“The important thing, kid, is that you’re doing something you like to do.” (American Dreamer, 1984)
One of my good friends turned a hobby into her job, and she loves it.
One of my sisters changed jobs to do something that was more in line with her natural strengths and passions, and she’s thriving.
My oldest son grabs a few books and his flashlight (whether he needs it or not) to settle in for some reading every day.
In each of these examples, they all have one thing in common: they’re doing something they like to do.
Much of what I see and hear in my reading of what’s happening within the world of coaching revolves around helping people identify passions, talents and strengths. But this is often as far as it goes. Sure, gaining this clarity and wisdom about who you truly are and what makes you happy can be eye-opening and empowering. But then what? Very few people start putting this knowledge into action to create the life they want to live.
It makes me think of the movie American Dreamer (I’m dating myself… or at least my parents… with this reference). A bored housewife decides to enter a writing contest because she enjoys both reading and writing; it is, from the viewer’s perspective, her escape. After winning the contest, she’s whisked away to Paris for a luncheon in her honor, but she instead winds up with amnesia and embarks on an epic adventure thinking she’s the character in the book. It’s a hilarious movie with incredibly realistic scenes (the kitchen scene at the beginning is always my favorite), but it also goes to show that when you don’t let the world dictate who you are supposed to be, when you let your talents, strengths and passions lead you and define you, you can do incredible things. You can be exactly who you want to be. You get to define your identify and determine your legacy.
“So the important thing, kid, is that you’re doing something that you like to do.”
At the end of your life, will you say, “What a ride!” Or will you be more aware of the regret and a lot of “what ifs”?
Understand what makes you happy and make time for it. The reason why you like these things is they bring you joy. If you don’t add joy to your work and life, no one else will. You’ll notice a big difference in how you show up to your world and how others respond to you.
So ask yourself: if you could do anything right now, what would it be? Why?
Consider reading Is “Follow Your Passion” Bad Advice?