NYU #FindSpark Conference Recap: 3 Ways to Find Your Passion

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“If there’s a dream job you want and it doesn’t exist, create it. Don’t settle for the traditional jobs. Find your passion. Dream big and live it out loud. Hold on to it relentlessly. Be fearless and reimagine life.”

-Nusrat Durrani, MTV

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It’s easy to tell someone “follow your dreams”, but what if he or she isn’t quite sure what that dream is,

or what it means,

or why pursue it?

The struggle of deciding whether or not you should pursue a career based on purpose or practicality. Sometimes it’s hard to follow our dreams.

Fork-in-the-road

What path shouldtake, the path that makes the most money or the path that makes me the happiest?

I get it.

I was once there.

I am actively pursing my dreams, and sometimes I get scared.

But if your dream is worth it, if you can’t go a moment without thinking about it,

follow your heart.

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I attended a conference at NYU, hosted by FindSpark, called Find and Follow Your Passion. The speakers were very inspiring, companies ranged from numerous different industries; NBA, Def Jam, MTV, Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and more. The three things I took to heart from all the speakers I heard was:  1. personal branding, 2. living a wholehearted life, and 3. it’s okay to achieve your goals in unconventional ways.

FindSpark-NYU-Logo

1. Personal Branding

The first step is to know who you are: What are your strengths? What are your likes, dislikes? What gives your life meaning?

Most of us are not awake or self- aware. YOU will find your passion, no one should tell you what your passion is. Most of the time our passion is obvious, we are just scared to admit it, to pursue it. Sometimes we have more than one passion and it’s hard to blend all of our passions together–that’s when we have to think, which one do I want to turn into a career?

Your other passions can stay active as a hobby. But never let go of any of your passions. The unique blend of your passions makes you unique. It’s what makes you, YOU. It is part of your personal brand. Cherish them all.

The story of your reinvention should never end.

2. Live a Wholehearted Life

Your life outside of work should be a happy one.

You can’t find a passion if all you want to do is make money.

Lawyer, Doctor, Engineer?

You can follow a list or you can follow your heart. Your dream might be unconventional but that’s okay. It is extremely important to do what makes you happy. Insecurities make us scared to pursue our dreams. Past failures scare us; learn from the past and leave it there. Focus on now, and always know that there can be a bright light in the future.

3. Achieve Your Goals in Unconventional Ways 

You have to take risks. Nusrat Durrani, the person I quoted above, was the keynote speaker at the FindSpark conference. He told the audience his story about pursuing his love and passion for music, eventually landing him a big role at MTV.

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 Nusrat Durrani‘s story: His siblings were engineers and doctors, and Nursat was trying to pursue a career in entertainment with great disapproval from his parents. He flew to New York from Dubai during his spring break from school, marched right up to the doors of MTV and inquired about a job. He was rejected. The HR woman told Nursat he needed to have a Communications degree and some years of experience. (Sound familiar?). In the next couple of years he took her advice quite literally and got two masters degrees while working for a company managing projects with a team of people. When he went back to MTV she still was not fully convinced, but admired his dedication and offered him an internship. An internship was not what he wanted at 35 years old. After much thought, he said something felt right, this was his opportunity to prove himself, so he swallowed his pride and took an unpaid internship at 35, with two masters degrees. Eventually working his way up and becoming General Manager/Senior Vice President of MTV World.

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