Passion as a Way of Life
Recently, I contemplated my professional life, mostly because I've been doing the same thing for nearly 10 years. In fact, while I eagerly anticipated trumpeting this milestone, I'm instead wondering, what now?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy with my job or asking if I made the right choices. It’s quite the opposite. To me the question, “what now?”, simply serves as an opportunity to redirect the flow of my passion.
I believe one of the most powerful determining factors to success is regularly asking yourself one simple question, for the insight necessary to change your life:
Am I passionate about what I’m doing?
New York Times bestselling author Marcus Buckingham once wrote that the key to ongoing individual success is to “discover what you don’t like and stop doing it.” While I wholeheartedly believe this is true, I also believe he’s saying, “Do what you’re passionate about.”
One exception would be the necessary evils of paving the way to future success. Grinding out hours at a menial wage job or carrying the burden of a high-paying yet high-stress job to fund your dreams often proves necessary. You may not be able to quit your job, but you can always take action to follow your passion in some other way if you want it badly enough.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
When I look back at my life, I see many times when I was faced with career choices placing me at the crossroads of perceived prosperity (and drudgery) or potential poverty (and doing things that sparked my passions).
In some circumstances, I needed to suck it up. In others, I simply went for it like a sky diver jumping from a plane after his parachute. All along though, it was almost as if the world was continuously bucking against me saying, “Get a real job, you’ll never pay your bills that way.”
In retrospect, I think my intentions were to follow my heart. I now I realize it was simply my desire to find, learn and grow at things where I could also explore my passions. Eventually these things became the career that supports me.
As a result, I look back on the last 12 years of my professional life and thankfully feel absolutely zero regret as well as a solid sense of growth and accomplishment. Chalk one up for passion.
- Ask yourself if you’re passionate about what you’re doing.
- If not, go find and do something where you do feel passion.
- Learn, grow and master that thing (do it for free or pay, just do it).
- As you become successful, eliminate distractions and frustrations.
- Repeat step number one as needed.