“Doing What You Love” reminds me of the quote by Mark Twain,
“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I fancy putting my thoughts in written form, working on my website, learning new processes, seeking out speaking engagements, investing in ME, Inc. Even though these activities have not monetized, it brings me fulfillment to do what I enjoy – traveling, learning, writing, speaking and growing.
Until I met my husband, I don’t think I knew anyone personally who monetized the love of an activity. All my life I always looked for jobs that paid enough money to meet my monthly obligations and not necessarily the love of what I was being paid to do. I have a different perspective now. I desire a new way of working.
As I look back over my life, I always had an admiration for traveling, writing and speaking. I attempted to fulfill my aspirations of travel in my early twenties. I completed a travel agent certification program. I became gainfully employed as a reservation agent with a travel wholesale company. At this company, I received my first passport and experienced “overseas” travel to several Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and Central America. I loved to travel more than I imagined I would. Due to the after-effects of a catastrophic event – September 11 terrorist attacks – that dream came to an end sooner than expected. By this time, I had financial obligations (rent, utilities, car note, car insurance) that were giving me pressure. “Doing What I Love” had to take a back seat. I needed a new occupation and fast. I was suggested a profession with a high probability of earning potential. I allowed temporary circumstances to alter my path. This cycle continued for nearly two decades chasing professions to meet financial demands.
I wish I would have accepted the struggle and focused more on growing myself. If death is inevitable, why not “go for broke” and do what you love? I love the saying by Dave Ramsey, an American radio host,
“Live like no one else so you can live like no one else.”
In an article titled using Mr. Ramsey’s quote, I’m fond of the way Trent Hamm, a featured contributor on www.thesimpledollar.com, explains the catchphrase:
“The idea here is pretty simple: if you live in a challenging way right now, you’ll be able to enjoy incredible opportunities and advantages later. Almost every person who has accomplished something great in their life went through some very challenging period (or periods) to get there: executing obsessive hours of practice, living in poverty or near-poverty, spending countless late nights building up a project, and so on.”
Some celebrities that come to mind are Steve Harvey, Tiffany Haddish, Tyler Perry. They all had a homeless or near homeless experience. The common thread between these individuals is they all “went for broke” honing their talent. They injected all their resources, time and energy into mastering a skill. Over a period of time of investing in themselves, they eventually got their “lucky break”. I admire the way Roman philosopher Seneca coined the term luck.
“Luck (success) is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
As I study my husband, a person who has chosen the “go for broke” path and is doing what he loves. I notice there are three character traits he possesses: self-discipline, patience, and faithfulness.
His personal training is on auto-pilot. Whether in Thailand, the United Arab Emirates or Ghana, he has consistently included training in his daily schedule. This past weekend I accompanied him to the beach to train, it was brutal and the heat from the sun didn’t make it any better. We made it back to our Airbnb and I’m stretched out on the floor feeling hot and miserable. I caught a glance of him staring into space. I inquired about his spiritual whereabouts. He stated he was thinking about how he was going to train this evening. Really, babe?!?!?! He’s formed a habit of making daily intangible deposits that will someday reap tangible rewards.
Stephen R. Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, calls it the inside-out approach which means private victories precede public victories, a person has to make and keep promises to themselves before making and keeping promises to others.
In the words of my husband, “it’s not easy.” He’s been fighting an uphill battle since 2007 to do what he loves. Finally, after playing amateur football for 5 years in the United Arab Emirates, he finally gets his “lucky break.” While we were vacationing in Thailand for my birthday, he received a phone call to play for Al Jazira Football Club in Abu Dhabi. He accepted but he had visa issues and was not able to attend the pre-season team training in Holland. When the team returned, the coach had already formed his team so he was directed to train with the second division.
He signed another contract with Al Fujairah Football Club in January. He had to prematurely terminate the contract, due to the fact, the Ghana Football Association would not issue a release letter reporting his status as a free agent. He had to go before the GFA Player’s Status Committee to fight for his freedom. Despite the setbacks, his melancholic temperament remains intact.
His patience reminds me of a bible passage:
“This message is about a special time in the future.
This message is about the end, and it will come true.
Just be patient and WAIT FOR IT (emphasis added).
That time will come, it will not be late.”
Habakkuk 2:3 (Easy Read Version)
Despite so many adverse situations, he still believes in himself, he still believes in the game and most importantly, he still believes in God. He remains in a constant state of preparation (mentally and physically). All roads lead to football. Football is his life from television to social media to leisure time. He’s committed to growing and always looking for new training grounds. For example, we celebrated New Year’s Day by going on a desert safari. There were miles and miles of sand dunes as far as our eyes could see. My thoughts were “this would make a wonderful backdrop for a photo.” He’s on a totally different thought pattern than me, his thoughts were “these sand dunes are perfect for training.”
Similar to bamboo tree farmers, who faithfully nurture bamboo tree seeds for years without seeing any signs of growth, he has consistently nurtured his talent for years without seeing any noteworthy returns on his investment. The lack of visible signs does not deter him from expecting a breakthrough in the future.
As life would have it, these are the character traits I struggle with the MOST. Embracing this new way of working requires me to accept the fact, it may take months or even years before I see the true fruits of my labor. Regardless of the unavoidable struggles, I must exhibit patience, faithfulness, and self-discipline by immersing myself into a perpetual state of preparation being committed to the process of growing so I can be ready for my “lucky break.”
I believe these character traits are necessary for my growth which will aid me in reaching the highest, truest, fullest expression of myself. Join me in “finding yourself”, and discovering new ways of thinking, new ways of working and new ways of living. You’re invited.