Passion and Purpose–Living Your Life Your Way
I came across some very interesting articles using the simple search engine of ‘living your passion’. Undoubtedly by this point in your life you’ve heard a number of quotes alongside the theme of living life your authentically, of realizing your dream(s) and of finding your passion. Sometimes these inspirational posters and sayings can be used to the point of ad nauseam, so much so that you might actually feel annoyed if exposed to the jargon ‘just one more time‘, in which case this might not be the post for you. Then again, hopefully my title and your having clicked on this post means that you are in fact interested in at least some small way. I mean, the last thing that I would want to do is annoy or bore my fellow bloggers/readers on this fine Sunday morning. And, I have to admit that I, personally, am very Passionate about living life passionately. I truly am. Especially now that I have approached that significant mid-life marker of ‘life after 40’. (Truthfully, sometimes I still cannot believe that I am a mid-lifer–that is, until I see pictures of myself in younger years, reference something from twenty years ago as though it were something that happened yesterday and/or see the people around me getting older too. Yikes!! My parents were right again in that time really does fly, and the older you are, the faster it seems to go which is all the more reason to make it count. With that, I am reminded of Leonardo DiCaprio’s quote from “Titanic”, wherein his character passes along a note to Rose, Kate Winslet’s character, and asks her to meet him at the clock to “make it count”.)
But, as usual, I am beginning to digress here, so I will carry on with the point to my post. ‘Sue, get on with it…’
So, am I living my passion? Yes, I am though I have definitely had my fair share of moments along the way wherein I have questioned that very notion. Let me explain. My career, my life’s passion, is something that I have always wanted to do from the time I was wee little. I don’t know how or why it became my ‘thing’, but it was! It just was. I spent a lot of my childhood ‘pretending’ in my field of work, and I loved every minute it:-). My friends, my brothers, my parents and even my cats were often dragged into it, often begrudgingly, but they relented just the same. Maybe they could tell that it was just part of me. At the time, I obviously didn’t categorize it as a passion, I just knew that I enjoyed doing it. When I finally realized my career choice as a young adult, I knew I was fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine and even utilized that exact wording in the essay that I wrote which accompanied my résumé package. But, I still did not think of it as my life’s passion and I think I know why in retrospect.
My job is not an easy one, as is the case for many I’m sure. It was/is very demanding in almost every way possible, especially with respect to time, energy, and mental tenacity. Thus, surely that kind of work is not what one might consider ‘passionate’, is it? To my way of thinking, especially in my 20’s and 30’s, passion was/is a more romantic notion than coming home every day completely and utterly exhausted. Or, is it?! Nowadays, I am not so sure about that. Note that I am not saying that I disliked what I was doing, simply that it took a lot out of me. There is a difference. I don’t know a lot, but I know enough to know that you shouldn’t wake up dreading going to work or thoroughly hating it, though aspects of it may not always be favourable. It’s just not worth it, if you absolutely loathe getting out of bed, morning or no morning person, myself being the latter. Now, were there or are there days when I have not wanted to go into work? Yep! In fact, I have had a lot of days like that, and I will admit that there have been times, even recently, when I have considered changing careers and still am, but mostly because I don’t want to ‘burn out’ too soon or wake up having lost my zest for what I do long before I choose to do something else. And, with age and experience, I have contemplated other areas of interest of mine, related to my present job, that I might wish to explore with writing and psychology being at the top of that list. I mean, who knows what else I might be good at doing, if I don’t give myself the chance, right?
The thing is that I want to go out on a high note. I don’t want choices to be made for me, either health or otherwise, as has been the case for many colleagues of mine. I don’t want to lose my passion or be passionless about my passion? Do you know what I mean? No one wants that! I don’t want to be that old, crotchety lady who feels like she ‘has’ to keep doing what she’s doing ‘because’….and let’s face it, no one wants to work with someone like that. I know that I sure don’t! Interestingly enough, I have learned over the past couple of years in particular that it is because I am so passionate about what I do that I give my all, and that that is not necessarily a bad thing, just something to be conscious about. (One of the articles that I read this morning even suggested that you are not living your life’s passion unless you are having to make sacrifices such as less money, more time spent, risk etc. which only people who truly love doing something can persevere through; whether or not you believe that line of thinking is up to you, but it is food for thought.) Because of all of the sacrifices that I have had to make, I was prompted to look at some more creative choices along my career path, namely going part-time, to allow for a greater life/work balance and as I have said before in other posts, that decision was/is by far the single best thing that I have ever done for myself! Because of it, I have been fortunate to travel more frequently and best of all, I met my husband:-). Now, I get to do my life’s passion at work and come home to my other life’s passion, my soulmate with whom I get to spend time travelling, camping, hanging out and enjoying day-to-day life together with family, friends and each other. Was everything that I endured worth it for the life that I am living now? You bet it was and I have certainly learned a great deal from my experiences, especially about myself and what I want out of life.
Aside from some helpful tips about how to live your life’s purpose in the Forbes magazine write-up titled,” Five lessons learned” by Jessica Semaan, the following words near the end of the story stood out to me:
A palliative nurse recorded the most common regrets and put her findings into a book called “The Top Five Regrets of The Dying.” The #1 regret of the dying was: “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself and instead lived the life that others expected of me.”
Don’t wait till your deathbed to live the life that you want and do work you love. Start small and start now.
Similarly, as mentioned in the Huffington Post‘s, “Six Ways to Find Your Passion and Live Your Purpose”, the author says that:
“Passion and purpose go hand-in-hand, so when you are struggling to find your purpose get back to what brings you joy and in no time you will be making a difference while also living a life you love.”
On that note, let me leave you with one last thought/picture, which I also found this morning. And, cheers to living your life’s passion:-).