Loving what you do… small steps

Can you picture Tiger Woods driving a heavy truck hauling cargo from the piers to their destination in the city’s warehouses? How about Meryl Streep? Do you see her counting dollar bills as a bank teller? Neither, I’ll bet, can you visualise Steven Spielberg as a used-car salesman convincing a prospect to buy that Toyota Camry.

Along with a lot of other people, these three personalities : an excellent young , meticulous golfer, an accomplished, multi-awarded actress and a highly successful film director with the wild imagination of a 12 year old, all love what they do. They enjoy every aspect of the careers they’ve chosen to pursue and excel in, and presumably wouldn’t trade it for anything else. Fate has been good and generous to them – loving what they do and getting paid handsomely for it. The celebrity status, the fame and glamour that come with it are gravy for a remarkably delicious steak!

Wouldn’t it be grand if we can all just do what we enjoy doing and get a hefty paycheck at the end of each month?

Is there actual truth to what most commencement speakers tell a graduating class, “Do what you love. The money will follow,” ? Surely, it’s inspirational, but there aren’t any guarantees. You could pretty well go broke doing what you truly care about.

The experts say desire is all important when you’re treading into the unknown. When you simply want to follow your passion and do what you enjoy doing, or at least pursue something that’ll lead you to what you love in order to do your best work, a certain degree of uncertainty revolves around it. Success isn’t a sure thing. It’s a make or break thing. Your strong desire though will push you to be more creative, more resourceful and help you go for the whole nine yards.

So, what if I have the desire but am sure it won’t lead to anywhere that’ll bring in the money, should I still go for it?

In a research study, “The Power of Small Wins” which ran in Harvard Business Review a few years back, it showed that people who progress everyday toward something they love, feel tremendously satisfied and fulfilled. And so to answer the question … Yes, go for it! But let’s qualify that. If chasing this thing you’re crazy about won’t enable you to bring food on the table or, it would keep you away from a college degree, then hold back. Don’t make any big bets on your desire. This does not mean though that you cannot work on your passion a little at a time, or start building blocks. Spending 15 minutes or half an hour a day on it will keep the embers burning. And you really should. Why? Because you could be wrong! Assuming doing what you love won’t bring in the greenbacks could ruin your whole life. So, take those small steps towards what you love doing. Who knows? You just might discover that this passion of yours is a treasure chest waiting to be opened.

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