It is possible that you don’t know many of the names that I will mention in this article, but it does not matter so much. I have referenced them so that you can learn more about them if you want. However, what has struck me as most interesting and the point I want to share with you is Why Following your Passion is so important in life.
In 1908, Ludwig Wittgenstein at the of 19 wanted to become an engineer. In order to accomplish this dream, he traveled to Machester, England to work at an aeronautical research station where he hoped to design and build his own airplane. It was during this period that he read Bertrand Russell‘s Principia Mathematica and with this newfound passion he left for Cambridge to study with Russell.
Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, logician, and social critic. He wrote the book Principia Mathematica, which is a three-volume work on the foundations of mathematics published in between 1910 and 1913.
Bertrand Russel at first confessed in letters to his lover that the new German engineer student is very argumentative and tiresome. A day later he added that in fact, he thinks that Ludwig is a fool. He had asked Ludwig to admit that there was no rhinoceros in the room, but he wouldn’t. At the end of the first term, Ludwig demanded that Russel respond to his question “Do you think I am an absolute idiot?” to which Russel replied wittingly “Why do you want to know? However, if you write me an essay during the vacation upon any philosophical topic that interests you, I will read it and tell you.”
As soon as Russel had read the first sentence, he knew the answer. Ludwig was perhaps the most perfect example of genius, passionate, profound, intense, and dominating.
Ludwig Wittgenstein born in Vienna into one of Europe’s richest families, inherited a fortune from his father in 1913, yet it was not this fortune that brought him fame, rather his passion for seeking the truth and following his passion. In follow up to his question to Russell, he said “If I am an absolute idiot then I will leave Cambridge and become an aueronaut but if I am not I shall become a philosopher.” In fact Ludwig gave all his fortune away and during his life only wrote one book “Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung (Logical-Philosophical Treatise) (1921) which appeared, together with an English translation, in 1922 under the Latin title Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
Only one book and a relatively slim of just 75 pages. Yet it is not the volume that matters. All that matters in this world is what you create and how your efforts touch other people’s lives. Not what they think of you necessarily, because as you see in this example Bertrand Russel initially thought Ludwig was a fool. This however did not deter Ludwig, he went on to prove him wrong to the point that the same person changed his mind. Invariably when you follow your passion dogmatically you are about to find people who may disagree with you, call you a fool. What you create may not even be big in volume but what matters is the intensity of the passion with which you dedicate yourself to pursuing your calling.
Upon reading Wittgenstein’s book, Moritz Schlick wrote to Albert Einstein “This has been the most tremendous intellectual experience and read of my life. I consider it to be altogether the deepest and truest book of recent philosophy. Reading it is, however, extremely difficult. The author who has no intention of ever writing anything again, is an unconventional type of ravishing genius.”
And now it is your turn. Be true to yourself, be true to your soul. Do what you are really passionate about, it will be hard at first and you may have to make sacrifices but nourishing your soul is a million times more rewarding than nourishing your pocket which only brings short instant gratification. Let money be the by product of your passion and dreams.