[dropcap size=small]”S[/dropcap]hould I follow my passions, or be really practical?”

This is what Kuik Shiao-Yin, co-founder of The Thought Collective group of social enterprises and current NMP, describes to be “a very Singaporean question to ask”, and many denizens would nod with agreement.

In an 18-minute TEDxSingapore talk, she undoes the oversimplification of such a personal and variegated topic and sheds light on how they passion and pragmatism need not be mutually exclusive.

She also frames passion in the grander scheme of life, and how pursuing it with level-headedness can bring about compassion and opportunities for collaboration – perhaps bearing greater fruit than the efforts of one person’s passion alone.

“If more and more of us are not prepared to go the full length and breadth and depth of suffering that our passion wants to bring us through, then the world will also never see the full length and breadth and depth of possibilities; for goodness, for greatness, for beauty or for change, that are locked inside of us.”

– Kuik Shiao-Yin

(RELATED: An animated Dr Hans Rosling explains Singapore’s population crunch in a TEDxSingapore talk.)