When you are a teen, everything seems possible (even likely!)
When you are in your 20's, you begin to make your way in the world, key decisions are made but often not from within but rather based on those around us, what we have been "taught" are the "right" things to do influenced heavily by others. The challenge is that it's all new and exciting so temporarily, following others gives us satisfaction.
The challenge is that somewhere between our mid-twenties and 40's or 50's we often hit a wall where we realize the path we are on is making us miserable, anxious, fearful, stressed out and perhaps even isolated.
The question that often comes up is what happened between dreaming and acting on your passions when you were a kid or early teen versus where you are today?
Along the way most of us get pulled from our passion in life and interests (often they are dismissed as hobbies, interests or passing fads) in favor of more "stable" and travelled paths.
In other words, we mistake our passions as fleeting, instead of understanding passion as the root of your true purpose in life.
The challenge of course is that the path we tend to follow is not aligned with our own passion…we no longer have that "fire in the belly" that we had when being aligned with our passions.
For example, passions around:
- "playing" – games, sports, etc…
- experimentation (science, computers, electrical, design, etc…)
- selling (almost anything)
Often these passions are dismissed by parents, teachers, mentors or other influencers as having no real career path, you become convinced these are merely "interests" over potential ways to make a living and live your life.
Off we go to find a "real" job or career – which typically means we get a "real" job in the service industry (McDonald's, Retail, the local Golf Club, etc…) which then leads to promotion and perhaps a "step up" in that same industry – all the while we strive for more money, more responsibility and perhaps even change employers to get that.
This can go on for years, decades…all the while we are creating a life (professional, social and personal) driven in directions away from our passion and hunger.
Aligning With Your Passion
Let's look at an alternative.
What if you were fascinated by writing when you were young, but everyone told you that you will never make a living with writing so go out and get a real job.
Think about it…had you focused entirely on your passion, there are many potential paths to making a living and don't you think you would have succeeded driven by that inner passion…the type of passion that makes work seem like play, that drives you to learn your craft better than anyone else, that gives you the energy and dynamism to make contacts that will lead you to higher levels?
The real secret to success (if there is one) has much more to do with designing your life in alignment with your passion than anything else.
When you align your waking hours with your passion and hunger, amazing things happen:
- You have virtually zero negative stress
- You naturally draw people toward you
- You are happy and enjoy most of what you do
- Your capacity for learning is off the charts…everyday your passion drives your thirst to learn and improve without even thinking about it
- You are naturally focused and stick to your objectives – a major factor in succeeding with anything in life
- Your life and your work are both in synergy instead of work impacting your personal life and vice versa
- You become influential as dedication, persistence and credibility are all key to being highly influential, these come naturally to you when you are aligned with your passion
- You stay hungry to improve, learn more and continue on even when you reach interim milestones
Just take a moment right now, close your eyes and image a life where you are completely aligned with your passion in life…what your day would look like, who your friends would be, how much less stress you would have in your life and how much better you would sleep at night?
What about you? Is it time to rethink your life and work on a "re-do" (as my kids are fond of saying)?
It's never too late to re-orient your life and focus on what you are really passionate about.
Sure, it takes faith in your ability to withstand change, faith that you will "make it" for all those that depend on you and watch you, and faith that you can handle the transition.
But let me ask you this…what is the alternative?
Can you continue to live another 20, 30, 40 years or more the way you are today? If that question makes you uncomfortable, then re-read this post a few times until you can really begin to feel the possibility of making real, meaningful and exciting change in your life…then go ahead and get started. What's stopping you?