Following your passion: Is it worth the struggle?

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Passion is that strong and an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. So by nature, people who follow their passion are people who go for the jugular. They are  “in it to win it”.

Auntie Merle who sells her sugar cakes by the shed outside is not following her passion to become a chef. Following your passion is not having an occasional hobby. No. Passion consumes you, and it’s impossible to not talk or think about it. It gnaws at your conscience to do something about it. However, most people I know were raised to hide those passions.

Great job = great money; happiness NOT guaranteed.

Society and even our parents’ generation would say, “Get a career/job that is secure”. Then you can buy all the things that you like – gourmet food, fashionable clothes, vacations and tickets to nice events. Bills will be paid on time. The house will be well kept, and the kids can take those ballet and swimming classes they love.

The list goes on.

You can move on up. To a deluxe apartment in the sky! Quite a few people, believe in this mantra, and pursue it. And yes, when you get the great job, you will have the great money to pay for all the things you want in life. Then you can follow your passion, when you retire and the kids have moved out. So why is it, that so many of my generation are still following their passion first?

Well, I think one major component is being left out of this equation, and that my friend, is happiness.

Ok, back to the drawing board: Great paying job = financial success = happiness NOT guaranteed. You know the friend who drives the Audi, lives in Victoria Gardens and dates that sexy chick who went to some prestige secondary school? He’s cheating on his girlfriend, bored out of his mind, and just plain miserable at work. However, his car is fully paid for and no major bills are due. So why isn’t he freakin’ happy?

Maybe the job is a bore, or his boss is an idiot. Maybe he can’t stand the bureaucracy just to order new pencils for the office. Maybe the commute is a killer (those who drive KNOW what I’m talking about), but he’s all about that money and status; for a minute, life is sweet, but that life will eventually take its toll.

 

“This generation seems to want it all – the great career that they love and the fat payday.”

 

This generation seems to want it all – the great career that they love and the fat payday, but it doesn’t matter if you’re a high school grad starting a band, or a 30-year old divorcee starting law school, you’re first stop is usually Brokesville.

When I look at people who’d rather follow their passion, and wait for the big payday, the story is slightly different.

Following your Passion = Happiness; money NOT guaranteed.

This doesn’t mean you can’t make money. Firstly, though, you have to ask yourself, “Are you willing to stay present to the daily task of honing your craft day in and day out in hopes of living off our love one day?” Whether you choose to follow your passion by being an entrepreneur or working in an organisation that lives your values, this is the main question to ask.

We keep hearing… follow your passion and the money will follow. You can’t put on the radio without hearing about following your dreams! Take this course, read this book, follow this guru, swallow that pill… and voila, you too can be a Machel Montano, Tony Chow Lin On, Nikki Crosby or the next Richard Branson, doing what you love, and having a successful career.

In a blog called, “The Art of Non-conformity” by Chris Guillebeau, writer Gretchen Ruben says it lovely here:

“The problem with pursuing a job for the money is that in most cases, the big money comes only if you achieve a certain stature or goal. If you don’t hit that target, you don’t get the money – and you haven’t much enjoyed the time you’ve spent in pursuit. If you follow a passion, you’ll enjoy your life as you’re working to achieve your goal, so if you don’t hit it, you won’t have spent all that time in vain.

… When people are doing something they enjoy, they figure things out more easily. They challenge themselves more. They’re more curious. They remember information better. They make social connections more easily. These things tend to make success more likely, and therefore, they make money more likely.”

Doing what you love and getting paid requires a bit of creativity on your part. Some people love to sing, but if you are not willing to do what is required to master your craft, or put in the time to market yourself and think outside the box, it’s not going to be lucrative (sad to say, talent is optional when it comes to making the big bucks, for example, a song about ‘Pipe’ comes to mind).

Finding ways to make your passion lucrative takes effort, creativity, timing, and a dose of reality. Say that you love to write poetry, but ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’ held your audience’s attention better. What if it’s because you’re just not that good at your passion? Sometimes, you’ve got to face the facts.

Following your passion and believing the money will simply follow is a myth. If you want to do what you love for a living full-time, you need to aim for mastery of your craft, which will be fun because you love doing what you love. Are you willing to do what it takes to be the master, expert, and ‘go-to’ person in your field/niche/genre? I’d say that following your passion brings happiness, and may bring you financial success when mastery is thoroughly sought after.

Machel Montano, at a very young age followed his passion to sing and is now reaping great financial success. Candice Carr-Archer, a 37-year-old body builder is taking her career to the professional arena internationally, while still living in Trinidad. These two are very different people, but their ethic is similar. They transformed their passion into results through dedication and mastery.

The quest for happiness and prosperity is continuous, and pursuing your passion on the side for the happiness reward or as your full-time career is definitely worth a shot. After all, how amazing life would be when you can’t tell the difference between work and play?

Author bio: Karen ‘Phoenix’ Francisco is many things – a writer, singer, songwriter, actress, filmmaker, image consultant, and motivational speaker. Back in Trinidad since leaving New York City where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Film Production and Screenwriting at Brooklyn College, you can always find her at any popular karaoke/open mic, singing her butt off. Follow her on www.jeananddinah.wordpress.com.

 

Image credit: Mizrak 

 

Karen Francisco

Karen 'Phoenix' Francisco is many things. A writer, singer, songwriter, actress, filmmaker, image consultant, and motivational speaker. Back in Trinidad since leaving New York City where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Film Production and Screenwriting at Brooklyn College, you can always find her at any popular karaoke/open mic, singing her butt off.

1 Comment

  1. becoming a personal stylist

    November 26, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    My dad always tells me that “persistence is the key to success”. He said that if you want something, go ahead and grab it. Personally, I wanted to be a personal stylist, however, I am a nurse but somehow, somewhere I was able to get to the that track wherein I wanted to be a personal stylist. Now I’m studying at one of the best schools. 😉

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