Never ask yourself if it’s realistic or not.”
There is a big debate on whether following your passion equates to a fulfilled life. When I share with some people that I gave up my career as an educator to follow my passion of personal development and inspirational speaking I get many different responses. Sometimes I get the, “Wow that is amazing!” stare. Other times I get the, “Have you lost your marbles?” stare. What is better: To go into the unknown, experience uncertainty and chaos, and be the creator of your life; or to be content with a life that you did not purposefully create? Today I want to look at these two viewpoints because they both have validity. Here are three points to consider if you want to follow a passion-filled life.
Passion vs. Comfort.
To follow or not to follow your passion. That is the question. Following your passion is one of the most difficult things you will ever do. For some people like myself, it required giving up the comfortable, content lifestyle of a teacher. It meant giving up a secure salary, a 401(k), summers and holidays off, and wonderful relationships. The first year was the hardest. I felt like a fish out of water. I mourned my old life, which had been practical and effortless. My daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routine was gone. I cried at times. I wondered if I had made a mistake. But despite all of this I felt I could not go back. The idea of going back felt suffocating. I have wonderful memories of my life as an educator, but they are that—memories. I know that my soul would not let me go back.
Following my passion has given me courage.
If you want to become more courageous, follow your passion. People who follow their passion must beat fear. Yes, it’s scary to go into the unknown and pursue something that has no real guarantees. But what in life really is guaranteed? In a conventional job or career, you are never exempt from losing your job. You may think following your passion is risky because you have responsibilities like children, a mortgage, and bills. To risk this is very scary, and the truth is that, in accordance with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, if you don’t have basic survival needs taken care of you won’t be able to focus on your dreams. With that said, start dedicating an hour a day to your passion, and if you need more time find a gateway job that will assist you until your passion can provide for you. That was not an option for me. I took a full leap of faith and left my teaching position because my soul would not have it any other way, and I have a wonderful husband who helps with the children, bills, and mortgage. Connect with your soul. What is it telling you? Take mini-steps to follow your passion, but please—take a step forward.
You may feel lost.
Listen, Beautiful, life is hard with or without a passion and just because you don’t follow a passion it does not mean that life and its’ difficulties won’t show up. They always do and will. Remember you are strong and wise enough to overcome every obstacle that life brings. If you conform and settle for a life that does not inspire you, you have decided to give up the fight before you even get in the ring and you lose by default. Yes, following a passion adds a little more stress to your life, but it’s that stress that makes you grow. I can’t speak for all the people who have given up on their dreams and not followed their passion. But as a past conformist, I do know that I used to live a flat-lined life that made me sad. Today, there are many ups and downs in my life that remind me how much I desire to be aligned to my purpose. I am euphoric one moment and down the next and I love it! I love it because I know that I am on the right path.
Life is a gift that you give to yourself. You decide what you put into the gift box. Will it be a life full of adventure, meaning, purpose, and passion? Or will it be a life of contentment and comfort, based on fear? Yes, I have had many doubts about where I am going and even if I will get to my true destination. But I know that I have put into my gift box a life of connections with beautiful people, courage, patience, perseverance, and determination. So, the verdict is in. When I am on my deathbed, I will look back at my life and be proud to say that passion defined what my purpose was and that I did it my way. Listen, my friend—wake up to your true potential by connecting to your soul because your soul already knows what you are truly supposed to be. My soul has guided me toward realizing that I am supposed to remind you that you can overcome fear to live an authentic life full of passion and purpose. Believe in yourself and say yes to a life of your creation. Until next Monday, Believe. Change. Become.