My wife must think I’m nuts. And I probably am.
Six years ago my daughter, Halle, was born. At the time I was working at a public relations agency, plowing ahead in a job that I really disliked. So I quit. With a one-month old baby. And no job to go to.
At the time it seemed totally rational. If I knew what I was doing wasn’t getting me where I wanted to go, then why waste another day in it? To add to the insanity, we loaded a moving truck, picked a random city, and moved. Our truck broke down in New Mexico on the way to our new destination (in 100+ degree August heat) but we eventually arrived. We signed an apartment lease sight-unseen and I scrounged up a job a few weeks after we got there. We used whatever savings we had to move and get settled before I started reining in a $12 an hour paycheck working customer service at Overstock.com. Looking back, this is what it took for me to find my passion — drastic measures. In fact, it may not have happened any other way.
Since then we’ve moved all over the country, with each job getting us closer to a goal that still remains a bit unclear. I’m a firm believer that doing what you love will get you where you want to be. But I’ve always felt a bit guilty for dragging my wife and family from place to place. And then I read about this guy:
Wait of the world
He completed a “World Triathlon” that he designed because he’s passionate about…being crazy, I suppose. But he also sold his house and car, used their $60,000 savings, and took out a $100,000 loan to do it. I think he’s nuts, and yet, I can relate. Sometimes discovering your passion requires a significant course correction. But sometimes, in fact most times, it doesn’t.
Discovering your passion, what makes you unique, should not always spur an immediate shift from what you are doing to what you could be doing. In fact, Dave Ramsey, the famed financial guru, suggests that there are really only a few good reasons to leave one job without having another lined up: unethical behavior at work, illegal activity, and/or sexual harassment. According to Dave, having a lack of passion or energy for what you are currently doing is not a valid reason to quit with nowhere to go. However, you should use your current situation as motivation to begin to play to your talents and strengths more frequently and to initiate a plan that will gradually move you away from what draws energy from you and more toward what gives you energy. Keep your day job, but use whatever “free” time you have to volunteer for opportunities to use your strengths. Better yet, use your strengths at work. Find ways to maximize your talents. Then, when the time is right, make the shift from your day job to the job you really want to do.
At the end of the day, the goal is congruence: a state of agreement between who you are and what you do. But achieving this state doesn’t always need to be dramatic. The man’s wife from the article, Cate, pinpointed the goal: “I think that’s everybody’s challenge in life,” she says. “Doing what you love, chasing your passions and yet being there for your family at the same time. I want him to find this balance.”
My goal is to find that balance as well, and to help others do the same.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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