"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." -- Oprah Winfrey
So often we think we can't make money doing what we love so we do not begin. We separate our job from the work we truly love to do. Getting started on a passion project overwhelms us and we never start. We think an entire life change is required when this is not necessarily true. Unless you are one of the fortunate few whose full-time job is what you always hoped would be your life's work, it's possible to pursue your passion outside of the office if you make it a priority.
I know an attorney who teaches guitar, a real estate broker with a large following as a food blogger and a headhunter who has an online course in travel writing. They love it! It adds a rich and awesome element to their life and who knows -- maybe there will be a transition down the track if and when they decide to make it. It also gives more options in times of economic uncertainty (and in 2014, there is no such thing as job security).
I was very taken by a recent speech Jim Carrey gave during a graduation ceremony at Maharishi University of Management where he spoke about his late father. Like Jim, his father was a very talented comedian but took a "safe" route in life as an accountant and abandoned comedy altogether. After years of working in this field to provide for his family, he lost his job. As a result, the family struggled for years. Jim promised himself to follow his dreams because, even if you don't, you can still fail. So why not pursue your life's passion in some capacity?
Here are five reasons to make doing what you love a priority:
1. It's fun
Doing what you love to do is invigorating, doesn't feel like work and could be the most joy you ever experience. You deserve this in your life! And who says that what feels like leisure cannot also be lucrative?
2. The universe supports you
When you follow your bliss you tap into something greater than you. The universe wants you to use your unique talents and supports you when you do. Opportunities unfold. You meet someone at an airport you can collaborate with. You get an awesome idea on the subway. You get an unexpected call from an old friend with a cool business proposition.
Some people do very well in careers that they are not passionate about. They think it's enough if the financial rewards and social status are pleasing. But think of the possibility that exists for those people if they made time for their true calling! Wow. It gives me chills thinking about it. I took a spin class the other day and really liked the instructor. When I looked at her bio, I was surprised to see that she was a lawyer. We need not impose limits on ourselves where there actually are none!
3. Creativity, ideas and energy FLOW
When we do what we love, we connect with our divine source. Our gifts, even if we have not used them in years, never leave us. We just need to channel them. For almost 10 years I was a writer who did not write. For the first article I wrote, about scaling back and learning to say no (something I really believe in) the words came. It was published on a large wellness site and was shared by over 3,000 people. My articles have continued to ever flow ever since, so long as I sit down to write. We just need the discipline.
4. You are being honest with yourself
Nothing is more important than being who you are here to be -- it is your only true obligation to yourself and to the world. If you approach it with commitment and an open heart, the rewards will come.
In Regrets of The Dying, Bronnie Ware, a hospice nurse, says many of the patients she nursed in their final days regretted most that they lived a life other people expected of them and not the life that they truly wanted to live. When we use our talents, we don't leave room for regret.
5. You can take baby steps -- every single stride forward counts
You don't need to quit your job tomorrow (or ever). Start at the beginning. Get clear on what your passion is. Research other people who share similar interests. Speak to others in the same field. Find out who else was successful in doing what you want to do. Read all you can about the industry you want to enter. The rest unfolds in time if you stay committed and you allow it to.
Imagine if your favorite musician, writer, inventor, chef, athlete or architect did not follow their passion. Your life would be that much less rich because they didn't. When you share your gifts it is a blessing on the entire world and you don't know where your legacy ends. In fact, someone once told me that to to withhold your talent is selfish. Yes, you are in fact being selfish by not sharing your skills with others.
Jim Carrey says many of us make fear-based decisions and turn our back on what we love to do and "disguise it as practicality." The opposite is true -- following your passion is practical. And it's wonderful. How can you get started?