious. They offer so much hope for the future. I want to mobilize them and build their capacity for a better world. So I began teaching in universities both locally and globally. I became a Professor in Social Entrepreneurship in College of Management Academic Studies in Israel and also lectures at INSEAD, NUS, NTU, SUTD, Yale, Berkeley, Princeton, Fudan and Beijing Normal University.

    There is not much time left, only 8,800 days more to death. This is the urgency of living a useful life.

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