Bobby Seagull: Pursuing my Passions

December 10, 2020

Bobby Seagull banner with text 'Persuing My Passions'


Maths guru, expert teacher and ‘University Challenge’ legend Bobby Seagull is back! What with Disney and Pixar’s Soul on its way, we wanted Bobby to share his journey of finding and following his passions with you.


Get ready. Fingers on buzzers. Here’s your starter question for ten points. Identify which animated character said the following words: “Spend your precious hours doing what will bring out the real you. The brilliant passionate you, that’s ready to contribute to something meaningful into this world”.

Yes, that’s right, it’s Joe Gardner, the lead character in the new movie; Disney and Pixar’s Soul!

When I think of Soul, I can see parallels between Joe’s life and my own. He has a passion for jazz music and is a school teacher. I have a passion for education, reading and numbers and I’m also a school teacher. Both of us have confidently let our passions lead us to do what we love every day.

We all have one life to explore on this planet, so we have to make the most of it.

It’s about finding how you can make your positive impact on the world and other people. Unlike the one correct answer quiz questions which I answered on ‘University Challenge’, each of us will have our own unique answer when it comes to making an impact.

Since a young age, I have always enjoyed learning about the world. Not because I was born smart, but my experiences shaped me that way. As a child, every Saturday afternoon, my father would take his four boys, my brothers and I, to the beautiful red-bricked East Ham Library. We would sit there sprawled out on the library carpet floor for hours, absorbing books on a range of topics; such as the Aztec civilisation, greats from mathematical history and the fantastical fiction of children’s literature icons.

We then returned home, our minds overflowing with wonder and curiosity…

…alongside a shopping trolly full of books to keep us busy until the next weekend came around, where we had the opportunity to go out and discover more. It was these trips to my local library that made younger me realise the vast amount of different passions that people could have, or indeed what one person could have! The more I read, the more my mind was laced with discovering more information about different new, interesting and wonderful things. My passion for loving literacy and finding out as much as I could about numeracy was beginning to blossom.

Before I became an educator, I worked in the high-powered world of finance as an investment banking trader at ‘Lehman Brothers’ and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at PwC. But at PwC, my moment of realisation came when I taught new graduates, this truly ignited my spark. I found I could make more of an impact on others through educating.

And so began the start of my journey into teaching.

And now, from co-presenting my own TV series, to writing about editorial pieces on personal finance in order to educate others and from even talking about statistics based around Strictly Come Dancing, I try to share my sense of love for learning and hope it inspires others to want to feed their minds.

All of have us have a passion, something that makes us light up. Trying something new or exploring what it means to be you can hold its own value.

What excites you? What makes you come alive?

We all have a passion just waiting to be found. Take Soul’s Joe Gardner for example. He’s a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he discovers that he’s surrounded by a world that’s ready to inspire him at every opportunity.

We all have our own individual passions that make us unique. Open your eyes to the world around you and you’ll find your spark!

Have the courage to go and pursue your dreams – you never know how far it might take you.

For most of us, it’s been a different year to what we might have been expecting. But experiencing the unexpected is a chance to think about who we are and what we want out of life. Believe in yourself and just watch what you’ll achieve.

You can stream Soul exclusively on Disney+ from December 25th. You can also find a world full of passion with our free Soul inspired activities and competitions. 

Discover their spark with Explore Learning’s award-winning tuition.

Book your free trial today

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