I just returned home from a 10-day driving vacation from Texas through New Mexico to Cottonwood, AZ and back – about 2,400 miles in total. I went hiking with my sister, her partner and my daughter, it was great fun for all.
On the way home, I got a great business idea. Also on the way home, my car's serpentine belt shredded west of Albuquerque, costing me $600 in repairs. Was the vacation still worth it? Absolutely! I feel certain the business idea I got during the trip, when implemented properly, will be worth far more than the $600 car repair cost. Such is the nature of entrepreneurship.
Life is Too Short: Pursue Your Passion
Rather late in life – I'm 60 years young – I have discovered what I really want to do: travel to interesting world destinations frequently and have enough money to pay the bills every month. I believe I have a realistic plan to continue doing just that, thanks in some part to a great book: The 4-hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.
If you haven't read it, you should. It will change your thinking and maybe your life.
Okay, back to the main point: life is too short, too short for what? Here is what I mean. We live in great times, technology is fantastic; but we also live in difficult times, all that you value could be wiped out from circumstances beyond your control. Then what?
Most of us view our career and work lives as a sort of Jetson's treadmill where we must work very hard, but most of life seems out of our control. So many people toil long hours at jobs that are unfulfilling with their only ‘reward' being the ability to pay the bills, take occasional short vacations, and hopefully save for retirement in the distant, uncertain future. That is the ‘good life', really?
But it need not be so. What is really needed is a change of mindset.
You work almost one-third of your life; another third is spent sleeping (I hope). That leaves you less than 8 hours most days to do what you really want to do – in between chores. Yikes! That means 70% of your time is spent doing things you don't really like (work) or can't really remember (sleep). Such a spooky Halloween vision is reality for a vast swath of the population. That is scarier than an ugly goblin!
I encourage you to spend a bit of time exploring what you really enjoy doing. What is your passion? What are you good at doing? Is there something you would do even if no one paid you? That is the direction for finding your passion.
If I ask 50 people a simple question: “what do you really want to do with your life?” Only a few hands will go up. Most people cannot conceive of a clear answer to that simple question.
Why? It is baked into our psyches that a ‘good citizen' (how's that for dystopian?) will ‘work' at a ‘responsible' career that pays the bills and be ‘happy' to do so. Now we have millions of office workers who dread going to work every day, attorneys who hate practicing law, telecom project managers who dream of ‘escaping' telecom someday. I was the latter, but I crafted a plan and made my escape!
Here is another good resource to help you to determine what you really want and enjoy doing: Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow by Marsha Sinetar. I read this book perhaps 10 years ago, but it is a great guide for helping you to:
- Determine what your life's passion is – what you'd love to do
- Reassure you that you can find a path where pursuing your passion will pay the bills
Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow
As well described in Ms. Sinetar's book, there is a path to pursuing your passion that will allow you to pay the bills and keep your sanity. It probably won't be a short ‘path' of a few months, it may take a few years. But you can do it!
It all starts with a simple decision: do you want to spend the next 10+ years devoting almost half of your waking hours doing something you hate to simply pay the bills? Or would you rather spend the next 10 years doing something you love, that gives you passion, to pay the bills (and maybe more)?
The choice is up to you!
Here is a quick plug for my new Amazon book that you might enjoy: Daring to Invent! Check it out. It is a great step-by step guide for new inventors.