At breakfast this morning Ruben asked me what my passion was. Part of the zeitgeist these days is living your passion, doing what you truly love, being authentic and all that good stuff. It’s supposed to be a highly lucrative way to live. This whole idea works especially well if your passion is doing people’s taxes, operating on clogged arteries, filling holes in teeth or writing meticulous contracts for banks.
That leaves a big hole for those of us whose passions include being with family, cooking, reading, entertaining and playing with the dog. And then there are people like me and my clients who love our profession (say teaching, performing or research,) but not the way you’re supposed to do it.
Does following your heart necessarily involve talking a vow of poverty if your passion is not one of the normal fast-track lucrative career tracks?
I don’t think it is. I think anyone can learn to live an abundant, prosperous (OK, RICH) life. It just takes a lot of energy, creativity and courage to forge that path. (Patience is also required.)
You also have to train your eyes to see things you don’t see right now: opportunities, unexpected gifts and gains, projects, allies and progress.
Your schooling prepared you to select the one RIGHT answer on the test. Living creatively and well means work around after work around after work around.
(A work around is finding a way to make something work that isn’t the proscribed correct answer.)
Examples from real life:
* Receiving the gift of tickets to a black-tie gala that’s totally out of your normal budget, and then borrowing something cool to wear. And having a blast.
* Seeing the world as a place of infinite possibilities and unlimited wealth. Even if you were just budget cut out of a job.
* Taking the time to write out detailed scenarios of what living creatively and well looks like to you. This would be a description of your day in your ideal life including things like what your room would look like, what you would eat for breakfast, how does your work day unfold?
* Asking yourself if there are other ways to live richly that don’t require the same cash outflow. Here you could compare the cost of take-out from Whole Foods versus eating out at a local restaurant. Or going out for breakfast and not for dinner. Putting together a progressive dinner with friends. Getting books from the library instead of buying new ones. (Note to fellow reading addicts: Except for Anna Karenina, which belongs to my son, I’m rereading all of my favorite books this year. I’m really getting more out of them the second or third time around.)
It’s all in how you look at it.
* Educating yourself about investing. Actually try to understand your 401-K quarterly statement.
* Make a long list of possible ways you could come up with some cash, if you really had to. This will help you think outside the job as far as income flows.
* Get more rest and exercise. That will go a long way to keeping you healthy. And isn’t health a major manifestation of well being?
* Take a personal day (or several) off. My friend Sally gave herself a 5-day long week-end recently and had a blast. Take some time to enjoy this fabulous cooler weather, before it gets really cold!
Getting your passion to pay to bills means this: 1) Develop more streams of income. 2) Find unusual and less costly ways to get what you want. 3) Enjoy more what you already have.
Before your passion can begin to pay your bills, you have to know what you’re passionate about, or what you love to do. That’s a good place to start.
Today’s artwork is by Success Princess.