Are you following your heart's desire, or are you speeding down the path of safety and guarantees? It is very easy to deceive yourself into thinking you are doing something because you love it, when really you are going after what you think has a guarantee.
Take me for instance. I still work in Corporate America (with a capital C no less). There I enjoy helping people with computers. Since my company pays for a computer science degree, that seems like the logical choice for me to continue my education. Do I enjoy using computers? Sure. Do I like helping people with them? Sure. But it's not what I do for fun at home. I like computers, but I don't love computer. However, I can find numerous job opportunities plain as day for folks with computer science degrees and programming experience.
Since I like coaching so much and enjoy working with people, psychology seems like the next best thing. But do I go home and pour through psychology today magazines or self-help books? Granted I have plenty of the self-help books, but I only like psychology. I don't yearn for it. Yet again my fears creep up and tell me that pursuing psychology is safe. So again I look at schools offering courses.
It's so easy to fall into what we think is safe. Unfortunately, most thoughts are based on stale information. Do I know for a fact that computers will take me where I want to go? Actually I knew a few computers folks who get laid off every time a company restructures itself. They come back as consultants and eventually get rehired only to have the cycle start again and again. I know therapists that don't get paid as much as they should because of insurance company rates changing all the time. Moreover, they have to wait for the claims to come in, sometimes waiting months just to get paid.
What do I truly want to do? Compose music, sell my art & designs, write stories, and inspire others through coaching. Do you know any worn path for doing all of that? I don't. You won't find job postings for "creative person who likes to do a lot of things including x,y, and z." And telling people I'm becoming a creativity coach - most people screw up their faces and ask "What's that?" Yet my satisfaction will be guaranteed if I take the risks and make my own path.
A life lived with regret is no life at all. And living for security isn't life, but mere survival. Are you pursing what you love or what you like? Ask yourself some of these questions.
- Do I like this, or love this?
- If I already have a job now, why not pursue what I love?
- Will I regret not doing this?
- Do I not want to do this because it's scary and unknown?
- Am I doing this because I think I should, or because I want to?
- Do I have enough information about my interest, or am I just going off
assumptions (starving artists, mom said musicians never make any money)
- What really moves me?
- If I had guaranteed success in anything I went after, what would I do?
What would you do? Who would you be?