Several months ago, my friend Rudy (not his real name) shared some news. Rudy said that he had applied for a new job, in a field unrelated to his current employment. I asked about the new job and inquired what had prompted him to apply elsewhere. Rudy informed me that the new job would pay him $2 more (hourly) than his current job paid. I next asked Rudy if the work that he would be performing at the new job was interesting. Rudy replied, “No, not really.”
Rudy did not get the new job. He was pursuing a pay raise, instead of pursuing his passion.
I can totally relate to Rudy’s thought process, as this is how I used to live my life. When I was in my 20s, I recall earning approximately $10 hourly, working in a job that I did not enjoy. When I searched the classified advertisements for a different job, I only applied for jobs that paid a “slightly higher” wage than I was currently earning. Looking back on my life during my 20s, I can now see that I lacked confidence and felt undeserving of a significantly higher wage. I would never have applied for any job paying $20 hourly, because I felt unworthy of such a position, based solely on the higher rate of pay. I believed, rightly or wrongly, that people earning double my income were twice as competent, or more valuable, than I was.
Notice, I haven’t even mentioned the obvious fact that Rudy was not pursuing his passion, just as I was not pursuing my passions, earlier in my life. I suspect that this is exactly how most of us go through life. We go after what we think we can get, fearing to go after what we really desire. I never went after work that interested me in my 20s, because it was not even a thought I was having during that time of my life. I was the “hamster on the wheel,” unaware that I could have gotten off the wheel anytime I chose.
More recently, a very talented woman told me that her passion was creating pottery. Sadly, creating pottery remained her hobby, not her career, because she shares the same fears that Rudy and I had held. We were all afraid to pursue our passions, because it never occurred to us, or we lacked the confidence and faith that our passions could “pay the bills.”
My pottery friend is a delightful, competent, kind, and caring person. When I look at her I know, without reservation, that she is capable of success in any endeavor she might pursue. She does not share my confidence in her abilities, unfortunately. How many of us are guilty of the same fear-based thinking? I suspect most people lack confidence in their abilities, or their fears are stronger than their dreams. I know, without a doubt, that should my pottery friend elect to make her hobby into her career, she would be successful. She would be successful because her customers want her energy, and buying her pottery would allow them to possess for themselves, some of her energy and passion, imbued within her art. Everybody loves art, so a market for her pottery already exists. The only obstacle preventing her passion from becoming her vocation is her belief in herself, or lack thereof.
For most people, the biggest obstacle to achieving our dreams is ourselves. I too am guilty. I have an idea of how I want to live my life, 100% of the time. However, I fear if I make a change I will disappoint my wife, or make a mistake, or have regrets for making the changes I want to make. So I wait. I ponder. I dream. I weigh my options. I procrastinate.
What is it that I want? I want total control over my schedule. I want to write books and speak before audiences full of people eager to hear my message. I feel in my soul that writing and public speaking are my future. However, in the meantime, I remain an airline pilot, and as such, I do not have total control over my schedule. I worked very hard, for many years, to manifest my current career, and I am not prepared to give up this hard won dream. So I guard it, like a rare jewel. I hold tightly to my current career, because I still have fears, like you.
As a compromise, I have set targets for myself. I have promised myself that I will ‘stay the course’ until my books begin selling, and I regularly begin speaking before audiences about self-empowerment and similarly related topics. I will keep my “day job” because it’s exciting, and I can write and speak in my free time. When I ‘know’ that the time is right, I will make the transition. This is what I tell myself, and honestly, it seems reasonable. However, there is part of me that whispers, “Jump in the deep end. If you’re meant to write and speak then pursue it full-time, without delay, without hesitation, without fear.” I am confident that my writing and speaking career will manifest, and when I look back at this moment in time, I will remind myself that there is nothing to fear. After all, I wrote in my first book, A BETTER LIFE, that there is nothing to fear. I stand by that proclamation.
Life is complicated and it provides us with lots of excuses and reasons to delay this or that, or turn left instead of turning right. Life is unpredictable, just as it should be. Predictability can be comforting, but it can also be boring and unsatisfying.
I understand why Rudy and my pottery friend feel as they do, because our feelings are universal. People all over the planet share the same feelings of love, and grief, and fear, and faith. We are not unique in this regard. So this is my admission: I still have doubts and fears. The difference in my life now is that I realize that my fears, if they are truly unfounded, can prevent me from living my life to the fullest.
I still cling to a few fears, rightly or wrongly, but they have less impact on my life now. Until I have total control over my schedule, I will continue to fly, I will remain grateful for my career, and I will remember to have as much fun as possible every day. Every step I take as a writer brings me closer to my current goal. When I have fulfilled my current desires, new goals and desires will take their place. Fortunately, we will always have new goals and passions to pursue. We wouldn’t want it any other way.
Please write and tell me what you’re dreaming of, or share the story of how you overcame your fears and manifested your desires. I might include your story in a future book. Currently, I am finishing my second book. It’s titled, HOW TO BECOME AN AIRLINE PILOT – On a Budget.