It is commonly said that
Almost nothing great has ever been achieved without passion. So
What is Passion? Are there some practical examples of passion? There are, let me share one practical example of the power of passion.
What is passion?
Most of the dictionaries relate it with romance but according to urban dictionary:
Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is the ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind body and soul into something as is possible.
We grow up calling it a hobby. A hobby may turn into a passion over time. If you want to find the difference between hobby and passion, check this answer by Raj Hasumarti Pandya on Quora.
Example of the power of the passion
I like too many things like Chess, Drawing, Coding, Internet surfing, Reading novels, Reading about new technologies and many more. So I wanted to clearly define what are my temporary hobbies and passions.
I was trying to find any example of the power of passion and how it changed someone’s life. I tried searching (on Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo) but I did not find any real-life example of the power of passion, which changed someone’s life drastically.
When nothing was found, I look back on my life. I already have a passion, it already designed my life so beautifully without me even noticed.
A real-life example of the power of passion
In this note, I’m going to share that example. I hope, after reading this, you may also look back in your life and find what are the passions that drove you till now and can get you to new heights.
When I was 14 years old, (I was thinking) I was not happy. For a silly reason, many of my friends have video games but I didn’t. I badly wanted a video game but my parents insisted to go out and play. Now at 40 and being a father, I can very well understand it but 14 years old do not. Thus, I was an unhappy teenager.
For my at 14, I badly wanted a video game and slowly started becoming stubborn. I was ready to do anything to play games on Video games.
I was 15 years old in the year 1996 and was in 9th grade when I got an opportunity. I got my own video game but in a different way.
My father was General Manager in the technical department of an M.P. Government organization. Being in the technical department, he realized soon that the future generation will be a computer generation. To equip his kids (My elder sister and I) with sufficient knowledge for the future, he brought a computer in 1996.
It was Windows 3.11 (Pirated, I guess), 3.2 GB hard disk, 8 MB RAM, CRT colour monitor, with B/W printer and scanner. I also include few 1.44 MB Floppies. It cost around 1,00,000 in 1996. It was a huge investment, considering he needed to take a loan to purchase a 3,20,000 2-BHK flat in a prime location in Bhopal. Still, he did that investment, for the future of his kids.
Seeing the interest of my elder sister, my parent had enrolled her on Aptach for “some computer course”. I was stubborn anyways. For me, it was just a video game. I remember, an engineer came to our home to set up our new computer. We both were allowed to ask a few questions. I didn’t ask any.
When my parents and sister left the room for a moment, I asked just one question; How can we play games on the computer? I wrote the steps he told me and still remember them to date. They were:
c:\> cd games c:\> cd dyna c:\> dyna OR c:\> cd games c:\> dave
From the above commands, you might realize, it had two games; Dyna and Dave.
If anyone of you used Windows 3.11, it boots on MS-DOS and we needed to run command
win to boot windows 3.11. Windows 95 was the first windows operating system, which boots directly into GUI.
Finally, I got what I needed. Over the next few days or months, I used to play games after school but never after my father returns from the office.
Got bored – Interest/hobby is not a passion.
How long you can play two games? I too got bored soon and there was a time I stopped playing them.
Now I wanted new games.
Parents know what their kids are doing
I used to think my parent didn’t know what I was doing on the computer. Now I’m a father too and looking back, I’m 100% sure they knew. Children, especially teenagers, think they are fooling their parents and parent too, sometimes pretend that way. However, they know what their kids are doing.
My father could easily lock the computer but he didn’t. Now I could understand that. He knew I’ll get bored soon and will start using the computer for better things. Well, he was wrong at least there and I was stubborn!
After 1-2 months of getting a new computer, the engineer came again to install Windows 95 on our computer. I again got a chance and asked him to install few more games. He installed a couple more but I wanted many more games, like 64-in-1 in video games. He said he do not have more games, well? Those engineers were experts in pirated software and even in 1996, there were hundreds of free DOS games available.
I thought I’m smarter than my father but I’m sure the engineer got strict instruction from my father not to install too many games. The major reason was, my exams for the 9th standard were close.
Got bored again
Newly installed games were super boring and I soon lost interest in playing (available) video games. Now a new challenge for me was to get new games. There was no internet at my home in 1996, and none of my friends has a computer (game).
A ray of hope
We used to get a monthly magazine, named
Chip. I do not remember if I read in Chip or somewhere else, but I came to know we can design our games through programming. I was suddenly clear.
Nah, don’t get me wrong. I was stubborn but lazy too. I didn’t want to learn the whole programming language just to make games.
Remember, my sister was doing some computer course at Aptach?
By that time, my exams of the 9th standard were over. My parents always encouraged us to learn something new over summer vacations. I went to my mother and asked I wanted to purchase a computer (games) programming book. She was happy and immediately gave me money to purchase the book.
In 1996, finding coding books was not easy in Bhopal, let alone games programming. I visited many stores before finding a book on games programming in C++.
I purchased the book and went to my sister. I told her to study that book and tell me how to make the games.
My sister replied she is learning DTP (Which include Lotas, MS word/excel, FoxPro etc), not C++ so she can not understand the contents of the book.
