The Practicality of Following Your Passion

loveandpassionYou may tell yourself that your desires are silly and frivolous like ruffles on overalls or diamonds on a poodle.  They’re unrealistic. They’re ridiculous, at your age. They’re dangerous.  They’re self-inflated.  They’re ravings– not “clues” or signs. They’re distractions, not directions or medicine for your soul.  They’re a desperate mirage, not clear cool water at last, when you’ve been wandering in the seething desert.  Sure everyone wants to paint by the sea in Greece, but it’s not practical, you tell yourself.  But I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. It’s not practical, in the typical mundane, grind yourself to death, factory worker, sense of the word.  It’s magical.  And let me tell you, what’s magical is practical on more levels than you know.  Let me introduce you to a few:

Passion is your Highest Potential of Financial Reward

Consider that OprahBill GatesWarren Buffet and every multi-billionaire followed their passions.  They did not get rich by staying in soul-sucking, energy-draining jobs.  They did not get rich by ignoring their desires, but by following them.  They found their element.  Roses bloom when watered.  They shrivel in the desert. Passion is your highest potential of financial reward.  You’ll give endless hours to what you love.  You’ll demonstrate insane and unthinkable proficiency.  When you love something, you have infinite resources and energy.  You have more strength and talent than you know and our world is starving for true excellence.

I have a suggestion for you.  Start looking for examples of people you know or read about who do the work they love and make a living.  The mind is trained to look for what it believes.  If you believe “creative people starve” or “doing what you love will bankrupt you” that’s the examples you’ll see in the world.  You’ve probably heard the phrase, “what you focus on grows.”  Well focus on finding the evidence for what you really do want to see.  You want to see people thriving in the work they love. And they are everywhere my friend.  They have freedom, independence, stability, and pink cheeks.  They are role models to their children, instead of shadows passing by in the morning and night.

Passion is Your True Security

So many of us think that money is security.  But real security is knowing that you’re going to be all right.  That’s why I don’t believe that money is security.  Your health is security.  Let me tell you, when I practiced law for an elite corporate law firm, I found myself falling into the gummy claws of depression.  Day after day, I started recognizing that I didn’t want to live.  No amount of money in my bank account mattered or would have brought me back from that black hole.

Doing what I loved brought me back. Swimming in the Pacific Ocean off a Northern California coastline on a Wednesday brought me back.  Giving myself permission to follow my true desires, brought me back.  Trusting in God or the Universe or a Creative Calling or some Loving Force I couldn’t see or deposit in my bank account brought me back.

Taking the journey of a lifetime gave me my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I love money.  But I’ll take soul health over a guaranteed income any day, oh yes, as though there’s such a thing as guaranteed income.  You can always make money. You can’t always make time.  My job paid well.  But it cost way too much.

As a career coach, I meet too many people who stay in the safe job, and harden the arteries around their heart or swallow a bitterness and self-abuse that later manifests in abnormal rogue cells, ovarian or lung cancer cells, a diagnosis that does not make them feel secure at all. Is your “safe job” safe– if you feel like it’s “killing you?”  Your soul knows and it lets you know.  In This Time I Dance! Creating the Work you Love, I wrote “Your gnawing is your knowing.”  I’m not saying that everyone needs to quit their jobs.  I am saying I want everyone to follow their hearts.  We all have our own appropriate and inspired way to get there.

Passion Gives You Strength, Super Powers, and Synchronicity

Following your desires will strengthen you.  You will experience electricity.  You will feel alive.  You will love your children more, and notice how much you’d forgotten how much you liked your husband or the way the sunlight hits the salmon colored wall in your dining room.

You are coming back to the land of the living.  There is blood pumping in your veins.  There is light in your eyes.  And what’s that weird sound?  Wait, it’s laughter. Oh yes, you haven’t heard yourself laugh in a long time.  It’s cosmic break dancing music.  It’s the sound of healing.  It’s the sound of clicking your heels three times, and knowing the solar system is finding its true alignment around you.  It’s feeling resolved and loved and seen and heard.  It’s feeling as though you do belong on this planet after all, and that somehow it’s all going to work out.

Here’s the amusing thing.  I’ve watched some career coaching clients follow their passions and then realize they don’t need to leave their jobs.  They start playing the oboe on Wednesday nights or taking a tango class or an internet marketing seminar on the weekends.  They start tasting their lives again and feeling happy. This abundance leaks into all areas of their lives, just as sadness leaked into all areas before.  I’ve worked with clients who got raises and bonuses in their jobs, when they started doing what they loved on the side.  Some clients use their current careers to finance their emerging dreams.  They buy photographic equipment or pay for weekend coaching retreats.  Suddenly they see their careers as supporting their dreams instead of devastating them.  (Yes, and some clients absolutely, unequivocally need to leave their jobs.  And freaky deaky opportunities to support themselves come their way.  It happens all the time.  In fact every time you hear a bell, an angel got their wings…and someone found a way to pay the bills while they pursued the path their soul.)

Following one interest often helps them begin to realize others.  When they begin to listen to their souls, their soul begins to speak on all levels. They discover new desires and new strengths and capacities. Suddenly, they trust in something larger and they find breathing room and creativity they didn’t know they had. They rediscover themselves at the deepest levels. Fear recedes. And when it increases, they reinvigorate their faith and become even stronger.

Life becomes fun again.  Anything becomes possible.  Anything is possible.