Live Your Passion, Even When Things Get Tough

Sure, live your passion. Pursue your dreams. But have a dose of reality. I am sometimes very worried about people who think that, once you live your passion, you will attain nirvana. You reach a heavenly state. But that can be far from the truth. After all, the reality is even when you have found your passion and you are on track to pursue your dreams, there are a million things surrounding your passion that you may not like to do. The question is, if you see passion, can you recognize it? I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. In fact, I have started businesses on and off a few times now. This is my second time out on my own. I know what dreams I want to pursue and where my passion is. But it isn’t all that rosy. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I just want you to understand that to make your passion your work is a lot like a marriage. You love the person but that doesn’t mean it is a fairy tale that will live in forever and ever. After the honeymoon, there are still dishes to wash, trash to take out, and floors to mop. Passion as work is a lot like that. You may love to work your passion and make passion your work, but passion doesn’t come naked like that. The satellites to passion are menial, boring work - work that you don't want to do. For me, although I am living my passion now – building a business I am good at, writing, and creating what I love - there are still things I just hate to do: paperwork, bankers, rent, cash flow, meetings, cold calls, and so on. Yeah, now you get it. Have a realistic expectation of what it means to live your passion. Don’t let me discourage you. In fact, I am here to encourage you to purse your dreams. Go do it. What I don’t want you to do is get disoriented when the journey to live your passion begins. Be practical and expect a lot of hard work and sacrifices. Whatever you have in mind? Multiply it by three. If you know it will be difficult, expect it to be three times more difficult than you imagine. I think that will help you manage your disillusionment. Don’t just get motivated. Manage your motivation. It’s a marathon if you want to live your passion. So, that stamina of yours needs to last the 42km (or 26 miles). Running out of gas is a huge possibility. Have a good idea of what it means to live your passion. Don’t just read the good rosy stuff. Read the practical stuff too. Then go live your passion. And work it 'til it works. How pretty is your passion? Likely you have to accept it with zits and warts and all. And yes, take out the trash at the end of the day. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Get Some Leverage
Sign up for The Work It Daily Newsletter
Weird Advice For Young Designers

I recently worked on a pro bono project for a friend, and it reminded me of a time early in my career and how lucky I was then to get such great advice from the more seasoned pros around me. Advice that ultimately saved me from some major pitfalls. I made mistakes here and there over the course of nearly 20 years of projects, but with each hiccup came a lesson. Here are some takeaways from my lessons learned and all that sage advice.

Read moreShow less