Yes! You really can love your job, do what you were born to do, and be financially successful. The United States of America is bursting with opportunity, even in this economic downturn, and with sincere effort, it’s possible. That’s why I was unsettled when I read a comment from a respected friend and colleague. She wrote, “I am not 100% convinced that if you do what you love, the money will follow. I would like to be. But, honestly, I am not…” The thing is, she’s not alone; many believe that work is work, that’s why it’s called work.
My friend’s comment sent my brain burrowing for answers. Why should we try to discover, define and do what we were born to do? What proof do I have that it’s possible to do what you love to do and still be financially successful? And, is it my personal mission to convince the unbelievers? Here are my thoughts:
Why should we try to discover, define and do what we were born to do?
My answer could win the grace and poise competition of any beauty pageant; world peace. If we’re all doing what we were born to do, feeling a deep sense of personal fulfillment while making the world a better place, we’d have world peace. OK, maybe not world peace but how about a little more peace and harmony in the workplace? Anyone for a little less stress and more balance between home and work? How about putting a dent in fatigue, frustration and burn out? NY Times Bestselling author, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) said, “All of the trouble and sorrow of this world is caused by unhappy people… The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-benefitting act, but also a generous gift to the world.” Come on people, let’s enjoy the way we spend our day. Let’s seek contentment and make things better for ourselves and for those around us. Doing your life’s work is fulfilling and is a gift to your community. It’s complete contentment.
What proof do I have that it’s possible to do what you love to do and still be financially successful?
Well, for one, Oprah Winfrey does it. Rush Limbaugh does too. Every day I meet people who are doing what they were born to do and many say that they are earning more money than they ever thought they would. This doesn’t mean they’re all multi-millionaires but it does mean that they’re financially successful by their own definition. Most important to me, I’m convinced that we can be successful and do what we were born to do because I’ve pulled it off personally. Want more proof? Visit the Experience Project and read some of the thousands of real life experience stories shared by the members of this online community. There are 340 members of the “I Love My Job” group and 67 have shared their personal stories. There are 205 members of the “I Will Pursue My Dream Job” group, and 104 members of the “I Want To Find A Job That I Love” group. My favorite is the “I Am Going To Change The World” group; 1,269 members strong. Yeah. I’m convinced it can be done and so are a lot of other people.
Is it my personal mission to convince the unbelievers?
It’s hard to believe in something that you’ve never experienced. It’s hard to change a mindset based upon personal experience. Changes in actions and attitude are linked to timing. If times are very tough and you need something to believe in, you’re more likely to change your mind. If times are great for a friend, and you see them living their dream, you’re more likely to change your own mind. Is it my job, or anyone else’s job, to change your mind? I don’t think so. But it is my job to be there to share information with you when you arrive at that place where you’re ready to take on new ideas. (It’s what I was born to do.) I know that lots of folks out there are ready to begin the quest to discover, define and do what they were born to do. I found 294 of them at the Experience Project in the group called, “I Hate My Job.”
This brings me back to my friend’s comment, “I am not 100% convinced that if you do what you love, the money will follow…” Maybe people who feel this way just haven’t found the right spot, the perfect place, the dream job or career? I still believe that right here in the good old USA opportunity abounds and with sincere effort it’s possible to do what you were born to do and be financially successful. Maybe the unbelievers simply haven’t found their path. Karen Burns, author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use says, “When deciding on a career, you have one huge limitation; you can only pursue fields of work you know about.” Karen provides some helpful advice on how to find your perfect spot by expanding your knowledge of career opportunities. For inspiration and an education check out the Working Girl Blog, Your Hidden Dream Job.
Don’t give up. You really can love your job, do your life’s work, and be financially successful.