Power of passion: Hobby + stubborn = passion
Well, not I was completely out of options. Still, I was stubborn and was not ready to accept the situation forced upon me. This was the moment when I decided to take things into my hands.
I went to my mother again and told her I want to learn to program. Please note, I still do not want to learn to code, I just wanted to learn how can I make games for myself. I didn’t realize it at that moment but I unknowingly set myself on a very difficult path. My mother’s response was obvious and expected, she agreed almost immediately.
Introduction to coding and goodbye coding
I joined a programming class in C++. It was hardly 3-4 days and I just had an introduction to loops and decisions when my result of 9th standard was declared. I didn’t score well (thanks to video games). Since the 10th standard is very important, my father suggested (equivalent strict order) to stop programming classes and start studying for the 10th standard.
That was the end of the only classes I had in programming, to date.
Out of fuel
I could say I was out of options for the next 3 years (10-12th standard). This somehow keeps me frustrated and my hobby, which pushed me towards programming slowly changed to becoming anger (or maybe passion). I didn’t know that but the power of passion already started showing its magic.
Selecting the wrong engineering branch
After 12th, I wanted to join Engineering (Computer Science branch). My father had a suggestion, you can go to the computers field with any branch but if you take computers, you may not join any other field. This was about my career and I too agreed with that fact. So I took Electronics and Tele-communication, a subject, I was not interested in at all.
Horrible results in engineering
So I’ve electronics as my branch in engineering. A subject I didn’t like. Results were obvious, I was studying half-heartedly and was just getting passing marks in most subjects. This include backs in almost every semester. Well, I did not have any interest in electronics and was not able to understand the concepts very well.
Never do something you are not interested in.Kapil Sharma
Anyhow, I completed my engineering.
Retirement from Electronics
As soon as I came out of exam hall after the final exam of the final semester, my first words were “Retirement from Electronics“. I retired from my field of expertise (according to the college degree) before even starting the career.
Although my college was new and there was the only couple of campus, I didn’t try any of them as I did not want a job in the electronics field.
Some might feel it was a bad decision but I was preparing for it for 4 years, right from day one of Engineering.
College life | Preparing for retirement
In my college life, I was not studying electronics. For me, it was just a degree, I was preparing to retire from electronics, as soon as engineering finishes.
I was in the hostel during my first year of engineering. The first year of engineering had common subjects for all branches, and they did not include any introduction to programming. A horrible first year.
In my second year, I shifted out of the hostel with 6 friends, 2 each from Electronics, Computers and Mechanical. My goal was clear, I wanted to read computer engineering books more than electronics engineering.
Now I’ve access to games, thanks to one of my friends, Anupam, who had his personal computer. Still, somewhere in my mind, making a game (for myself) was permanent; A goal, still not achieved. I was 100% sure that I wanted my career in coding, not electronics. Thus, I was also reading books of my friends from computers science more than my own electronics books.
Power of passion works in the background
Being in the electronics branch, I didn’t have any programming subject and just practical papers on programming. Fortran in 3rd, c in 4th, c++ & microprocessor (8580) in 5th and DSP & microprocessor 2 (8086) in 6th semester. I was always ahead on the very basics included in those practical subjects.
Put career and education aside, also the hobby/interest of playing video games. I thought about making a game for myself for so long, that I keep working on it unknowingly. My interests were moulded towards that direction.
Internet was getting popular at that time and I used to pay Rs 60/hour for internet usage in cyber cafes. Being a student who was getting just Rs 2000/month for room rent, food, stationery, etc, it was a huge amount. Every minute counted there. I was having floppy disks, anything I found useful needs to be saved in a floppy disk (I didn’t have a pen/flash drive then, they were very new and too costly for me). Those days, we were not having time to read it in cyber cafes. Later at home (room), I used to burn CDs once I have 500 MB of content.
Still, the internet was helpful. When I was learning c++ in the 5th semester, out of interest I also found about the graphics mode of C++. That was not in the engineering course, even for the computer branch. Still, I find it and started working on it. I got the initial idea about making a game for myself.
Few more internet cafe sessions and around 12-15 hours of coding for 2-3 months, and I had a tanks game developed. It was very basic and I played it just a few times, that’s too as I developed it. Still, I achieved, what I dreamed of 6 years ago.
Passion may also define the career
Dreams of a third-year graduate student at 21 years are very different from the 8th standard student (15 years). Hobby at 15 might convert to passion at 21 but goals are mostly different. At 21, most students start thinking of a future career. For me, the career option was clear. I like to code and I was sure making a career in Coding.
I did not have any formal education in Computer science, except for the 3-4 C++ classes I attended in 1996 as 15 years old. Being from the electronics branch, I was not eligible to attend campus for computer science students.
So the path was not easy but there was a passion and commitment.
- Well, I’m currently working as Technical Architect in a multinational company.
- I’m a community leader of a developer’s community in Pune, which is sponsored by Jet Brains.
- I’m an open-source developer.
- I had spoken in many technical meetups.
This has happened without any formal education in Computers/programming. Was that possible? Yes, that is the power of passion.
Do you agree power of passion may lead you to newer heights? Please share your comments.