Many people are itching to do something different and Live Their Passion. A new career. Run their own business. A new industry completely. Work from home. Re-train in something totally unexpected. Live my passion! Live the Dream! Nail that Life Work Balance!
They talk about this much. Much much talk. But ultimately, very little do.
Don’t get me wrong. There is definitely a time for talking. For planning. For researching. For figuring out finances. For considering pros and cons. For weighing up smart, pragmatic decisions.
But then there is a time for action.
And it’s at this point of action that most dreams of Living Their Passion get completely stalled. The dream becomes ever more mirage-like as it shimmers tantalisingly out of reach. The talking continues. But quieter now.
What’s the stalling about?
It’s about a couple of things.
Firstly, it’s about Fear.
Secondly, it’s about needing to see all of the steps in the pathway before committing to taking the first one.
Both of these things are paralysing.
Fear kills dreams stone dead. It’s the insidious voice of doubt that whispers “But what if you fail?” and then extrapolates it into an utterly paralysing story of the whole family being homeless and living on food stamps, under a bridge, by Christmas. Fear is cyanide for dreams. When the scales tip and we start to believe in the failure and the food stamp story more than faith in our own capability to make it happen, it’s all over.
So people wait…they wait for this voice of fear to be all quiet and sleepy before they make the leap. There will be no leap on that basis. If you want to wait for the absence of fear before making a choice, you will wait a lifetime. The key is to believe more in your dream, your capability and your resiliency, more than your fears. They say a calm sea never made a good sailor, and that applies here. No big change will come without any moments of fear. It’s whether you can steel yourself to keep navigating forwards regardless that counts.
The second reason Living My Passion dreams get stalled, and I see this so often, is that people want so much more certainty than is available. They want to know every single step on the path, in advance, before they will commit to getting on the path. Which, again, like having no fear, that would be nice – but it’s not exactly practical. There will be twists and turns in the journey, some of them opportunities that present that are so good you couldn’t even have imagined them, and, yes, a few curve balls too. But the thing is – you cannot know all these things in advance. Look at anyone who is Living Their Passion – talk to them. Did it all roll out in a perfect linear fashion, just as they expected? I can guarantee the answer will be no.
The way forward will have evolved. Chance meetings with cool people will have set off an unexpected but rewarding tangent. Or sparked a new idea for a new service to offer their customers they had never thought of initially. Living Your Passion is very much an evolving state of affairs, rather than a pre-set route to your destination. You cannot know all the steps in advance. But you can trust that you have the wisdom and discernment to recognise them and take them when you see them. You cannot plan every single move in advance. But this should not stop you starting.
Think about it. If you were going to drive from, say, Auckland to Wellington. Could you define every single road and turn off between here and there in advance? Which stations you will stop at for gas? Where you will need to emergency brake really hard because some idiot pulls out in front of you? Where you need to stop for a pee break? If there are going to be diversions? Accidents? No. Obviously not, right. But that doesn’t stop you getting in the car and setting out, does it? You know you will get to Wellington eventually – and that you will deal with whatever comes up in-between. The road will unfold before you, you know that, so you just get started, and then you know, eventually, you will be in Wellington. You don’t doubt it. You don’t need to know every step ahead in perfect detail in order to be able to begin. You just trust you will handle whatever arises, because you know you really want to get to Wellington.
It’s the same concept with Living Your Passion. Firstly, don’t expect it to come without a few moments of fear. Know instead that you are bigger than your fear. And secondly, don’t expect to know every step before you begin, or you will never begin. Trust in your destination, and your capability to find it, and then let the path unfold before you. If you want to Live Your Passion, at some point you have to take action.