“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
As we head into the Thanksgiving season, I looked back at the times in my life that things were going really well, and the other times when life was handing me lemons. I noticed that when I was working in jobs where I was poorly matched to the skills needed, I wasn’t happy.
For instance, I waited tables in my younger days. Truly, I was terrible! I’m not coordinated, I’m bad at remembering who ordered what dish, and was anxious with the immediate action necessary to perform the job well.
This job kept me up at night I was so stressed.
However, when I worked at the bank, I had rules and processes to follow which was perfect for my personality. Not to mention, I didn’t have to run around as much so I could think more clearly. Now, don’t get me wrong, dealing with tons of cash brings about its own set of issues. But for me, none of them stressed me out.
Working as a waitress was unfulfilling work for me. Please don’t think I’m disparaging of servers – I really appreciate the work they do, mostly because I can’t do it. I lacked the skill set (and fundamental coordination) for the job. On the other hand, as someone who thrives on direction and routine, I enjoyed working at the bank. My skills were better used there.
My point in all of this is, if you are using your gifts and talents, you will feel accomplished. Let’s consider our Financial Planning Tower. From a financial standpoint, we want a solid foundation so we can work on our passion. But to do that requires making some tough choices about where to spend your money, time and talent.
Do you want to spend your days sculpting instead of selling? Do you want to be a firefighter instead of a desk jockey? Decide what your skills are and begin using them. If you can’t quit your day job, you can always begin taking small steps toward your passion — no matter if it’s only a few hours a week.
Enjoying your life should take priority over earning a high salary or lofty title. Here are a few things you can look forward to once you make the choice to find fulfillment in your passion.
Your Will Inspire Others
Have you ever noticed that when you’re around someone that radiates positivity, your attitude changes and you begin to become more positive, as well? This is exactly what happens when people see someone they know following their dreams.
There are many people sitting on incredible business ideas or world-changing products and they are afraid to take the leap into an unknown world of being an entrepreneur. Maybe your passion revolves around an idea that is difficult to make a career out of. One of my favorite stories is a woman who just wanted to mow the grass. That’s all. Just put on the headphones, be alone, and mow fields of grass. That was the thing that made her happy.
By making it a goal to follow your passion and do the thing that you love, others will see that and be inspired to follow your lead.
Sure, there may be tough times ahead and every day won’t be perfect, but you will be doing work that is meaningful. Consequently, those around you will recognize that it is indeed possible to follow their passion. And who will they have to thank? You guessed it…you!
You Will Have Stronger Relationships
When you are unhappy at work, it will inevitably spill over into your relationships outside the office. While it may not always be negative, your attitude with your spouse, kids, and other family and friends is directly related to the place that you spend majority of your day: your job.
On the other hand, when you are fulfilled by the work you’re doing, you are less likely to be impatient and cynical. As a result, more people will gravitate toward you because of your positive attitude and happy disposition.
I knew an advisor who was struggling with his planning business. He was frustrated and just couldn’t make it work. He left that role and opened a coffee bar – and is happier, friendlier, and more satisfied.
Your Energy Levels Will Improve
Remember how easy it was to wake up on Christmas morning growing up? Wouldn’t it be great to wake up with that excitement and anticipation on a daily basis?
I’ve met many craft brewery owners who are glad to get up each day and go brew. It might be a sweaty job with long hours, but they love the beer they make, the friends they meet, and the business they have built.
When you are doing something that completely resonates with you, your energy levels will increase and you’ll find that your days seem to pass with ease as opposed to waiting anxiously for the clock to strike five.
You Will Become More Confident
When you are doing the work you were born to do, you will naturally be good at it. Sure, there may be a learning curve, but your confidence will soar because you are doing what comes naturally to you.
In fact, the learning curve may not be as steep as you expect. If you are doing work that you’re excited about, you will want to seek out opportunities for growth. This, in turn, will help you become better at whatever passion project you are pursuing.
Employers always want employees that are self-motivated. If the work is something that you enjoy, you will be motivated to go the extra mile and be the best at what you do. You become the expert in your field. Consequently, the more growth and knowledge you gain, the more success you will ultimately realize.
Now the question is, are you ready to start doing work you love? If so, what’s holding you back? Maybe you have multiple passions and you’re not quite sure which one to follow. Perhaps this quiz can help you hone in on your passion and identify the work you were born to do.
If you’re still struggling to discover what it is you should do in life, find a life coach, therapist, minister, or good friend that can listen and help you uncover your passion. Check out The 3 Colors of Ministry as another resource to get started.
Before you go, I’d like to leave you with a question that really helped me when I was trying to identify my passion. It’s simply: if you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you be doing with your life? Take your time to really think through the answer and then comment below with what you come up with.
Pamela J. Horack, CFP® of Pathfinder Planning LLC provides personal financial planning advice and asset management for a simple fee to young adults and working families in North and South Carolina through group classes, one-on-one planning, and ongoing advice.