By Joeel A. Rivera
One of my biggest passions is entrepreneurship and creation. I love to hear people’s stories of how they followed their passion and either created or found a career that truly fits who they are. This is in large contrast to many whose jobs, careers, or personal businesses are not in alignment with their passions and so with time deprive them of joy.
Some studies show that 80 percent of people are dissatisfied with their jobs, which is unfortunate because our relationship with our career is probably one of the most important aspects of our journey.
If you think about it, most people spend 40 hours a week, if not more, working for a living, and that may not be counting prep time or drive time. Therefore, we must understand that our careers strongly influence our ability to live a life that honors our path and our level of joy and satisfaction along the journey.
What some people fail to see is that they can find wealth through any passion that they have.
I say wealth in the broad sense, since it is much more than financial abundance. In fact, I used to teach Career Development at a college and I used to play a game with the students where they would tell me their passion and I would bet them that I could help
them come up with a way to make money doing it. To this day I have not lost a bet.
Recently, I was snorkeling in Puerto Rico and I met a man who serves as a great example of following your passion. I was intrigued by what he was doing and approached him as he prepared to go out into the water with his spear gun and net. When I asked him about it, he proudly stated that spear-fishing was his living and that the ocean was his office. He told me that he swims out until he fills up his net with lobster and different fish, as he enjoys the marine life in the process. He explained that he sells everything he catches to a local restaurant. He said he makes a great living while being in the place he loves the most: the water. It reminded me of a friend who went to get his bachelor’s and then his master’s because it was the “right thing” to do. In the end, he decided to follow his passion for being in the water and moved to Texas, opened a scuba diving chartering business, and is doing very well for himself.
Most of the individuals who have revolutionized our lives started by following their true passion and honoring the blessing that they had to give.
Many of them did so while initially being limited financially. For example, I had an opportunity to meet Jimmy Whales, founder of Wikipedia. He explained that he dropped out of graduate school and saw an opportunity to share information online by placing the content of old encyclopedias on his site. His approach was different in that he made it open to everyone. This means that you can actually go to his site and change anything you want. He thought that if you believe that people will do good and treat them as such, they will. To the surprise of many, that is exactly what happened. Now you have experts from around the world who edit and maintain content on Wikipedia.com as volunteers. Therefore, if someone adds content that is not factual someone else will fix it within minutes. Through this venture he has helped to educate countless people from around the world while becoming financially abundant.
On a different scale, I meet people on a routine basis who have chosen to follow their true path. I believe that we are moving and shifting towards an era in our history in which people value their worth and their ability to contribute by following their passions.
These are some of the lessons that I have learned from these people:
Utilize resources that are out there: We live in an era where the click of a finger can reach millions of people through the computer or phone. At the same time, you can utilize the information that others provide to learn how to develop your passion and monetize it.
Why reinvent the wheel when all you have to do is modify it? One way that I get information and inspiration is to get audio books from the library on a variety of topics and listen to them as I drive. The more information you expose yourself to, the easier it will be to think creatively. Remember, creativity comes from information that you acquire and how your brain puts it all together. Therefore, everyone can become more creative.
Be open to sharing your passion and your journey: You would be surprised with the insight that people will give you if you share what your passions are. In fact, they may say one small comment or idea that will completely shift how you see things. At the same time, they may know someone or meet someone that may open up doors and opportunities for you.
Seek a mentor or an organization that is already doing what you love: This mentor can be in person or gained through listening to an audio book by your favorite teacher who can give you insight to what you love and give you a general roadmap to follow. Also, by getting to know the organizations that offer what you’re passionate about you may be able to work with them or find others ways of getting your foot in the door. It may be through volunteering to get experience or getting to know people in an industry. You can also call and ask to interview someone who is already doing what you want to do. You would be surprised by how many people would love to share their journey with you.
Find a support system: May times you will find blogs or forums that will have a number of people who share your passion. Participating in these groups will offer valuable insights and help you to avoid repeating the same mistakes. At the same time, find people around you who will serve as your cheerleader and who believe in you and avoid those who put you down or doubt your dreams.
Get motivated: Motivation is movement towards a goal combined with having a big enough motive for doing it.
Most people don’t get motivated or stay motivated because their dreams are not big enough to make the effort worth it.
Decide what you want and your reason for it, make sure your reason is big enough, and then take action one step at a time. Every week write clear goals and slowly chip away it at. A house is built one brick at a time.
It takes a village: Remember that anything successful is never about one individual. Whether it will be your own business or working for another organization that meets your needs, your ability to work with others can define how well you will do. Collaboration on the job allows each individual’s talents to be best utilized and hiring skilled experts and workers allows business owners to focus their energy on what they do best.
Bring it full circle: Remember, as you genuinely bless others and the community, the community and others will bless you; it always comes back full circle. When people see that someone comes from a place of passion, compassion, and gratitude they want to see them succeed. Therefore, be as open to receiving as well as giving.
You are a powerful being, like a seed that is ready to flourish in every aspect of life. Your only job is to continue to create the proper environment and provide the proper soil to let yourself grow. This can be done through your own entrepreneurial creation, through partnering with someone, or through working with an organization that truly values you and want to see you thrive. The more people that find the courage to do what they love the better world we will have, as people will live in more joy and share it. There are no obstacles, only learning experiences. Your potential is limited only by your belief in your self. Change can happen quickly, so embrace the beauty of life.
Joeel A. Rivera, M.Ed., Ph.D. (ABD) holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is currently completing his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Psychology. Joeel’s extensive career as a relationship coach includes certifications in P.R.E.P, a 30-year research-based program for couples, Nurturing Father’s curriculum, and Parenting 21st Century. Contact Joeel at firstname.lastname@example.org