So you want to follow your passion? These last few years have been a journey for me. A journey to find me. A journey to find my passion. A journey to follow my passion to wherever it may lead me. A journey to find happiness. To live the most authentic life possible. To just BE. It sounds so simple. But it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Hard not because I didn’t know what I wanted or how to get it. But because I had to get other people out of my way. The hardest thing about following your passion is not letting other people talk you out of it or make you doubt yourself. The hardest part is saying “yes, dammit this is what I want!”
In December 2015 I was on safari in South Africa. I made a point of being fully present and I realized at that moment, even though it was 6am, I was freaking freezing and standing in a pile of giraffe shit, I was so apologetically happy. I was doing exactly what I wanted to do. I was traveling the world with people that I loved. Seeing things that most people would never see. When I hear people say they are afraid to fly, or the flight is too long it makes me sad. It took me 36 hours to get to Cape Town, South Africa. Thirty-six hours to get that smile on my face and I would do it 100 times more to be as happy as I was in that moment.
When I decided to quit my job at IRS, I only told a few people. I told the people that mattered and the people I knew would support me. The other people I told AFTER I’d quit. I didn’t need their approval or their support. I simply informed them of the choice I made. There were a few people who I told beforehand who weren’t all that supportive. I knew they wouldn’t be. See, their lack of support had nothing to do with me. It had everything to do with them. And their fear. Their fear that they couldn’t walk away. That they couldn’t do it on their own. But I knew I needed to tell them. I knew I needed that push back. I needed to have that debate with them so that I could strengthen my position. Not for confirmation. I used them to solidify my business plan. The part of my plan that explains what differentiates me from my competition. The part that explains my purpose and my passion. I used their fear to make me stronger.
So why should you follow your passion? First of all, why not? It is an amazing feeling to do something that you actually want to do. It makes life so much easier. It makes the days go by faster. It makes conversations with people more pleasant. Next, once you follow your passion everything else falls in line. You’ll start to notice everything you encounter supports your goals. Articles you read, people you meet, businesses you come across will all become both financially and spiritually rewarding. And most importantly, you will live in truth and authenticity. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone who you aren’t. You will no longer have to spend 8 hours a day at a job that you don’t like. You won’t have to do things that you don’t want to do. You will feel as though a weight has been lifted. And you will find it so much easier to say, “No. That doesn’t work for me.” Or “No. That doesn’t fit into my plan for the day.” Or “No. I won’t be in the country during that week.” That one is my favorite!
Finding your passion doesn’t mean you have to quit your job. Maybe you like your job. But maybe you spend too much time there. Maybe you devote all your time to your husband and kids and have forgotten about yourself. Finding your passion means getting to the essence of what makes you, YOU. Start simply by making a list of your interests. Which ones stand out to you more than others? Start researching groups, websites, blogs. Decide what you want to learn more about and go on from there. Not everyone needs to quit their job and start a business or travel the world. Some people love to paint or to cook or to dance or bowling. Who knows? I don’t know. But you do.
When I found my passion, I found my voice. I stopped trying to please everyone else and made my happiness a priority. I do things because I want to not because I feel a sense of obligation. I spend time with people that I LIKE doing things that I LOVE. And that makes me happy!