What would you do if you had a million in the bank and no one had expectations of you? How would you spend your days? What would your contribution be?
Most importantly, why aren’t you doing it now?
I’ve definitely swung on the pendulum from “we should do something we love but let’s be reasonable” to “forget reasonable — find your passion and do it!” These days I’m leaning toward the latter.
I met with someone the other day who said that if money were no object, she had no expectations on her, and the world revolved around her she would be a photographer for a non-profit that delivers water to developing countries. This isn’t what she’s doing now and I asked her why not.
“How would I make a living doing that? Plus, how do I even get there? And, I have no training.”
All legitimate questions, but not insurmountable. Someone’s making a living doing it (at least 136,000 people a year according to the BLS). The fact is, we often discount our passions because we’re not sure how we could get paid to do it when there are often tons of people getting paid to do it, we just don’t believe we can be one of them (or we don’t care enough to pursue it). And, the path is never clear because there is no one path. Training is good, but especially if it’s foundation is talent. I asked if she had natural talent in photography.
“Sure, my dad’s friend is a professional photographer in D.C. and he’s critiqued my photos several times and encouraged me to take it more seriously. He says I seem to have an eye for it.”
So you’ve potentially got natural talent, other people have told you you’re good at it, but you’re still not doing it? WHY?
I didn’t need to ask. The answer is always fear.
As I told her, and I’m telling you right now, I’m not saying you should quit your job today and pursue your passion. But I also don’t think you should ignore it. Explore it on the side but take it seriously. You’ll likely find one of two things:
The fact is, your passion will never go away. It won’t leave you alone. It begs to be acknowledged, developed, and shared. Not only that, but we need you to follow it because what we may be getting in the marketplace may be an average product. We need you with all of your talent to up the ante — raise the bar.
Talent drives innovation and creativity and improves the offerings for the rest of us to take advantage of.
So what are you waiting for?
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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