“The reality on the ground…is that very few people…do what they love to do for a living. I’m willing to venture that probably 80 to 85, maybe 90 percent, of the world’s people work at jobs that they tolerate at best, and sometimes even hate…and then do what they love to do as a hobby…never dreaming that they could have made a living, so to speak, doing that.”
~Neale Donald Walsch
Let’s change that.
I consider myself to have one of the best fathers in the entire world. This is not to say he is “perfect”; in fact, I devoted myself to many years of healing and forgiving in order to get past childhood issues (which I am now immensely grateful for, due to the HUGE learning opportunity that provided me).
My father is wonderful because of all that I have learned from him, directly and indirectly, and for all the love he poured into my life, no matter what was going on in his life.
For about fifteen years of his life, my dad worked the night shift at a food packaging company in Los Angeles. He’d get up at 2am to go to work and come back around noon to sleep and start anew. In all those years, he only missed work a handful of times, despite many a morning of illnesses. My father is a great man.
Most importantly of all, he never complained about his life to his kids, never made us feel bad, never made us feel we were at fault for his rough schedule.
When I was in college, after my dad and I had done some repair work on our relationship, I became increasingly interested in this man. My father, whom I hardly knew. I wanted, suddenly, to know everything I could about his life, about his dreams, about his beliefs, about his motivations.
What I found out surprised me a great deal. My dad had experienced a grand level of trauma in his childhood (which taught me: any level of “striking out” at others almost certainly arises from past pain that has not been healed yet – this is why we must heal the world, rather than strike back…as it only causes further trauma).
What was most surprising was that my father, like SO many of his generation, felt that his life did not reflect his childhood dreams. I will not go into details, out of respect for my dad’s privacy, but suffice it to say that this was not a pleasant thing for him to feel.
It was so startling. His lack of complaining had made me assume he was completely content with his situation. Amazing what you find out when you dig for the Truth of a situation.
I made a decision right then and there. I would NOT settle. I would get myself to a place where I would not repeat mistakes of the past. My father had sacrificed so much so that I could have a great life – why would I waste his sacrifice?
I felt a great fire begin to roar in my life.
I would live a great life, dammit. I would not let anything get in my way, most especially not myself. I would not let life pass me by, only to wake up years later, mourning the loss of my childhood and dreams. I had seen what it was like for many others to experience this, so why would I let it happen to me?
No way, Jose. NO way.
And so began my journey – my complete, utter, and total dedication to my happiness. My journey of discovering what I wanted in life, and learning how to get there. Each step of the way has been incredible, and “what I want in life” has changed dramatically as I have tackled and conquered MAJOR fears left and right. Fear of alcohol. Done. Fear of public speaking. Done. Fear of commitment and intimacy. Done.
Nothing will stop me, especially not myself, from being happy and from fulfilling this promise to myself, to live a life of passion, hope, happiness, love, and service. As I have discovered, happiness is a CHOICE until you make it a HABIT. So choose it even, and probably most importantly, when you feel you cannot. You’ll thank yourself years later that you did.
This week, I experienced a great moment of clarity and inspiration concerning this. I was in the airport, on my way back from a trip to LA, listening to a personal development audio tape by Neale Donald Walsch. I hadn’t intended on listening to this particular tape, but I thought, “what the heck? why not?” I’m SO glad I did.
During the audio, Neale challenged my assumptions about the purpose of work (aka “a job”). As he said the quote that I marked above, my ears spiked. I recognized what he was talking about. I saw it all around me. Then he said something that struck me. He asked me, “what would you do for a living, if you could do what you LOVE to do, and financially thrive through it?” I knew right away. I’ve been digging to figure this out for months, and I was finally ready to answer it.
-Cue moment of clarity- My passion in life is this: to help bring out that inner child within people, and help the world reclaim its lost sense of innocence, wonder, hope, love, and joy. That beautiful inner child that delights at the magical world around it. That child that laughs from the very core of its being, illuminating the world with its smile. That child that feels safe and protected in the world. That child that sees the world as a joyous playground, with fun around every corner. That child that KNEW what it wanted to do in life, and didn’t worry about how it would get there.
I want that for every single person on this planet. Every single last one. I’ve said it, and I own it. This is what makes me happy. This is what makes my heart sing. This is what makes my body shake in recognition as my “passion”. This is what I dedicate my life to.
I feel so empowered at having discovered my passion, at having cleared my mind of all doubts and fears that prevented me from seeing it. This I promise – to myself, and to the entire world – I will not give in on walking the path of my heart, on claiming my RIGHT to live my passion, my purpose. Ever.
“The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it put your whole soul into it-every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have.”
– John D. Rockefeller III
SO much love,
Reflective Challenge of the Post (RCP): What is your passion? No matter what, no matter how, no matter when, find out! You owe it to yourself to be happy. You have so beautifully walked the path of life, doing your very best at every turn, asking for answers to questions that have tugged at you during sleepless nights. So make a decision – choose to be happy, choose to live your passion, choose to walk the path of your heart. And figure it out: what makes your entire body shake with recognition, “this is my passion”? You’ll know it when you feel it.