At my workshops, I often speak about doing what you love…your passion. I take the time to encourage my audience to think about what it is that lights their inner flame and finding a way to turn that passion, that inner desire, into a career. I do my best to inspire them to live their life with purpose and fun and excitement not only on the weekends, but Monday through Friday too.
Recently, one of the attendees asked, “Red, what happens if my passion can’t support me?” Realistically, this is a common concern as many people struggle with how to turn the things they love into a full-blown career that pays the bills, feeds the family, and covers school expenses and all of the other costs that traditionally come with raising kids, with enough left over for a comfortable retirement. And this type of worry is often enough to keep them from living their dreams.
Admittedly, my initial response to this type of question is that almost any passion can support us. For instance, if you love gardening, you could work for or even open your own nursery or landscaping business. If you love health and fitness, you could become a personal trainer, nutritionist, dietician, or exercise physiologist. Have a passion for writing? You could become an English teacher, freelance writer, or finally put out that bestselling book that’s been rolling around in your head.
However, I also understand that sometimes this feels too far out of reach. Or maybe you’re just not there yet, not to a point where this type of career could sustain the lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to or want. In this case, it doesn’t mean that your only choice is to give up on your passion completely. Even engaging in it part-time is often enough to soothe your soul and provide you just a little bit more happiness in your life.
In other words, don’t get so caught up in living your passion that it becomes an all-or-nothing thing. If you love to read but don’t have the funds to open a bookstore, then why not donate your time to your local library on weekends, reading to area kids? If you enjoy going on long walks, what about forming a group of men or women in your town or city, giving you the opportunity to map out the trails you intend to hit every week?
If you aren’t in a position to tend to your passions on a full-time basis, at least make it a priority to keep the embers warm. Schedule time every day, every other day, every weekend, or once a month to do what it is you love.
Also, keep open-minded about the various ways you can work your passion into your everyday life. For instance, if you love painting, why not work at a museum or art store on weekends? Or what about offering classes to teach others how to paint?
Make passion a regular part of your life and you will reap the results physically, mentally, and spiritually. Even if, at this time in your life, it may not support you financially. And that too may change.