Three years ago Srinivas (name changed) wanted to do a course of his liking. He had a penchant and a flair for writing and wanted to do something that would be linked to journalism or mass communication. But as the saying goes, ‘Man proposes and god disposes’, he was pushed into the EAMCET grind in a corporate college by his parents and today he is in the third year of engineering in a top college pursuing the ECE stream.

But even after three-years of study, his mind is still tuned to writing and journalism. The electrical circuits and computer programming do not excite him and the moment he gets an opportunity to write, he grabs it with both hands be it writing for the college newsletter or some tech fest brochure. Right now he is sailing in two boats: One that sails with his academic pursuit and the other that carries his passion. He is confident that he will not be happy designing circuits all his life. “What is the use of studying if I am not happy in life,” he laments.

Well, this is certainly not just a stray case. There are many who tag this line and are afraid to come out of the shell that their parents or peers would have built over and above them. “This is a general syndrome that we have been seeing off late, especially in Andhra Pradesh. Parents seem to thrust their goals and aspirations on the children, without even giving a thought what they would like to do. Many a time we come across cases, where the student goes into a depression. They fight a mental war between their passion and the course they are pushed upon,” says Deepa Mohan, Head of the Department of Psychology, GITAM University.

A.S. Prasad of CTC Communication, a training firm, adds, “A career should be of choice and not a chance. One must enjoy what he or she is doing. Career is not just about the pay packets, it should be linked to passion, choice and taste. It is the responsibility of the parents to recognise or allow the young minds to understand their latent talent and then show the way.”

Dictionary describes the word latent as ‘Potential present but not evident or active or rather dormant’.

Delving into how to realise latent talent, the Director of CTC gives six steps. To begin with he says, “Learn to take risk. A fear of the unknown normally holds back people from realising the dormant potential. Take a calculated risk and enter the hidden field.”

Embarrassment acts as a barrier to creative ability. Build up your confidence level and restrict the feeling of being embarrassed. This will give you the freedom to think and pave the way to recognise your hidden talent.

Get out of the herding concept. Stop listening or relying on others to confirm your worth, the feeling of worthiness should come from within you.

Self believe is an important factor. This sometimes may lead you to make some unpopular decision, but live with it.

Embrace and love your decision. This will enhance your belief and passion.

People, especially parents and friends may misunderstand your decision and it could also come as a shock to them. Persist with it in the face of all adversity. Learn to say ‘No’ and stick to your decision.

Listen to your inner voice and nurture your talent. With the engineering counselling scheduled to begin shortly, it is time that one does a self analysis to find out his or her talent and passion, before it is too late.

As educationist and reformist Prof. N.S. Ramaswamy popularly known as ‘Bullock cart Ramaswamy’ once put in, “There is a career in every course or subject that one learns, it all depends on how effectively one applies the knowledge and the interest that one pays to learn the subject.”