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Doing the Work that Makes Your Heart Sing

Hands down one of my favorite conversation is talking with people who have found the work they love.  Individuals who have moved beyond their fears, and the ‘who are you to do that’ comments, people who have found a way to creatively live their life while doing what they love.

I think of my trainer, who is amazingly awesome at inspiring me to work out.  She ‘kicks my ass’ while also helping me to love working out. She shared with me recently that when she first graduated from college and was trying to figure out what she wanted to do for a ‘real job’ someone asked her,  “what do you like doing?” To which, she replied “I love working out” which was quickly met with –“Well you can’t get paid to do that”.  She tells me this story with a twinkle in her eye saying “Well, look at me now, I am getting paid to work out–how cool is that!!!”

Or the guy at the tea shop recently who waited on me and a friend.  I admit I know nothing about tea, I enjoy drinking it from time to time but it is not something I am passionate about nor do I have  a lot of knowledge about it.  After talking with the waiter, and hearing his passion about tea, I was hooked.  His love, passion and knowledge was contagious.  You could tell he loved working with tea, sharing his knowledge with other people and watching them enjoy their tea with a new understanding.  He admitted that tea was an unusual passion, but growing up the tea had been something he and his grandma had shared. He never thought he could get paid to work with or learn about tea!!

Or even the guy who we just hired to power wash our house.  As we talked with Paul he shared with us how much he loved power washing, how much he loved being outdoors, seeing the before and after results, and being a part of making the landscape prettier.  He had been told by his family that he needed to do a more ‘traditional’ job he couldn’t just work outside for the rest of his life, he needed to do something more respectable.  So he went to college, tried to do a traditional 8-5 job and quickly realized that wasn’t for him.  He missed being outdoors, missed doing what he loved. So he decided to start his own power washing business. As he talked his face lit up, he was animated, excited and down right joyous!!!  It was a thrill to talk to him abut what he does for a living and we didn’t have to think twice about hiring him to power wash our house.

There is something that intrigues me about these stories, (and I have many, many more). Something that makes me go ‘hmm’ what do all these people have in common.

One: They didn’t listen to what other people told them, the ‘you can’t do that’ messages.  


Two: They tried other things, they tried to go against their passion but they inevitably came back to it.  


Three: They got creative, because they were open to their passions they were able to look at the world and see where their passions best fit the market place.  They were able to get creative about using their passion to serve the world. Chris Guillebeau talks about the topic of convergence today on his blog The Art of Non Conformity.


Four: Their passions were unique to them.  One reason I love hearing these stories is how different and unique the passions are–how one person can light up talking about power washing and another can light up about working out.

The point is it starts with one step:  getting honest and figuring what makes YOU light up, what makes your heart sing, what makes you down right giddy.  Getting clear on what that passion is might require you to think out of the box, say something off the wall or face the occasional ‘you can’t make a living doing THAT’.  But the first step is listening to that time voice inside saying–yep THIS is what I really love.

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