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Life is Short - Love What You Do, Do What You Love
By Adam McFarland
Life is short. Are you doing what you love? Are you living your passion? If not, why? I am guessing most people will answer that question with "I have a mortgage, a spouse and three kids to support, and $20,000 in college loans to pay back. In the real world people have responsibilities. They have to make sacrifices. You aren't supposed to be happy with your job but you do it because you have to."
With all due respect, they are wrong. You can take care of your responsibilities and be happy with your job. We spend over 1/3 of our day, at least five days a week performing our jobs. This is a lot of time to be wasting on something we don't enjoy, is it not? Why not spend that time doing something you truly are passionate about for 50 hours a week instead something that lacks meaning?
I think there is one main reason people don't follow their passion - fear. Fear of how others will react, fear of failure, and fear that they can't do it themselves. I think the first part is for people realize that they can conquer their fear. You will fail at times and others will think you are crazy at times, but if you believe that you will succeed than you ultimately will.
I always tell people that it's a three step process. First, figure out what your passion is. Second, figure out how to make money doing it. Third, do it. It might seem simple. In a way, I think it is.
Step 1: Figure out what your passion is
Everyone is passionate about something - sports, dancing, painting, roller coasters, computers, family, religion, politics, etc. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what that passion is. Pretend as if money is not an issue. Whatever you would spend your time doing is your passion. I love to quote office Space (one of my favorite movies of all time) when I talk about this step. Peter makes the statement "Our high school guidance counselor used to ask us what you would do if we had a million dollars and didn't have to work. And invariably, whatever we would say, that was supposed to be our careers. If you wanted to build cars, then you're supposed to be an auto mechanic." What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Step 2: Figure out how to make money doing it
Whatever your passion is, I guarantee you can make money doing it. If your into roller coasters then get a job at a company that designs roller coasters. If you are into computers, consider starting a business building computers or designing websites. Now, if your passion is music, you may not be able to be a concert pianist, but you could sell pianos or give piano lessons. Whatever skills you have, you can find a way to make money. At the very least, you can start a blog like this one and make money from advertisements. You can syndicate your posts as articles across the web to drive traffic to your site. That pretty much covers any topic imaginable and requires very little technical knowledge.
Step 3: Do it
Without a doubt this is the hardest step. I'm not saying everyone should run out and quit their job today. It takes planning to do it right. The key is that you are planning. That you have started working towards that goal of living your passion. One of my passions happens to be sports collectibles. So, as a senior in college I started SportsLizard.com. At the time I graduated, I wasn't making enough money from the business to live so I took a job as an engineer. I am working toward being able to live my passion full time but for the time being I need the income from the job. Again, the important thing is that I am doing it. I have goals set and each one that I achieve brings me closer to being able to focus my life on the things I am passionate about.
I understand that it is not easy. I am in the middle of going through it right now. But understand that there are other people out there who have been through what you are going through and can help you immensely. They have failed, been ridiculed, and come out on the other end extremely successful. They are living proof that you can do what you love.