“You are so LUCKY you do what you love!”… Am I?

 

I’ve worked  many different jobs in my life and one thing I’ve discovered is I’ve talked to a LOT of people. About all sorts of things: love, money, work, relationships, births, deaths, etc. While discussing all of these things, I find that I always inevitably ask:

If you could do anything in your life (be with anyone, live anywhere, have a different career, etc.), what would you do? Is it what you are doing right now?

A number of  people say they are pretty content with their lives, settled in their jobs, their families, their lifestyles, whatever they may be.

But sometimes I wonder how honest they are being with themselves. Are they truly happy or have they merely found a way to be content with what they have? Do they secretly wish they could be doing something else, but feel it’s a foolish dream and so dismiss it as a possibility all together?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want this post to make anyone feel bad. I just know for myself, I’ve sacrificed a lot to follow what drives me. It’s not an easy route and there are hardships I have to deal with to follow this path. For me, I realized my passions are things I want in my life, regardless of money, success, or security. It’s something that I can put my whole heart into because I truly want to grow at/with it. No matter who, what, or where that passion may lie. So I don’t know if it’s “luck”, but it’s definitely a choice I made for myself.

If you want, I’d love to hear YOUR comments on this subject. Have you followed your passions? (They can be jobs, places you live, things you’ve done, people you’ve known, etc.) Do you even know what they are? Would you pursue something that you desire, even through fear, doubt, and a chance of failure?

Or have you chosen to follow the things you care for the most? How has that worked? Was it “luck” or did you  sacrifice to have those things?

 

(*picture courtesy of justcoopit.wordpress)

10 Comments

  1. Pingback: Some things you may have missed… | Christa Yelich-Koth

  2. Pursue your dream across the arctic tundra, traverse 10,000 frozen lakes, span the barren planes. Follow it over fallen trees, raging rivers and rocky crags. Keep it in sight, never look away, don’t even blink, or it might sublimate into a vaporous memory. Track it up mountains, down into valleys. Cross the blazing, arid desert and to the ocean’s edge. Keep your knapped edges shark, your fletching true. And when it comes into your arrow’s range, stay your bow lest you knick it, wound it, leave it gut-shot and poisoned in bile. No, circle round, stalk closer till your shot cannot miss. Then loose your arrow into this dream’s heart. When it yields, when you stand champion over your dream, its trophy will not describe the moment. Your hunt will define the character of this dream. After you’ve fended off the skunks of criticism, vipers of critique, flattering coyotes and vultures of exploit, then the triumph will be not in attaining the dream, but facing every challenge, conquering your fears until you are standing on the beach, toes in the warm sand, bathed in full, radiating self-reliance. Good luck.

    1. That is some extremely beautifully descriptive stuff (although I’m a big fan of your descriptive writing!), but it sounds like SO much work. Do you have to go through all of that to pursue your passions? Do you feel as though if you don’t struggle that much it’s not worth the outcome or the journey?

  3. acmoyer

    Interesting question. I have been lucky, in that I’ve benefited from choices that other people made for me (like when I was a kid) or before I even came into the picture. But I’ve also made the choice to follow my own passions because taking the safe route just seemed like being slowly tortured to death. Turns out I’m just way too stubborn to do it any other way, I guess! Doing it my way has required more sacrifices than I ever imagined, but then it has led to some interesting opportunities I never would have had any other way. The question that’s been on my mind lately is, what do you do when the passion you followed, which you expected would become your career/lifestyle, reaches a natural conclusion for whatever reason? I think Conrad is right–it’s about following your interests in the present wherever they lead you–but often I find that when one chapter ends there is a period where you’re still focused on what has ended and you haven’t yet found your next goal. I suspect those in-between times are actually really charged with potential and power, even though often times you feel like nothing’s happening.

    1. Very interesting thoughts! I could see how “in-between” time can both be aggravating and enlightening. I’ve also gone through a ‘change in career goal’ where I was certain I’d follow one path for the rest of my life. I did pursue it, but it naturally concluded. What I found though was that I was still doing other passions in the meantime, I just had to recognize them for that and decide that those were the next things I wanted to pursue. And I’m glad you’ve remained stubborn to follow your passions!

  4. To a very large degree, I don’t think doing what you love is luck, it’s a choice. If, for instance, I have a well-paying job I hate for a reward that includes endless aggravation, that uses up all my energy, what have I really gained? Is being comfortable while you are exhausted really what you want? Succeeding at what you love in the conventional sense may indeed involve luck, but the demands of life are pretty much the same regardless of how else your time is occupied. Whatever time you have you will fill up with something (trust me on this). These days, I choose to fill it up with things I love as best I can.

    I have been asked what my Goal in Life is in following my (admittedly varied) interests. I answer: following my interests is the Goal. The Journey is the Destination. If I do something well, the reward is not only the opportunity to do it again, but the opportunity to learn from what I’ve done and do it better next time, and the insight that makes that possible. Like all experiences, my pursuits make me who I am. If I spend all my time doing things I don’t like, what will that make me into?

    1. Some very interesting thoughts, Conrad. But do you ever find that following your goals leads to other difficulties that could be avoided if you do other things? Like time constraints, finances, etc? It’s just that’s those are the reasons I’ve heard most as to why people choose to do other things than pursue their goals, because they don’t have the resources to follow what they love. What are your thoughts for those people?

      1. There are of course people who’s circumstances are extreme enough that they can’t or shouldn’t directly pursue anything other than getting by or building up their resources. That said, plenty of songs/novels/movies have been written with a pencil on a yellow legal pad or art drawn on typing paper with an ordinary wooden number two. Modest tools indeed, but learning to cope and make do is also part of the process.

        Here’s the cool bit: As an artist, I’ve found that the actual drawing is only part of the job. Paying attention to the details in life is the other, more time-consuming part. Maybe even the Good Part. Certainly the Free part. It’s building your frame of mind to the point it changes your perception of even the mundane aspects of life, so ordinary stuff can become interesting or emotionally charged. E.g., have you ever looked closely at piles of melting snow in a parking lot, or on the curb of a street? Noticed the way the warm blacktop melts an undercut under the pile so it almost looks like it’s hovering? Seen the way the dirt shoveled up with the snow is left behind in intricate patterns in the still-frozen part or deposited on the ground? Other people may just see dirt that needs to be cleaned up, I see a complex narrative and something I think is really beautiful, even made poignant by the fact I know it’s temporary. And now I know how to draw melting snow in a parking lot.

        acmoyer in the comments above is spot-on noting the inbetween-times are charged with power. In any activity your whole life is acting as a filter for what you do in that moment. While resources of time or money may be limited, we creative types are never really not doing the job. Learning this was a watershed moment for me. Suddenly everything had something interesting about it. Even my own reactions. Being bored became interesting. Why was I bored? Is it the tv show I’m watching? Something that happened that day? Etc. That’s the journey I was talking about. That’s what being an Artist is to me. Getting it on paper is just a process of distillation so I can share it with people. But of course, that’s just craft, and a different subject.

  5. mom

    i definitely believe in following your passion, making as many of your dreams come true as possible, and taking reasonable chances in doing both. i have been ‘lucky’ in the fact that i’ve been able to put myself in places to have the opportunity to do most of what i’ve wanted to do in my life, but i did make decisions to be where those opportunities could find me. alas, one of my dreams has been to see the sistine chapel. don’t know if that will ever happen, but i’m not dead yet!

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