“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”
― George Carlin
Anyone who has followed my blog knows that I speak regularly of following your passion. It is something that I believe calls to us softly at times, loudly at others. And anyone searching for self-help and inspiration knows that there are a multitude of books, blogs and other sources out there with information that far surpasses any of my particular posts which are written to help find your passion and purpose.
Though I’m certainly no Jack Canfield, I’d like to think I might fall into these categories in some form.
But I didn’t start writing this blog in the form of self-help and inspiration. In fact, it formed simply and naturally as a way to air out a few thoughts, and as a side effect I found that not only was I helping myself, but others as well.
To that note, a lot has been written about finding your purpose, or even how to find your passion. Simply put, in our own personal spheres of wandering, some of us are born with this passion burning a hole in our minds, to the point where we must act on it every single day otherwise we simply don’t feel like ourselves.
We pursue our passions whole-heartedly at any given chance, as this is the beating drum we are called to walk to.
Others have this passion too, only they don’t have the perpetual burning desire that others feel to act upon it. Instead, it’s more subtle. It comes as a gentle nudge every so often, just to let you know it’s still around, waiting for you to say hello.
Regardless, all of us have to survive. And sometimes, following our passions doesn’t pay the bills or put food on the table.
But be sure that they eventually can.
Years ago, I was once told by a person who played a critical role in my young adult life that, “Dreams don’t pay the bills.”
To this I scoffed and swore then and there that one day my dreams would pay the bills, or at the very least they would contribute to doing so. And so far I’ve done so, though modestly. But, this also sparked my mind into existential questions of work and worth, of what truly drives a person to their passion, and why passions are all unique.
You hear the phrase all of the time, “Follow your heart.” Or, “Do what you love and never work again.” So I began to think on this stringing together of word-pearls, and wanted to know just exactly what this could imply, or how deep it could really go.
So, what if every sentient being on the planet was running out there just, “following their heart?”
What kind of a world would this be?
Would it be exciting? Full of love? Meadows of unicorns eating mushrooms and farting rainbows?
Maybe it would, who knows.
But this question begs a different answer beyond a plain subject/object relationship. Because what one person views as a passion, others might view as a goofy hobby. What one person looks at as being hard work, another person looks at as a simple therapeutic task.
So I believe, a world like this would be much like the one that we already live in right now. Though yes, a lot of people are trying to find their path, working jobs they hate and all that, inside every person is a passion waiting to be witnessed, and a duty to bring it forth into the world. And these passions can be as small as wanting to own a bakery to the huge undertaking of ridding the world of cancer.
Your passion might be saving starving children, others may look upon it as a lost cause and a waste of time. And that may sound heartless, but it is a true thought that some people have.
The point is, not all passions are part of some grand talent or natural gift we possess, nor are they all centered on a specific cause that we feel the need to act upon.
This is how the world holds its balance.
What interests you—you can be sure—is boring to someone else.
Where there is the artist, passionate about his art, there is also the art critic, passionate about his critique. As one person loves to spend money, another loves to help people save and invest it. When another person is passionate about saving the environment, his neighbor’s passion could very well be land development.
No matter what it is, you can follow your heart even if someone doesn’t understand why you do it. Chances are, not everyone will understand anyway, so why limit yourself?
Because the heart is endless.
If you’re passionate about herding goats, then go herd some goats. And that might sound silly, but I guarantee you there are a few people in the world who would spend the rest of their lives being completely happy among a goat herd.
The choice is a simple one. And it’s all completely yours.
What we do in this limited amount of time on Earth will ultimately save it or hurt it. We will either leave a legacy and a roadmap for our children to know and follow, or we will leave them with an unsolvable puzzle and no direction at all.
If we follow our hearts, we will not be led astray. In fact, we will be silently guided to the purpose that we all have come here to fulfill or be a part of.
And it doesn’t matter if we leave our mark in the annals of history or not.
Because, not all of us can save the world single-handedly.
But we can all pitch in a bit
In closing, for those searching for self-help and inspiration, or trying to find their passion or looking how to find your purpose, I can offer this..
Follow what makes you weak in the knees.
Pursue what drives you to stand up each day and what can make our world better.
For this is truly the path to self-discovery.