Posts Tagged ‘passion’

Although I was into the flow of a good story and oblivious to my husband’s channel surfing, snippets of commentary began to invade my sanctuary and pique my interest. Within a few minutes, I found myself watching the Best Damn World Yoyo Contest (suffer through the advertising and then scroll through to about the 3 minute mark to see the winning performance). I had no idea a yoyo could be trained to do such tricks.

 Back in third grade, yo-yoing was play and a fun way to occasionally impress your friends. Simple tricks with dime store yo-yos were all the rage. I still remember my blue Duncan butterfly. If you could get your yo-yo to sleep, you were pretty darn good. And if you could manage a ‘round the world… well let’s just call you a guru. And now, forty years later, I find that there is a whole industry around yo-yos, from performers to judges to commentators. If so inclined, you can even rise to the level of National Grand Master. As with other sports, if you’re good enough, sponsors pay you to practice and compete full time. Who knew there was a career in yo-yo?

 And this got me thinking yet again about how to connect work, passions, and fun. Seems to be a recurring theme – maybe I should pay close attention…

 If people can really earn a living having fun, then what’s holding the rest of us back?

 And so I began to think of other examples of businesses that are fun and creative. The guys over at Magic Hat Brewery in Vermont have it figured out. If you’ve ever taken a tour of the Artifactory you know firsthand their passion for beer and fun. And why not? Is there some rule somewhere that says we must be serious and somber while working?

Really, though. Why don’t more of us turn our passions into work and have great fun doing so? The number one answer is fear.

 We fear failure.

We fear ridicule.

We fear hard work.

We fear actually having to make our own decisions.

We fear taking responsibility for our decisions.

We fear uncertainty.

We fear bankruptcy.

We fear isolation.

We fear loss of a predictable routine (and paycheck).

We fear success.

 Once we confront our fears, we need to take action. We can research, plan, organize, and dream all we want, but nothing happens until we take that first step. Nike understands: “Just do it.” All of us have a dream job in our heads. Every time I watch Myth Busters, I think, “What a fun job.” Or when I watch Top Chef, I picture myself competing to the bitter end and taking home the title. Then again, when I read a great author, I envision myself a writer. So what’s the first step?

To be a myth-buster, you have to learn how to blow up things and not be afraid to fail. To be a chef, you have to cook. To be a writer, you have to write – a lot. Start a blog and write something every day. Once you take that first action and apply persistence to it, you begin to get really good at it. Do you think those guys with the yo-yo’s picked up a yo-yo one day and the tricks just happened?

The point is to do something. Anything that moves you toward what you want most. Try this. Write down one sentence about what you want. I find that when I do this, it is much more difficult to articulate what I really want when I commit it to writing. Most of the time, it is too broad. At first, narrow the desire to a specific action. Keep adding small actions and pretty soon you have a plan. Use the power of the present moment. I find I sometimes get overwhelmed if I think about the grand plan of what I want to accomplish. Keeping my focus on the present also keeps me grounded. And so for today, I choose to have fun writing.

Do you know people who have carved a business out of fun and creative interests? If so, share a link so we can all be inspired.


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Sand Pail

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on what I should be doing with my life and work. My 8 to 5 job has been more stress than joy and it’s time to plan for the next career. There is one certainty: no more of the same. Everything else is up for grabs. The ideal is to work anywhere, anytime – work that is portable and allows for travel and adventure. So how do I find my true calling? Work that allows me to be in a flow state – that taps into my passion? What is my passion, my strength? So many interests. Which one leads to income?

Head back to childhood dreams – that time in life when anything and everything was possible. What did I do; what did I aspire to? How many times did I infuriate my mother by taking things apart to discover how they worked? There was a passion to learn and experiment. I wanted to be an astronaut and a doctor. Always the teacher when playing school and loved to write and draw and read. Enjoyed athletic pursuits and competition. Could never get enough of the beach or of any kind of water. And I was always in the kitchen – tweaking recipes to suit my taste. Wow, I was eclectic as a kid too!

Now, what is important to me as an adult? Family, relationships, purpose, learning, discovery. Don’t want to be doctor any longer. The astronaut has been replaced with intrepid motorcycle adventurer. Okay, so I won’t get to the moon on a motorcycle this year…

I still love to cook and if I’m not learning, I’m suffocating. Maybe an inventor – the next Edison or DaVinci? Most days I feel as though there is some creative genius bottled up inside me just waiting for expression. Other days I just feel dull. Find myself in the flow state most often when I am learning, creating, or discovering – or at the beach. I’ve always had a secret desire to be a writer, but ended up with degrees in chemical engineering and education.  I’m keenly interested in design-how things work and contribute to a greater whole. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with healthy eating and simple living that also reduces impact to the environment. My greatest achievement so far is raising my daughters so that they are all self-reliant, confident young women ready to make unique contributions to this world.

So what is the common thread here? I see discovery, learning, and nurturing. What do you see? What were your childhood dreams and how close you are to living them now?

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