For the love of it

If money wasn’t a factor, what would you be doing? Well, answers that don’t count are the ones that have to do with being on holiday all your life. The answers that do count however, are the ones that have to do with you pursuing your passion. So in essence the question I’m really asking is; what are you passionate about, and if money wasn’t a factor would you still pursue your passion?

A few years ago, when I decided I wanted to pursue my passion of inspiring and empowering people, I visited one of my mentors and told him I wanted to be a motivational speaker, but I want to do it professionally. His answer to me at the time was heartbreaking. He said to me; “Abel, you want to speak, go speak.” Of course I didn’t understand or at least expect the type of answer he gave me. At that time it was the most useless answer anyone could have ever given me. I was expecting someone to give me a step-by-step guide on how to pursue your passion and still make a profit out of it. I understood him a few years later. What he meant was; there’s no other substitute for doing what you love and getting paid for it except starting and staying there.

The unfortunate part about everyone who starts in their passion, is that there’s little if any income. That’s where the problem is; we all have to live and to live we have to get money, and to get money we have to work. So the greater part of the problem is that where you work is so far from your passion. I have facilitated so many life achievement workshops with audiences from diverse groups. So what I’d basically do is ask 10 people in the audience; “what are you good at?” I would get a range of answers from; music, art, speaking, writing, crafting and so on. My next question would be, “So how many of you are in jobs right now, where your primary function is to do what you’re passionate about?” If the room isn’t silent, then there is just one hand that goes up and boldly says that he’s doing he’s passion. I then further go on and teach about the three things that are very important in anyone’s life who wants to be an achiever:

  1. Reward
  2. Recognition
  3. Remembrance

The truth is anybody who goes to work, goes to work to be rewarded. You’d like to be able to pay those bills, and anything that has to do with bills is normally your basic needs; water and lights, clothing, food etc, and it is also normally for your family. So we work for reward, because if there was no reward what would be the point of doing it? The next level after reward is that we want to be recognised for what we do. The person who moves from job-to-job and holds different positions at every company he works at cannot be recognised for his function because it changes a lot. That person is still at the reward level because what matters to him is getting a better pay so he can survive better. If I were to name a few people for example; Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerburg, Barack Obama and Michael Jordan. If I were to ask you what you can recognise these people for, your answer would be very simple; Bill Gates (Microsoft computers), Oprah Winfrey (talk show host), Mark Zukerburg (Facebook), Barack Obama (US Politics) and Michael Jordan (Basket ball player). It was quite easy to recognise those people in their function, but what is also important to know is that they did not start at their recognition level. What they are doing, once started as a reward – they once functioned in what they are recognised as just to survive. If they were to die now, they would be remembered in their function. Steve Jobs and Whitney Houston passed away – they are no longer on earth, but when we mention their names the first thing that comes to our minds is; Apple, and Rhythm and Blues music. That’s the next stage; Remembrance. People will remember you for what you were recognised for and often people will remember you for what you leave behind. I call this; Intellectual Immortality – your intellectual property that lives beyond your existence. Steve Jobs’ intellectual immortality is Apple, Whitney Houston’s intellectual immortality is her music – all these lived past their existence. What will be your intellectual immortality?

Sounds like an interesting concept? I think so too. So how do we make sure that our reward is what we want to be remembered for – in other words, that what I start off surviving with, is what will live beyond my existence? Well very simple; we start by doing what we love and the best way is to start. You need to find a place where PURPOSE, POTENTIAL and PASSION meet. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why am I here?
  • What can I do?
  • What do I love doing?

The answer to those questions will navigate and deliver you right at the door of your desire.

Allan Watts

What do you desire? What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like? Let’s suppose; I do this often in vocational guidance students, they come to me and say; “well, we getting out of college and we haven’t  the faintest idea of what we want to do.” So I always ask the question; “What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?” well, it’s so amazing, as a result of our kind of education system crowds of students say; “well, we’d like to be painters we’d like to be writers but as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way.” Another person says; “well I’d like to live an outdoors life and ride horses. I said; “Do you want to teach in  a riding school? Let’s go through with it, what do you want to do?” When we have finally got down to something if the individual says what he really wants to do, I will say to him; “You do that and forget the money. Because if you say that getting the money is the most important; you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living that is to do things you don’t like doing. Which is stupid! Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way, and after all if you do really like what you are doing it doesn’t matter what it is; you can eventually turn it into an event that you master. The only to become a master of something is when you do it, and then you’ll be able to get a good feel from it. Everybody somebody is interested in everything. Anything you can be interested in you’ll find afterwards. It is absolutely stupid, to spend your time doing things you don’t like in order to go on spending things you don’t like; that will teach our children to follow in the same file. See, what we are doing, is we are bring up children who are educated to live the sort of lives we live in order so that they may justify themselves and finding satisfaction in life, by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing. It never gets there. And so, therefore it is so important to consider this question; what do I desire.”

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