“That sounds fine and dandy, but how many people in this world do what they love? I can’t – I’m stuck in a job because I have to pay the bills. I hate working weekends. I hate working nights and being away from my kids. But I have to do it – it’s the only job I can find. There is no way I could ever do what I love for a living. Won’t work. Not for me. Only the lucky few get to do that.”
Yep, I’ve had variations of the conversation above over and over again with people.
Many people assume I’m one of the lucky ones. I make a living doing what I love. So I must be lucky, right?
Or is it something more? Can anyone have that kind of luck? Can anyone know what their passion is and jump on an opportunity to be able to make money at it too?
I attended a webinar a few weeks back. The gentleman presenting made a great point about passion. He said:
Everyone starts out with passion. You “choose” to enter this life with some sort of passion or goal in mind. Yet when you go through the birth process and start down life’s road, you “forget” what it is. It doesn’t come attached in your hand, providing you with the blueprint for life. Your parents aren’t given a set of directions to put you on the right path for what you’re here to discover in this life.
Yet if you’re the kind of person that follows your heart, reads the “signs” as they approach you, and takes action on the things that can push you towards your true hearts desires, you’ll ultimately find your passion.
I liked his approach to what passion truly is and how you find it.
In other words, purpose isn’t achieved. Its not something that falls down from the sky, hits you over the head, and says, “here I am”. Instead it’s a journey that provides you with guideposts along the way. If you are awake enough to notice the signs, if you aren’t too scared to change your course when the signs present something new, your path will be laid out in front of you for you to follow.
1. What if I’m too busy to notice the guideposts?
2. What if I don’t think the guideposts exist?
3. What if I can’t make money at it?
4. Will everyone find his or her passion?
These are all excellent questions, and in fact these questions have also been a part of many conversations.
Here’s what I’d say.
1. If you’re too busy to notice the guideposts, I’d have to ask you what you’re so busy doing. Are you happy racing around with your hair on fire? I read an article recently that stated that the new way of “keeping up with the Jonses” has nothing to do with money; Americans now believe it has more to do with how busy you are. (And of course many westernized countries are following our pace.) This new form of keeping of with the Jonses equates to what we do in life. If you don’t work 70 (or 80 or 90) hours per week, you’re not committed enough to your job, right? You feel you have to check email at 10pm; after all you never know who may be trying to contact you and you wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity. And your kids? Of course they have to take piano, a foreign language, sports and even tutoring to do better in school. That’s how you play the game, right?
Or is it? Is all of this business making you a better person? Is it making you enjoy life more? Is it making you happy? If you’re too busy, maybe life is passing you by instead. What if you found a way to slow down? Will your job truly disappear if you don’t put in 80 hours a week? And does it really matter if it does? Maybe there is something else you’re meant to do.
2. Many people don’t believe the guideposts even exist. I’ve met people like this before; we usually don’t have much to say. And chances are those people aren’t reading this post anyway.
Everything you do is because you resonate with the people who are around you. I once had a boss who shared a story with me about when he first knew he had met the woman who would be his future wife. They were playing a game at a friend’s house; they had to write down definitions to words that most people have never heard before. You gain points by having people vote for your meaning as the true meaning. Time after time, this woman chose his definitions. He knew if she believed in his BS enough to vote for it time and time again, they were on the same life track. And ultimately that’s what life is all about. You have to find people that believe the same as you. Then learn all you can from them.
Up until this moment, you may have never thought about guideposts or signs presenting themselves to you before. What if they have all along? What have you missed? What can you pick up from this point forward? How would they have impacted your life up until now if you had noticed them? How will it impact you from this point forward if you begin noticing them now? Go with it. Learn from it. And move forward with this new concept.
3. If you absolutely love doing something, and would do it whether you make money at it or not, chances are you’ve already found your passion in some way. You’ve started filling your life with it because it gives you joy. You may not make money at it now; what if you did? Would it still fill you with the same joy? Not everyone is meant to combine the two; some are perfectly happy keeping their moneymaker and their life’s passion separate. That’s okay. Usually they are happy doing both, knowing how each fit into their lives. The key is knowing when you can combine the two to bring you even greater joy. If it works, pursue it. Chances are you can find someone out there to model that has done it before. If not, don’t give either up. Having both in your life is what can keep you moving forward every day in a positive way.
4. Hands down, this is a definite no. Some people are too stubborn, negative, or self-loathing to ever find it. They accept what life throws at them. They make wrong assumptions. They head down paths that lead to nowhere. And they suffer in the process. You’ll know you’ve met someone like this when they say, “that would never work for me” and give you a long list of excuses to go with it. Some people find what they’re meant to do; some don’t. Some watch for the signs; some don’t. Some eventually find their way, some don’t. That’s life.
No matter who is around you, no matter what they believe, no matter how much influence they have on your life, you’re still in control of tomorrow. Even if those around you choose not to see the signs, you can still look for the opportunities and move towards them as you find them. Its up to you.