I was thinking about a quote, by Marsha Sinetar, that I had read “Do what you love and the money will follow.” This is because I made it through my week, having done what I am supposed to do, work, work out, take care of myself, spend time with family and write. I feel uninspired by work. The things I love doing, I feel I do not do enough. The things that take up most of my time, such as work, challenge my ability to do things that I love. I am not alone in this situation, I know this. I also know that I have a career that is from many viewpoints, good, and I am thankful for the job I have. I also realize that I call it a job and that might even be a problem. I am also very aware that I am not comfortable saying that I love what I do. On the other hand, I am readily able to identify aspects of my work that I do enjoy. If I look at other jobs out there, I am well paid, if that conclusion is based on averages and median income in my country. All of this has me reflecting on how do I do what I love and believe the money will follow?
In the same vein, Alan Watts is quoted as saying “And uh, forget the money. Because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life wasting your time. You will be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is, in order to do things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of things you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.” This gives me pause. I cannot forget the money. I am sure many people can’t. Is that the problem? People, or in this case, I am too focused on money? I live a relatively simple life. However I do like to help my family as much as possible. I do have basic necessities that need to be paid for, with money. I am finding it difficult to “forget about money”. Case in point, I love to travel. This requires money. Money is not the most important thing, I have always known this. Travel is not a necessity either, but I simply cannot forget about money when money helps feed my little ones, including myself. The article about Alan Watts goes on to say that we should identify what we desire.
What do I desire?
This is simple, I desire a life where I am free to work my own hours. I am not afraid of work, quite the opposite actually. However I like flexibility and freedom to work from home when possible, and take time to work out during the day. I can always get back to the work, afterwards. I would like the freedom to spend time with my little ones on a weekday, if that is what I am inspired to do on any given day. I would also like to be able to write, and not have to schedule this on weekend mornings. I love learning too, however taking courses, takes time. Time my current work does not allow me to take. Taking courses also costs money. I think I can even find courses that are free, however in general taking courses to get really knowledgeable about a subject usually requires money. Even as I am writing this, there is a little voice inside of me saying, “I would love to work for myself”. I know this is how I truly feel. Then the question: Doing what? Writing? Photography? Or both? When I travelled to other countries, I met people and learned about their cultures, some were quite similar, while others were very different. I enjoyed each and every one of those experiences. Those experiences have taught me there is much more to this world and life than what we are told by the media. Travel is an education in itself. Learning about other people and cultures has taught me that we are more similar than different. Many differences are superficial in nature. I love people, I love nature and the ocean and lakes of this planet in general. I love beaches, not only tropical ones, but the wild ones, like those in Ireland. I love boats and would love to learn to sail. Sailboats represent freedom to me, as do the ocean and wild beaches. It is fun to think about what I love. I wonder if people do this. I am seeing the benefit in spending time thinking about what I love instead of thinking about things that worry me.
Challenging the status quo
I think I have some beliefs that are fear or doubt based. The things I love doing the most, are not what most would call a possibility. Writing and photography are generally fields that I hear are difficult to enter into and be successful. I guess I believe this and my own beliefs could be part of the issue at the moment. Maybe it is time for me to reflect on my beliefs or challenge them, even change them.
I recall years ago when I decided to return to school. I was a single mom and I wanted to get a law degree. I wanted to go to McGill. All of these goals were considered difficult, but I went after this anyways, despite the people that told me how hard it would be and how many people failed at McGill, especially since I was working and raising a child.
Steve Jobs is quoted as saying “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
I can relate to this quote. Since my mother has passed, I give a lot of thought to how I want to live the rest of my life. I know I need to change something. I have already changed some aspects of my life, but I know I need to do more. Realizing that is 50% of the solution, or so I have been told. The next step is finding that determination and drive to change what I feel needs to be changed. I also have enough self-confidence to realize there are a few fields in which I could provide services and add value.
I do not know the answer to this question. All I know is I need to change something. I need to decide what I want to do and go for it, the same way I did when I decided to become a Chartered Accountant. This time, I am motivated by finding what I love to do instead of what I think I should be doing. I believe anything is possible, especially if I get out of my own way.
I wonder how many people feel this way. Do they even realize they do? It is pretty uncomfortable to feel this way. Not knowing the how, just knowing something needs to change.
In my experience, the “big picture how” did not matter when I made decisions that others found risky. I just took a first step and focused on that step and the other steps followed in due course. Each step I faced with determination and perseverance. I suppose I can also use the analogy of the body. There came a time when I realized I had not taken care of myself to the best of my ability. I decided to change that. I know many people say that it is hard and that the goal I have cannot be reached easily. I do not care. I just know what steps I need to take today and in the near future. I know that. If I keep doing that, the rest will follow.
I suppose that I should heed my own advice. What do I want to change? Define what I really want to do and identify a small step towards reaching that goal. The next step will appear and I can face it when it does. Life, in hindsight has always been this way for me. I can also stop reading quotes that are blanket statements without context. Maybe it is time for me to trust in my own ideas and come up with my own quotes, instead of looking to others that are quoted. It is odd that they are all people who state these things once they are perceived as successful. What I would love to know is how they were thinking before, when they first got started. Now that would be interesting.
As Confucius says “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”
On that note, I will keep reflecting, writing and doing what I love as much as I can. The answer to how to work for myself doing what I love will come. All I need to do is take a first step. For today, that is the realization that something needs to change and accepting that. It is humbling to admit on paper that you do not have all the answers. I am happy about my ability to be honest with myself and to accept the discomfort. It also means accepting that more will be revealed, as long as I make doing what I love my new goal. Accepting that I do not know all the answers is also required. I think I can be alright with that for today. There is much to be thankful for and appreciate. I am looking at my little one sleeping next to me as I write. I see that I am doing and experiencing something I love right now. I hope everyone can find that.