Finding Your Passion

Pensive Young Woman with Thought Bubble of Greatness Just Ahead Green Road Sign.
I met a man named Michael who told me how much he was looking forward to one day owning his own push broom. No, he wasn’t in the custodial services industry; my new acquaintance is currently an artistic director at a rented local playhouse. Each season, when the final curtain goes down Michael takes up the broom and gives the stage a thorough once over. Pushing that broom across the floor both inspires and reminds him to keep pursuing his dream of one day opening his own 250 seat theater, equipped with broom.
theater

Giant-sized dreams are passion based. Oprah is quoted as saying: “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Michael of the push broom dream did not start his career as an artistic director; however, he was always passionate about theater. Like many individuals in the entertainment industry, his theatrical career began in the chorus line. Over the years he honed his skills, added significant credits to his acting career and subsequently evolved into his role as the executive of a theatrical organization.

Have you identified your push broom dream? It begins with defining a passion that makes your heart sing. Passion is the foundation upon which dreams flourish and grow. Passion is the driving force fueling your dreams and keeping you going when life surprises you with setbacks, sprinkles in disappointments and erects speed bumps in your path. Passion brings out the incurable optimist in you and provides the positive energy and stamina required to achieve your goals and become the best version of yourself.

Not feeling the passion yet? Granted, it is not always evident. Sometimes it lingers beneath the surface requiring some excavation. Often clients approach me with a desire to reinvent themselves but have no idea where to begin. Here are some recommendations:
• Visit a bookstore. Of the many departments, where do you linger? For me, it’s easy. I could spend an entire day in self-help racks. It was during this very exercise I discovered a passion for coaching.
library books
• Follow your curiosity. I love the scenes in the movie Julie and Julia when a determined Julia Child embarks upon a number of endeavors before discovering food was her true passion.
• Sign up for courses that interest you and attend speaking event to learn more about a subject that piques your curiosity.
• Interview individuals in a profession that interests you
• Another method is to opt for a course like the one created by Janet Atwood the author of several books on finding your passion and discovering your life purpose. You can learn more about her method at www.thepassiontest.com. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can also be helpful in determining your personality preferences which can help point to your passion triggers. More information at www.myersbriggs.org
• Do not limit yourself to a singular passion. Perhaps you would enjoy creating a composite career. For example, when my friend Christine left corporate America she discovered a passion for both art and writing. Her days are divided between creating lovely works of art and working on her memoir or writing poetry.
Dance With Me Christine Hall’s “Dance With Me.”

Another friend of mine, Dominique, owns a lucrative computer repair business. She loves her business but is also passionate about public speaking and has earned numerous awards as a member of Toastmasters International.
• Volunteer your services. If the idea of owning your own bookstore appeals to you, start by volunteering at a local library. If you are thinking of a culinary career, ask a caterer if you can assist with prepping and food setup.
• Ask yourself what you care about. I am working with a client now who is preparing to leave her banking career and run for office in her local community. She lights up like a Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center when she talks about having a seat on the city council. What is it that lights you up?

Keep searching and maintain an open mind. Eventually you will uncover your passion and set your sights on acquiring your own push broom.

Everything I Know I Learned from Listening to the Radio

Beach bag

I recently learned the true definition of a memoir. Manuscripts categorized in that genre must be based on a “life changing” event. The definition prompted me to search my soul. What major experience changed my life? While tripping down memory lane, I honed in on a habit that set the stage for living my “Life on the Sunny Side.”

Early in my career we moved to south Florida. Happily fleeing the brutal Michigan winters I chucked my windshield scraper and traded snow boots for flip flops, balmy ocean breezes and days dripping with bright sunshine. Jobs were plentiful in the technology sector. Our newly adopted city, Boca Raton means “mouth of the rat,” but for me life was a beach.

In addition to a home with a pool, a promising future in human resources and the Atlantic shoreline down the road, I tumbled head over heels in love with another area feature… a local radio station.  No, it wasn’t rock, cool jazz or country. In fact, the station did not play music. To my sheer delight I could tune into motivational radio 24/7. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen became my heroes before they published the “Chicken Soup” series. Brian Tracey, Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar graced my personal top ten list mesmerizing me with their wisdom. At every opportunity I listened in as my personal mentors encouraged me to work hard, take risks, and maximize my potential.

Learning to set career goals, and increase my motivation I discovered possibilities in any given situation. These pros taught me the art of time management and how to boost my productivity. My college education paled in comparison to what I derived from such positive role models.

By applying lessons learned, my career gained momentum and I scored an exciting promotion and relocation to northern California. Before I could catch my breath, I was unpacking boxes in the Golden State scanning the broadcasting waves for the Silicon Valley version of motivational radio. Sadly, such programming was severely lacking. My solution was to load my home, car and office with motivational CD’s. To this day, I continue to fill my personal air space with my old favorites and a new generation of motivational masters.

Life changing events may not always strike like a thunderbolt spinning you into another dimension. Perhaps it is not one single explosive moment that turns the tide. I am living proof that sometimes life can change by simply flipping on the radio.

 

Before you go: I’d love to hear your comments.  If you enjoyed this blog please feel free to share. Thanks!

 

 

 

Turning a Wish into Reality

The little girl on a lawn with a puppy in the sunny day

A particular television commercial fills me with delight. Perhaps you have seen it. An adorable little girl declares she would like a “chango machine” so she can turn her little brother into a puppy. Thank heavens I never got my hands on that magic machine growing up! My poor baby brother would have been a soft furry canine before you could pronounce “presto chango.”

As refreshing as it is to imagine instant change, we know changing course takes time and effort. But just for a moment, imagine you were granted one wish. Visualize stepping into the chango machine and then out again. What one thing is different? Did you find yourself in the corner office, or married to the woman of your dreams? Perhaps you now live in Hawaii, or you reappeared as an executive chef working at a trendy five-star restaurant.

What occurred in your fantasy machine you can duplicate in real life. You need no secret formula to accomplish the change you want most. It just takes planning, focus and a dose of grit as evidence by the story of a young college graduate named Ken Ilqunas.

Finding himself deep in debt upon graduating from the University of Buffalo, Ken moved to Alaska to secure employment and pay off his $32,000 college loan. With dedicated hard work he paid back every dime in two years. Determined never to pile up debt again, this enterprising fellow sought a master’s degree. Staying true to his vow, Ken creatively invented a way to live in his van while attending grad school at Duke University. Wow!

Not all of us have Ken’s super-sized moxie, but his inspiring story provides the impetus to move forward. Whatever it is standing between you and the goal line, I doubt it means working at a remote Alaskan truck stop or living in your van.

Now that you have a clear vision of that one thing in your life requiring change, commit to facilitating action. Draw up a plan and stay the course. Big leaps are made of many tiny steps. If you start today the time will arrive when, like Ken, you can take a bow and reap the benefits.