By: Dr. Gwen Smith
Occasionally people report being scared when they are about to do the Passion Test. It’s scary for them because they think they have to give up something familiar to take on the unknown in order to live a life filled with the things they love to do. Often these thoughts surround the vocation or means of earning a living that one perceives they may need to change to. I acknowledge it can be scary when you think that you may not make it, and thoughts of, “What if it doesn’t work?” creep into your mind. And the more these thoughts are entertained, the scarier it becomes. Often, if left unchallenged, paralysis results leaving you stopped in your tracks, continuously analyzing the what ifs, and never making a move. It is a certain way to continue life with the status quo…without leaving any significance or impact in the world.
Searching questions to ask
To have significance in your life requires frequently asking yourself searching questions about the validity of the thoughts, ideas, beliefs and concepts that challenge your actions. The ones that stop you, that is. Settling for those thoughts and ideas will never put you in discovery of whether or not the thoughts carry validity. Moreover they will never get you to the place of creating significance. You become fixated.
Ask yourself, “What if my fears are false? How can I ever even know for sure if they are anyway?” Quite often, asking these questions and challenging these thoughts reveal just the opposite of what was expected when you defy the fear and get into action. Fear is conjured up in your mind and isn’t reality. Regardless of what may have happened in your past, there is no guarantee your past will ever repeat itself. So it is true to say that fear arises from something that has not yet happened in your life. And, entertaining the fear is counterproductive to having any significance and breakthroughs. Realizing certain truths may help to eliminate the level of fear as well. Let’s examine some of these.
Passion and earnings shouldn't be mutually exclusive, but can be
You will never know for sure if your fears will be validated unless you first step out. Stepping out creates an unexpected dynamic: the fear magically disappears and becomes powerless over you. Too many people have gone to their graves as a ‘could have been’ instead of a ‘has been’ in terms of the positive impact they could have left on others. And, whereas we are discussing passion and fear in terms of a livelihood, making a difference in the world doesn’t mean you have to quit how you are currently earning money. They can be mutually exclusive. Making a living is not the only outlet to living a passionate life. However, making a living from a place of passion produces exponential results, not just in your happiness. The top 100 income earners all have this one thing in common: they are living their passion daily. Just imagine that. It is no accident that they are top earners. Passion has every bit to do with it.
In fact, here’s what one of the top earners had to say at a graduation commencement in 2005. In addressing the graduates, the late Steve Job said,
“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle." As with all matters of the heart you will know when you find it and as with any love relationship it just keeps getting better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking don’t settle.”
So living and working in your passion not only allow you to persist beyond the hurdles that surely will come, but doing so also carry the possible bonus to significantly impacting your level of earnings. Yes, it does matter that you do earn a living, and you can do that even while making a difference and boosting your income. It won’t happen however, without the breakthrough on your part. You must break through the fear by taking the first step to discover what your heart is passionate about.
Take it in increments, step-by-step
So now, having the discovery that passion can impact your earnings, imagine what other possibilities can now be available to you by stepping into your passion. As basic needs involve food, shelter and all the necessities people work to provide, it is understandable that fear of not supporting oneself can appear very threatening.
Perhaps that may be the major fear that’s preventing you from stepping out to discover what your heart is truly passionate about. But who says that it has to be all or nothing anyway? If you really explore what the paradigm can look like, you may agree that it doesn’t have to look one way. You possibly aren’t going to run off from what you are doing today, just to start earning a living doing your passion tomorrow. It takes strategizing, planning and time to build success. And, building incrementally in your area of passion, then finally taking the leap when you’ve reached your income goals is probably best anyway. You possibly may not even need to change your mode of earning an income at all. You may just discover that you are in the perfect place. You will never be certain, however, before stepping out and discovering what your passions truly are. But just remember this: even if you feel that you have to do something different, it still can be one step at a time; it’s less fearful this way. So why hang on to the angst about the unknown? Just get your personal data and act from there.
Final Important pointers often overlooked
Beyond all that has been said about passion and earnings, what’s often overlooked is that living your passions do not only relate solely to earning a living, having a job, starting a business or even having a means of supporting yourself. What’s frequently missed is that passion also relates to every other important area of your life; other areas where you can build significance and make an impact.
Identifying your passions in those other areas of your life such as your love life (what is important to your heart in a relationship), health, the environment and many others, is key to well-rounded happiness. Knowing these can create opportunities for you to join hands with already existing organizations focused on your passion, allowing you to create significance and impact in the world. It may also look like getting together with a group of friends to start a project to make a difference. You determine what fulfills you most. If nothing else, being clear about your passions in all areas of your life will bring you peace of mind just knowing that you are clear about where you need to go and what steps you need to take to experience the greatest joys and deepest fulfillment in your life.
So there! You can take a deep breath and let go of the fear and sign up to be in discovery about the things that matter to your heart.
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