Friday, October 20, 2017

Living A Life Of Passion

April 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Coaching, Featured

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up. Are you now doing what you always wanted to do? If so, great! How wonderful. If not, then why not? What happened? What changed? What are you doing now? Do you enjoy what you’re doing?

Often times, it’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security. Many people get into what’s called a “comfort zone”. Let me illustrate. You wake up in the morning to an alarm clock going off. You get up and clean up, shower, shave, brush your teeth. Next, you get dressed and then go grab some breakfast (or you run out the door because you’re running late), and then head off into work. You work for 8 hours (or more) and then go home. Grab some dinner. Watch some TV. Get ready for bed (or fall asleep watching TV). Go to bed and start the next day over doing the same thing. Why do people do this? The common answer is because it pays the bills. Also, you know what to expect. You’re getting paid well. You have what you need and you’re “comfortable.”

Now, that’s not a bad thing. Please do not misinterpret what I’m saying. There is nothing wrong with being comfortable. We are creatures of comfort. There’s a warmth and security in the knowledge of comfort. The challenge is that in the back of our heads, there are always three thoughts. The first one is I must prepare for retirement. And the second thing is how secure is my job. Finally, the third thing is “How am I going to pay for that next vacation I want to take?” Let’s take a closer look at these things.

First, let’s look at retirement. Society has set the age of retirement at 65. So that’s what most people expect – retirement at age 65. This is where they believe that they can stop working. Well according to the Social Security Administration, 35% of the population dies before they reach the age of 65. The SSA goes on to say that 54% of the population is dependent upon Welfare of family members. In addition, the SSA says that an additional 5% are still working! That means 95% of the population is either dead, depending on people, or still working by the time they reach the age of 65. Wow! That’s crazy! The final two statistics of that research says that 4% of the population is well to do and only 1% is wealthy. So the question then is really, “what do you need to do in order to get to that top 5% or well to do or better?” Is your current path going to get you there?

Secondly, how secure is your job? Anderson Consulting was (and I do say was) 70 year old firm who were at the top of the game. I had friends that worked there who told me that if you worked at Anderson for 2 – 3 years, then you could get a job at any accounting firm you wanted. They had a great reputation and track record. All of which was lost over one incident causing the entire company and hundreds and thousands of employees to lose their job and their benefits. People who had worked there for 10, 20, or more years, found themselves without a job or a means of income. Enron, WorldCom, Exodus Communications – all companies that had thousands of employees which went out of business. I have a friend that works at United Airlines. They cut her pension. She’s 50 years old without a pension and now has to work a second job in order to rebuild her retirement fund. Motorola had over 150,000 employees at their peak in 2000. They are now down to 50,000 employees. Almost 100,000 individuals laid off – you may even know a few yourself. How secure is your job? How can you make it more secure?

Finally, how are you going to pay for your next vacation or for that 42″ Plasma TV you’ve been eyeing now for 8 months? You have bills to pay – a mortgage, gas, food, some entertainment, utilities, gifts for friends and family. Where are you going to get the money for that big purchase you want?

I’ve painted a very bleak picture here and if this is not you, then first of all, thank goodness, and secondly, I bet you know someone in this situation. So what are you or your friend, going to do about it? No, I’m not telling you to start your own business or go play the lottery. I’m going to tell you what someone once told me. They said, “Love what you do and the money will come.” Love what you do and the money will come. What do you love to do?

Professional athletes love the game they play and they get paid well to play it. Actors and Actresses love acting and get paid well. The best musicians and other artists love what they do and get paid very well. What is your passion? Is your current situation going to get you there or are you in your comfort zone? Is your comfort zone going to give you the life of your dreams? Are you living a life of passion? If not, why not? What little changes can you make today in your life to get you closer to that life?

One of my buddies always wanted to play in a band. Of course he too had bills to pay and other responsibilities as well. That didn’t stop him though. He went to a garage sale and found a guitar. Then he went to a book store and bought a how to play the guitar book. He then spent the next 3 years teaching himself how to play the guitar. He got pretty good at it too. Then he started his own band and started playing gigs. Two things about this though. First, he did this all while he was working a full time job and taking care of his responsibilities. Second, he’s not making a billion dollars doing this. The thing is though, he’s living his child hood dream of playing in a band. And he started making money with it playing “gigs” every now and then. He’s taking that money and investing it into his retirement account which will help him live a better life later on.

Wow. So now my friend is first of all, saving for retirement, secondly, not concerned about job security because he would just devote more energies to his music and playing somewhere having a great time, and thirdly, not worried about paying for his next vacation because he would just look for a gig in a particular location that he wants to travel to and would get paid for traveling and playing. In short, he’s living his life of passion. Now, he hasn’t quit his job yet and he doesn’t intend to. At the same time, those nagging concerns in the back of his head are no longer there. And while it took him several years to get there, he’s still there. He didn’t do it for the money. He did it for the love of life. He did it for his passions.

What are you passionate about? What can you do to get yourself there – one step at a time? I’m going to end with a quote from a great motivational speaker named Randy Gage. Here’s what Randy says, “Attack every day with a ferocious desire to end it a better person than you were when you got up. Create the mindset to live life more fully than you have in the past. Decide right now that simply because the herd settles for mediocrity, appeasement, and existence, you will challenge your self to do, have, and become more.”

  • JayG

    Chaffee, great post!