7 Reasons Why You Need to Do What You Love and How to Get Started
“Find what you love and let it kill you.” ~ Charles Bukowski
I love the mountains especially in the winter. Being in their presence, it’s like their serenity, grandeur and awe inspiring beauty bring me to life. They are surely one of mother natures most epic creations. At the time of writing, I’m really enjoying watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi, especially the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events. Two potentially life threatening sports, which require a mixture of courage and a sense of sheer carelessness to really excel. When I say carelessness, I mean an approach to the sport that’s playful, fun and expressive. You have to relax and trust in your own abilities – fear and anxiety merely get in the way of true expression.
What is so blatantly obvious, is that these guys and girls are totally doing what they love. Yes it’s competitive, but it’s not just about winning. They have an infectious, happy to be alive attitude. A sense of real appreciation that they’re able to be make money doing something that in many ways is play. Of course there’s disappointment if they don’t perform at their best, they’ve worked extremely hard to get to the Olympics. But above all they appear to be so grateful for the privilege of creating their art on the mountainside, irrespective of the outcome. They aren’t locked into a mundane day to day existence, they’re free spirits loving the joy of life.
Now compare that to the daily slog most people trudge through. Take a look around you and you’ll see most people don’t have the sense that life’s such a gift. Most people are innocently trapped in a self created prison of sameness, never daring to see a way out of the monotony. Too afraid to think they could live a life they love, so they endure life rather than celebrate it.
In most businesses you’ll see what I mean, people just doing what’s required. Killing time, wishing the clock would speed up so 5 o’clock arrives and they’re able to make a brief escape. They are only there for one thing – to pay the bills, never seeing a way out so they become a slave to a career they don’t really like.
I know how this feels and it isn’t living an inspired life. It was the path I was taught to take like many others. Fortunately the world has changed. No longer do we need to remain encapsulated by a job that drains our soul. Everyday returning to a place you don’t want to be, to be told what to do by people you’d rather avoid. Now you have the opportunity, if you’re willing to risk what you think you know about the person you think you are, to create a life more attuned to fun and authenticity.
7 Reasons Why It’s Important to Do What You Love
“Love is the ultimate coach. Do what you love, let love guide you, let love inspire you” ~ Robert Holden
1. It feels great – because you’re distracted from the myriad of daily dramas that otherwise could entertain your mind. In doing so you get to realise there are much bigger fish to fry than the nonsense that gets in the way of inspired living.
2. You create your art – like when a snowboarder carves his way down a mountain taking a totally unique route, you’re leaving your mark in this world whatever it is you do.
3. When you do what you love it’s not work – it is a pleasure, that doesn’t end when 5pm comes around. You live and breathe what you love, you’re not wasting day after day, being someone you’re not, doing work that never fulfils you, spending your days with people ruled by their egos, asleep to the greater joy and possibility life offers.
4. You are living life intentionally – awaking each day with a passion and purpose which drives you to create the kind of success you deserve. A job’s OK if you need money, but at least in my experience will never give you that sense of satisfaction and fulfillment you get from treading your own path.
5. You produce great work – it is a natural by product of true self expression.
6. If you have kids, you teach them money isn’t a valid goal for authentically successful living. My parents worked damn hard, but were trapped by the idea that a job was the only way to make it in life. They believed that if you have a job you’re lucky, whether you like your work or not. They got to retirement with little to show for their commitment to other peoples dreams. If you follow the money the risk is boredom, depression and the chance to never find out what you’re truly capable of. It limits fun, expression, self growth and opportunities.
7. Steve Jobs said it best –
Where to Start?
The thing is there isn’t a hard a fast formula for discovering what you’re passionate about and then transitioning to a new career or starting a business centered on your passions. Each one of us has a different dream, a unique idea of what doing what we love looks like, and only you know where you are on this journey.
From my own experience if you’re at the very start and you’re developing new skills or talents, as I found out the hard way, giving up a monthly paycheck is probably a bad move. However if you have an idea that you truly believe in, and you’re prepared for the worst case scenario, throwing in the towel and putting everything on the line, might be for you.
I recently quit my day job again. It is a scary thing to do especially without a clear plan in place or a guaranteed income. Going back has been mentally, physically and spiritually challenging. Apart from the 3 hour commute and 10+ hour days, what I found most difficult was the culture. I thought I’d left the pointless nonsensical office politics, fear and pointless gossip behind me. It felt like I’d given up, but It wasn’t giving up. in fact I became even more committed to breaking free, it’s been a stark reminder why I wanted to get out in the first place.
For the last 18 months I’ve been working almost every night and every holiday on a variety of different projects. It has been a tough time for all concerned, but its shown me that life rarely goes to plan and the detour I thought I was taking was a necessary one. It reiterated the fact that you’ve simply got to get stuck in, even though there no guarantees of success.
How you make the leap is very much a personal adventure and likely to require many iterations until your path shows itself. A journey, which at times probably won’t be clear or easy and require you to take steps backward to finally move forward. Reinventing your life, is likely require an element of risk, but to give yourself the best chance of making the leap, make sure all of your needs are met. The first time I tried, cash ran out as time elapsed, and with that insecurity rose. I became ‘needy’, which makes authenticity difficult and saps creativity and courage – the very things you’re going to need to succeed.
Forget Your Life’s Purpose – Follow Your Gifts
If you don’t know where to start, it’s worth remembering all of natures creations instinctively know what they’re meant to do. Like a sperm knows it’s mission is to finds its way to the ovaries, or a cell knows how to separate and heal the body; there is a purpose to every living organism on this planet. So when you consider you’re made of a trillion cells, brought to life by the energy behind all living things; it makes sense to me at least, that surely each one of us has our own unique purpose too. However most people ignore their inner calling and pursue what they think they ‘should’ do, at the expense of real happiness.
If you’re someone who’s curious about your purpose, you may have found answering the question tricky. On some level it’s simply a choice and if you look at it that way, there’s less pressure to get the answer right, because you can always choose again. But on a deeper level, if you believe you have a higher calling then defining the answer becomes an important and necessary.
One way to help you find clarity is to let fun show you the way, as you explore what you love to do and start to recognise what is it that lights you up, excites and inspires you. It will be much easier if you keep things light hearted, fun is intelligent. When you find it, dedicate your life to it like Nelson Mandela dedicated his to peace or Robert De Niro to acting.
Nurture those passions which draw you in like nothing else. The test is whether you’d do it even if you weren’t getting paid for it—even if you had to work at another job to make a living. Do you know any corporate lawyers who’d do their current work for free, in their spare time, and take day jobs as waiters to support themselves?
Are You Ready to Leap?
You have something so magical at your disposal, that when utilised to it’s full capacity solves the world’s biggest problems and creates beauty. As Albert Einstein said “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”.
Like an oak tree’s acorns, your gifts are your own unique talents, ideas and creations. When you create that which inspires you, you’ll inspire others. Osho said it best when he said that “happiness is a by product of creativity” and this opportunity is available to you.
You may have to risk your personality in the process (which is one of the best things you can do!) and it’s unlikely to be the easy option…but if you’ve read this to here, I doubt that’s what you want anyway.
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