This has been a question flowing through my mind lately. These two little words have helped motivate and push me to begin the process of following my dreams, calling, and passions.
There seem to be 3 categories professionally that people tend to fall into (and please correct me if I’m wrong): 1. people who are in the cycle of simply living–not passionate about what they do; working for the dollar sign. 2. people who are in a momentary season of making ends meet before they can move forward to what they love to do. 3. people who are doing what they love–what they are passionate about–people who are following the desires of their hearts.
I could be wrong. I don’t claim many absolutes, but I think the majority of people fall into one of those three. I also believe two things– 1. you have a choice in which category you fall into, and 2. you can be so fluid in these categories throughout your life.
Let me explain.
I have been a public school teacher for 6 years now. A friend once told me, “teaching is the best job and worst job.” They. Were. So. Right. Teaching has been so painful, fulfilling, wonderful, and terrible all at the same time. I love my kids. However, teaching is not my one stop shop career. For some teachers it is, and that’s phenomenal. For me, there is more. So for a very long time, I have stayed in category 1.
Examples: time clock punchers, ‘one-day’-ers, comfortability.
Wake up, go to work, come home, watch Netflix, go to bed, repeat. No drive. No passion. Simply collecting a paycheck. Are you apart of this category? If so, it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up, because this is the easiest category to be in. It’s comfortable. It’s stable.
Here’s the but–I encourage you to make the choice not to stay here. I know you have commitments and have to be a responsible adult and member of society. But move to category 2. Find your passions and plan out how to move from category 1 to 2. Because, why not? Why not try to follow those skills that pull at your heartstrings? Why not do what you love, and love what you do?
Examples–College students, anyone who is running a side business, the adventure chasers, ministry builders, people who are tired of their 9-5, corporate jobs, anyone with an aspiration to make what they are doing their own.
This is when you know what you want to do. You have found that niche that makes you tick. That gets you motivated to get up and get going. You have found that thing that isn’t always fun and is really hard work, but you love it enough to push through the hard times because you’re passionate about the cause, skill, or final product. You might have to do those mundane jobs to make ends meet. You may have to work multiple jobs, put in long hours, and sacrifice your Netflix, chill time, or entertainment. But it is worth it because you can see the end result. You have a hunger and a drive to go for what you want. This is the stage where I am. I am still in the midst of those responsibilities while working alongside and extra because I am building a dream–making it a reality. Not everyone can wake up and instantly do exactly what they want to do. There are factors–lack of funding, time, wrong place or timing in life. So we have to work, strive, have the grit to get to where we want to be. In my opinion, this is also the hardest phase; being stuck between the have to’s and the willing to’s. I have to pay my bills, I have to have put food on the table for my children, I have to _______. But what makes you successful is willing to’s. I am willing to sacrifice my Netflix time to write an extra blog post. I am willing to budget to be able to afford supplies to create my next project. I am willing to wake up early to practice calligraphy. I am willing to put down the phone, look at my husband, and have a conversation about our dreams, hopes, ambitions. I am willing to listen to the Lord’s guidance in my life. It’s a balancing act of having to’s and willing to’s that get you to the next stage, and if you’re a believer–a huge portion of faith and trust. And a lot of the times, honing in and working out the willing to’s changes your perspective and reality. It also helps build your confidence in your passion.
To be very raw, here’s a desire of mine that I am in the middle of crafting my skill of handwriting. I want to take this skill and sharpen it up, make it mine, and share it with others. This is a quick doodle I did for a friend the other night. I am nowhere near where I want to be, but I am working on it.
This is where the desire meets the requirement–I am still working full-time teaching, owning my own skincare business, teaching children in China, writing a blog, and planning my next crafty business endeavor. It is overwhelming, fast, and a large load to carry, but you know what? I have found much more happiness in this part of my life professionally than I was even a year ago. Actively pursuing your dreams will do that to you. And when your passions interlock hands with God’s calling on your life–that makes the journey even sweeter.
Category 3–Full immersion in your passion.
Now, I could be wrong about #2 being the hardest. #3 could be the hardest, I’m just not there yet– However, I do think the benefits outweigh the odds. When you are fully immersed into your passion–whether it’s being a stay at home mom who homeschools her children, a blogger, a business owner, a graduate who is beginning their dream career–whatever that passion in your heart is, when it comes to full fruition, that is category three. Now, this is not to say that you are at the end of your life and it can’t get better or go any deeper/further than here. Everything has room for improvement or growth. But when you’re done with the fluff, the mundane–when you wake up each morning with complete joy to go to your ‘work.’ When you have immense pride for what you’ve built, achieved, and overcome. When you can wipe away the excess responsibilities that you don’t need simply provide. You can thrive. You can honestly answer ‘I do what I love, and I love what I do.’ That is when you’re in category 3. I’ll write more about my experience in this category when I am there.
I urge you to search your heart and soul and find what exactly makes your heart jump and your motivation skyrocket. I pray that the Lord opens your eyes to whatever your calling and dreams may be and the pathway to pursue it, even if you don’t even know it yet. Refuse the monotonous life, because you’re better than that. You’re worth it. And why not?