2 MIN READ
If there's one quality that seems to have vanished from society, it's boldness. It's difficult to find people that have a strong and controversial* taste in some domain, art, comedy, literature, avant-garde composers, frontend frameworks, etc. The ability to say "I actually really love Le Grand Macabre" and to stand by that despite the criticism that's sure to follow. It's the conviction that your palate is well-enough refined that you will build the thing that you're itching to build come Hell or high water. I know people that get this itch. I had it once when I was chasing the PhD. Now when I see it in others, I feel *joy* -- I didn't before I had gone after my own.
Most people either don't get a need to do something, or, more likely, they find ways to numb, suppress, hide it from themselves. Spiritual death. You must act on it. These are the things that if you do not pursue them the regret will grow inside of your body, it's that serious. The exit condition doesn't even matter. If you redline going after it and fail, you will start sleeping easy again because now you know something about the world and about yourself. Achieving it or not is secondary. The pursuit is even secondary. Knowing whether or not it's attainable by you is sufficient reward.
You are on fire when you are in pursuit. You can see and recognize these people because it looks like they're almost emitting light. They're trying to harness energy that's far greater than themselves - they can only contain it for so long before it destroys them. Nobody can be in hard pursuit for more than a few years at a time. Being on fire is painful. You're burning yourself up and out. It's time limited. When you're on fire you're touching the infinite just a little bit for a fleeting amount of time.
As with most things in life, you'll only know it when it's happening, or maybe after it's happened. Be bold enough to set yourself on fire when the time and the task are right.
* A controversial opinion generally isn't any one also held by megacorporations and celebrities. If Hershey's, major Hollywood actors, Activision Blizzard, and Kia put forth an opinion, by definition it is not controversial.