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Just do it!

Myth: If you can’t turn it into a career, then it’s not worth doing.

Alternative Concept: If you love it, it’s worth doing for its own sake.

Myth: If you don’t make any money from it, you’ve failed.

Alternative Concept: Doing something for free isn’t failure. If you enjoy what you do, that’s the definition of fun. If someone else benefits from what you do, that’s the definition of charity. Either way, no one loses. That’s the definition of win-win.

Myth: It may be okay to do something you love without making any money for it, but it should at least be somewhat related to your career or professional goals.

Alternative Concept: Building a career isn’t the same as constructing a meaningful life. The latter might involve the former, but it certainly doesn’t depend on it.

Myth: There is such a thing as a good reason for not doing something you love.

Alternative Concept: In the absence of a morally compelling reason for doing otherwise, you should always do what you love.

If you’re 21 or over, you’ve probably already worked at more than one job. But no matter how old you are, you only get one life.

Live it the way you want.

Kill the excuses and get on with it.

This Post Has 15 Comments
    1. It’s not that black and white though. Think of all the people in the middle class who are not paupers, but who fear indulging their hobbies because they’ve been conditioned to disparage all nonrevenue generating activities as a waste of time.

      Many people with prosperous incomes live empty lives precisely because they don’t make room for anything else besides business activities.

      Secondly, there’s nothing undignified at all about people who make an honest living doing something they don’t necessarily feel passionate about. I have a brother who provides for his family by working as a mechanic. It’s not his dream scenario job, but he does it well and takes pride in his work ethic and his ability to provide for his family. However, unlike many others who have busy work lives, he lives a rich life because he makes time for his hobbies and passions even though he doesn’t get paid for those hobbies. This demographic constitutes the vast majority of hard working people. Most of the non-pauper working class is getting paid to do something other than what they love. That’s a fact of life for many people, but it doesn’t have to stop them from making room in their lives for creative interests and spiritually fulfilling projects.

      Also, even if a person does get paid to do what they love, they may have many other passions they still don’t get paid for indulging. At my age and skill level I will probably never get paid to play piano, watch baseball, shoot hoops, or learn new languages. Yet, these are meaningful activities that enhance the quality of my life.

      Additionally, consider the non-pauper woman who’s 70 years old. She’s just beginning to take up an interest in singing. She probably won’t become a pop star at this point, so should she quit “wasting her time”? Heck no. She should learn to sing because she wants to.

      I’m not advocating a vow of poverty here. I’m simply saying that it is not possible to live a meaningful life when we limit our actions to revenue generating activities. Moreover, just because you don’t get paid for your hobbies and passions doesn’t mean you have to go broke. There are too many counterexamples to the contrary. Almost everyone in my family is such an example.

      Your thoughts?

  1. I completely agree with you!

    Yes, it is “not possible to live a meaningful life when we limit our actions to revenue generating activities.”

    And yes, absolutely nothing is black and white, life is a rainbow of choices, opportunities, and options.

    I live my life exactly as you have described. I am fortunate to have earned my living in the past doing things I love very much, and at the same time positively impacting the lives of many people. I have also invested a great deal of time in my interests and passions, some of which cost me a great deal of money and generate no monetary returns. These include my websites to inspire women http://amazingwomenrock.com/ and http://shequotes.com/, both of which are a not-for-profit ventures.

    I also strongly believe in exploring and experiencing life fully. Thus, I lived as an ex-pat treated Canadian in the United Arab Emirates for 18 years, I traveled widely, and I did things careerwise (and otherwise!) I never thought I would do. Two years ago I took the decision to give up my business, and returned to Canada to care for my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. I lived and cared for her in her own home for year. She was placed in the facility in November 2012, and I moved to the village in which the facility is located to be close to her. in the last six months, I have done several things I’ve never done before including new modeling, acting in an amateur theater production, and writing a play. Last week, I did my first triathlon Sprint since 2010. In the past, I have had lovers 25 years my junior.

    I believe life is to be lived on the playing field, not the sidelines.

    However, I think it’s also useful to be pragmatic, and to realize, as you have pointed out, that sometimes compromise is required. Yes, it’s wonderful, satisfying and fulfilling to live one’s dreams and passions and to do what one loves. At the same time, we sometimes need to drink a little water with our wine.

    Those are some of my thoughts. Thanks for asking 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Susan.

      I can appreciate and respect your personal story/journey very well.

      Your approach to work embodies the very attributes I wish to encourage others to have. We should all do our best to prevent anything from stopping our efforts to live the best life possible. I’m with you 100% when you say, “I believe life is to be lived on the playing field, not the sidelines.” Whether the issue is money or anything else, we all have to do whatever it takes to stop those issues from becoming excuses. It seems as if you’re doing a fine job at that. Keep it up.

      1. ” what inspired that question?’

        Your comment: “It seems as if you’re doing a fine job at that. Keep it up.” while you may not have intended it to be, sounded arrogant and patronizing to me 🙂

        1. I can see how my words may have sounded arrogant and patronizing to you regardless of what my intentions were. In light of your honest feedback, let me rephrase my comment in a manner that might more effectively convey my intended meaning:

          From the description you gave of all the amazing work you’re doing, I am impressed by your commitment to doing the things that you feel passionate about. I hope you continue to do what you’re already doing because the world needs more examples of people like you.

          Cheers,

          TK

    2. Re: “From the description you gave of all the amazing work you’re doing, I am impressed by your commitment to doing the things that you feel passionate about. I hope you continue to do what you’re already doing because the world needs more examples of people like you.”

      That’s more like it!

      Oh and “about which you feel passionate.” You know, just for the record 😛

      😉

      1. That’s more like it!

        Perfect!

        Oh and “about which you feel passionate.” You know, just for the record

        With respect to the use of the preposition “about” at the end of a sentence, that’s actually a matter of preference. The notion that it’s improper to end sentences with prepositions is a common myth. Grammar Girl does an excellent job at elucidating this point.

        Ending a Sentence With a Preposition
        http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/ending-sentence-preposition?page=all

        Here’s another resource that provides a more thorough explanation of the same principle:

        Grammar myths #1: is it wrong to end a sentence with a preposition?
        http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/11/grammar-myths-prepositions/

        More important than our stylistic differences concerning how we prefer to use prepositions, or any other matters pertaining to proper grammar, I’m glad we now have the same understanding of what I intended to convey regarding your commitment to passionate living. I appreciate and respect the work you’re doing.

        I hope you continue to influence many others to pursue their passions.

        Cheers,

        T.K.

    1. Wow! That’s odd! Thanks for catching that. What’s funny is that it’s been working fine, but I must have unwittingly edited my profile and put a dot in between TK and Coleman. Oh well. Fixed now. Thanks to you, my social media savior 😉 Cheers!

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