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To explain my situation shortly

"I am an introverted person from my school and for sometime bullied by my friends but I dont take it to heart. But I was good in studies and average in sports. In college I spent my time as an outsider with only a few quality friends. I managed to get an average grade and a great job in programming after college. Spent there few years and I didn't like it. Then did my masters in a different field. After masters is my period of self discovery where I was involved in different sports, yoga, music. Though I got a good paying job after masters, I find it difficult to work in an office environment. I easily get bored with the job and I always think of me living peacefully in a small town teaching something."

Though I am not an incompetent person and got a good a reasonable success at whatever endevours I have taken, I still feel I want to do something else. For me money and property is not a big motivation factor. I checked my personality type as INFP in most of the personality tests.

I just want to know whether it is a normal thought for everyone who want to pursue their passions or is it some mental problem.?

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If you couldn't take working in an office, how do you think you could handle teaching in a school that is even more structured than the office life? –  JB King Jul 4 '13 at 22:09
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3 Answers

This is a life conduct question and you presented an important case to analyze. It involves lots of sub-challenges:

"I am an introverted person from my school"

Most Western societies and increasing other world culture are extrovert culture. They praise the extrovert ideals of speaking up (and loud), charisma, branding, impression, mixing with new people easily etc etc.

The most relevant works about the introvert/extrovert culture are

"In college I spent my time as an outsider with only a few quality friends."

Here I can see a possible future or current desire for belonging and being part of a community. As there are uncountable communities, groups and inspiring people to be in or with, one can change a lot of direction in pursuit of the people whom one can fully relate to.

"After masters is my period of self discovery where I was involved in different sports,yoga,music."

Self discovery and personal development etc, highly praised ideals in some culture and traditions, are no longer viewed as such in Western cultures and increasing other world cultures. Seeking a prestigious career, promotion, income, popularity etc comes first. Society expects us to follow them instead of self discovery and its related pursuits. That's again related to point 1 (extrovert culture).

"I easily gets bored with the job and I always thinking of me living peacefully in a small town teaching something."

However tempting that may look, isolation from society and not leading a life of action does NOT help self discovery itself, especially during youth years. Self discovery and self actualization, to be really solid, permanent, teachable, published, tested etc, have to be in a context of life of action and being with people interacting, exchange ideas, seeing the differences and reflecting on them, socializing etc etc.

"I still feel I want to do something else."

Self discovery can be attained in virtually every context and situation in the real world. The more challenges and stimulus you face the better esp. with people."

"For me money and property is not a big motivation factor."

That also related to introvert/extrovert question. In Cain's book, she also traced that trait to biological roots too.

"I just want to know whether it is a normal thought for everyone who want to pursue their passions or is it some mental problem?"

Plato: "An unexamined life is not worth living"

TV: "There is no such thing as examined life"

Edit on 2013-07-01 10:18:

I think I should summarize my answer to directly answer the question. Your self discovery can help you

  • find your passion(s) in life
  • where you can excel at the most
  • where you derive your life purpose and meaning out of it
  • be part of a professional community

, even if took some years to arrive to a clear path.

Then, focus on it exclusively, direct all your effort for it and, at the same time, be content with it. The trick is to combine ambition to excel and to grow with contentment with what you have and reached (it's easier said than done).

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I am adding another answer as I stumbled today across a quite contrasting opinion. It is from Meg Jay's book The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now. She has a TED talk about the book so you can read lots of comments and reviews about her idea e.g. Thoughts from a twentysomething on Meg Jay’s talk on twentysomethings

I originally found the book when reading Jenna Goudreau's Forbes article Why We Need To Take 20-Somethings Seriously

Excerpt from the article: "According to Jay, 80% of life’s most significant events take place by age 35, making the 20s a “developmental sweet spot.” Two-thirds of lifetime wage growth happens in the first 10 years of a career. So those who wait until their 30s to get going in a “real” job will never catch up. “The biggest myth is that the 20s are a time to think about what you want to do,” notes Jay. “That doesn’t work. You basically know what you want. Just start, and get the best job you can get.” Reveling in a decade-long identity crisis will not result in better-adjusted adults, she says. "

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I had faced similar problems, I had been attached and passionate about a field A for a long time, but suddenly over a span of couple of months I lost all my motivation for it, and I began feeling depressed. I tried to fill the void by trying to convince myself that I was actually interested in another field B. After a lot of introspection and thinking, I have come to the conclusion that it was not the case that my declining love for field A and actual interest in B was the cause of my depression, but the fact that the reduced interest in A was caused BY the depression.

So, I think you should try to make sure you are not suffering from overall depression and anxiety (there may not be an easily recognizable root cause for this), rather than real unhappiness DUE to the current state of affairs.

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