Yet another great question from a client I deliberated long and hard on before answering.
The simple answer to this question is yes, but nothing is ever simple is it? Lol
The Marc Anthony quote “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” comes to mind.
I find it very interesting that by the age of seven, most children know what they want to be when they grow up, yet by the age of 22, most young adults just want to get a decent job that pays the bills and gives them some pocket money. What happens in that 15-year gap that causes us to give up on our dreams and passions?
Often times, it is because we are bombarded with external influences (from our parents, family, school, friends, media, etc.) with expectations of who we should be. Our passions get diminished into whimsical thoughts of “wouldn’t it be great if I could do what I love and get paid well for it?”
Well we can! However, like with anything worth having, it takes work (meaning committed consistent effort over time) and, unfortunately will probably be poorly paid, if at all, in the beginning.
And therein lies the problem, most of us don’t want to work for pennies, much less for free!
In our early twenties, we experience new freedoms and independence that cost money e.g. moving into our own place, going out with friends, going on holidays, etc. It all seems so exciting and fun, so to go on indefinitely earning a small wage or even worst, nothing at all, is just not attractive.
Our pursuit for our passion is slowly outweighed by the practicalities of life. And unless our passion is seen as a reputable career like becoming a lawyer or doctor, we can (be made to) feel silly for pursuing our passion as a career because “how can we make money doing what we love?”
And the this predicament worsens as we get older – with more responsibilities and already being established in our careers (no matter how much we may dislike it) – how can we then give it all up to start all over again?!
It’s at this moment, I believe we have a decision to make: whether it’s more important to continue living a lie that makes us unhappy or finally be honest with ourselves and start going after what we really want?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this transition is easy. No matter how unhappy we may be, it’s comfortable to stay as we are – life remains predictable and we can manage our expectations.
Chasing our passion means embracing the unknown and while this can be very scary, it gives us variety and the opportunity to get excited about what we love and have always wanted to do.
This is actually me right now: I am pursuing my passion delivering self-development workshops whilst still having a fulltime job. I’m not going to lie, some days it’s challenging and tiring, but I can’t express in words how much joy it gives me.
It also makes me braver to do other things, like writing this blog for example. Some of the questions I am asked to answer scare me, but the fact that people believe in me and what I do enough to want my opinion, is great affirmation that I’m doing the right thing.
I know we all have different responsibilities and may not always be able to follow our passion the way we would like or make the amount of money we want to straightaway, but if we keep gooing, the wealth will come.
Wealth (in terms of both our finances and the quality of our lives) is the by-product of all the work we put into our passion. The key is not to focus on the money, but to stay focused on our passion.
When we follow our passion, with consistent work (committed effort over time), the money will come. But even better, the level of fulfilment and joy it brings us is unparalleled. Money is just the icing on the cake.
Your passion is always where your wealth is, but your wealth isn’t always where your passion is. Following your passion will always make you wealthy both financially and personally. Chase your passion not your wealth.