Finding Passion Outside of Your Career

I just read this awesome article from speaker and author Gabby Bernstein. Gabby is all about living your life with passion and I love her philosophies and her approach to living. You can follow her on Twitter here. She wrote this article for Huffington Post and I think it’s got some great info, particularly for people who may be in first jobs that aren’t necessarily jobs that fulfill your fiery, burning passion in life. The piece is called “How to Follow Your Passion When You’re Just Trying to Pay The Bills” and I think the title alone says a lot. That’s a huge problem that many people (especially twenty-somethings) face. We know what we’d like to be doing, but it’s not always realistic just yet because of money. This can be frustrating and discouraging. But Gabby takes this problem and makes it a positive, and I love her ideas.

She says that it’s important to get over the fact that your passion isn’t your main source of income. So true. As long as you get to pursue that passion and still pay the bills, that’s what matters. But sometimes it’s hard to see that. Right now I work during the day and write at night and on the weekends. Sometimes I assume that because I don’t spend my day writing then I’m a failure. But this article (and a few talks with people smarter than me) have made me realize that this isn’t the case. If you get to do what you love and you’re making enough money to live, that’s what matters. You can’t get hung up on how exactly you’re affording to pay the bills (as long as you’re not doing illegal things, of course) you just have to appreciate that you’re able to balance passion and money in your life. It’s not always easy to do this, so when you can…be appreciative. Don’t question it.

She also emphasizes that it’s good to find aspects of your job that you do love, even if the job is not what you’d ultimately like to be doing. This is so true. When you spend all day thinking, “Why am I here? This is not what I want to be doing in ten years. This is a waste of time. I’m miserable. I’m wasting my life and my energy. I’m doing nothing with myself” and other negative thoughts, you’re not doing yourself, your co-workers, or your productivity any favors. It’s fine to know that this isn’t your dream job. It’s actually probably a good thing to know that this isn’t your dream job. At least you have some sense of direction and know what you do and don’t like when it comes to your job. It takes some people years to discover this. But some times there’s nothing you can do. You have to work. You have to have a way to pay rent. Maybe your side project will make money eventually, but you can’t bank on it right away. It’s okay.

Focus on your job as a learning opportunity instead of a dream crusher. If you want to be a writer, how does your job provide creative inspiration? Is there any way that you can get more writing work at your job, even if it’s not exactly the type of writing you’d like to be doing long-term? If you want to be an entrepreneur, how does your job train you to interact with clients? Is there a way for you to learn various sides of the business so you can use these skills and that knowledge later on? Think about how seemingly unrelated tasks could actually help you get better at your chosen skill instead of how they’re taking time away from making your dream come true. And even if it turns out that your day job is completely unrelated to your passion, take pride in the fact that you’re earning money and are able to support yourself as you pursue your passion.

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