Passion requires the balance of reality

Today was one of those days that started off a bit rocky. Perhaps it was reading all about Global Citizens last night, and the amazing work they are doing around the world- wishing I was doing more philanthropy with my life, perhaps its the realizing that I only have two quarters left of my program, and three quarters (a year) till I graduate from the Masters Program, or perhaps there was simply something funky in the air today.

With that said, the day definitely got better. I was busy preparing and guiding new students through orientation and their class schedule, and rejuvenated by their excitement and passion to start this program. As the day went on, I was reminded of a specific night in Costa Rica.

I know I haven’t written too much about Costa Rica- it was a lot to digest- but alas, this one particular night- it was hot, humid, and we were surrounded by puddles of mud, rain and trees. Earlier that day, we had hopped on a canoe for almost an hour to get to Yorkin- where the Bribri Tribe lived. They are a tribe of indigenous (though they don’t like to be called indigenous people, they’re simply the Bribri) people who have thrived off of years of agriculture, community, and their own belief system. We had spent the day exploring their community, learning their history, culture, and swam in the lake with some of the community members.


In the evening, we learned how the Bribri’s began their community based- rural-tourism- led by a group of women that started Stibrawpa Women House Association in 1996. You can read more about it here. In addition to harvesting bananas, cacao and creating handcrafts- these women saw tourism as a way to recover their culture. They didn’t not succeed without a couple of failures. It’d be difficult to explain all of their failures to you- read the link above- but all I can say is that they persevered with passion on their minds.

The discussion that followed, with our professor from Costa Rica, is one that I’ll never forget- in particular- this phrase: “Passion requires the balance of reality.

What does that mean? Well, we are all passionate about one thing or another and more often than not, we’re passionate about multiple projects. When we have an idea, we jump on it, give it 110% of our energy, and expect it to work out- but in reality, was it really the best option? The best idea? I myself fall into this trap on a daily basis. I have 10 projects in my mind at all times, some which I start and fail to follow through, some stay in the back of my mind- for years to come.

Consider the reality. Consider the right place, the right time. Consider the impact you are making around you, the environment and the people. By no means am I saying, don’t take risks because in the end, you might fail. What I’m saying is that, take into consideration not only yourself, your passion and motivation, but also how your actions and ideas will impact the rest of the world. 


Coming round full circle, this morning, I put myself down for not doing as much philanthropic work as I wished I did. My passion for it temporarily overtook my reality. Reality is, this next year will be busy finishing up this Masters program, researching and studying my passion for tourism, culture and hostels. So as of now, I’m here exactly where I am suppose to be- and in the future, my reality may reflect another set of passion- which hopefully will involve returning to visit the beautiful Bribri people.

Till then, I’ll continue reminiscing on that sticky, rainy, dark and absolutely transcendence night as a reminder to always follow my passion, in the face of reality.

Published by Joanne Lam

📍 Toronto | STRONG w Joanne 💪 MovNat ACE & Agatsu Kettlebell Certified 🎯 Commit Confidence Consistency

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