I have a friend named Matt who was stalled in his career as an architect. After numerous years slaving away at a job he could not stand, he brainstormed and thought of what makes him happy and what “feels” natural. He wanted to do something that would awaken his spirit. During a brainstorming phase, he realized how much he likes to “fix things” in and around his house.
He also determined he enjoys people and entertaining them. So he bought a bed and breakfast on the East Coast and started his dream. So far, over a couple of years, he felt his life goals were satisfied. He would fix and tinker with the bed and breakfast. His wife enjoyed cooking and they work their “own hours”, planning their menus, and gardening in and around their work/home. They have no boss to answer to, and no traffic jams to consider since they work AT their own home.
Can you imagine how freeing it is to not have a long commute to work every single day? They can implement ideas instantly about what improvements they would like to make in their business and how to decorate it. They can paint, collect trinkets, find interesting things to purchase in their bed and breakfast inn, and can never be happier.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams but be practical. Put down in writing a plan to help you get there. Do you like fishing? Work in that industry as anything you can get for work. Ask yourself what makes you feel happy when you are doing it? What makes you feel exhausted? (if after your job you feel exhausted, then it is a sign that you are doing the wrong thing with your precious life). What “work” makes you smile at the end of the day? As Spock said in the movie Star Trek a couple of years ago, “Do what feels right… Don’t just do something because you have no idea what else to do.
Your passions will also change as time goes on. So will your enthusiasm for the projects that you find. Don’t go looking for money. If you learn and get accustomed to living well within your means, you will be surprised pleasantly that you will have so much free time to devote to what you enjoy.
I have a good friend named Eliza whose mother worked at law firm as one of the partners. But she was not happy with the long hours and felt exhausted at the end of every day. So she took a bold step and quit what Society deems prestigious and focused on the work she loved…oil painting. To make up for any lost income, she worked part time at the public library, to pull in just enough to meet her needs, and she paints for the greater part of the day. Who knows how much money she will make? But at least she spends her day in enjoyment.
Who cares what other people think of you if you can smile at the end of a workday? The more things you are passionate about, the more options you really do have. If you have passions, then the money should follow. Even if they do not, and in this case if you just end up donating your artwork to others, isn’t that a better life than making a lot more money in something you cannot stand, day after day? As they write in the Bible, what is it to gain the whole world if you are going to lose your soul?