Awhile back, while attending the five-year-old birthday party of a little friend, I encountered a most surprising artist, who created, truly, the coolest balloon creatures I've ever seen. I think the adults were into it more than the kids.
She made me a butterfly which she whipped up in mere seconds, along with alligators (with teeth), dogs, tigers, mermaids, hats, flowers, you name it. This artist was in pure joy creating her art and has been doing it since she was five-years-old herself.
It reminded about a story I saw on CBS Sunday Morning, about master ventriloquist Terry Fator, who became fascinated with his art form when he was about ten and perfected it until he became an "overnight success" after winning "America's Got Talent" in 2007. Since then, he's signed a $100 Million dollar deal as a headliner in Vegas.
The thread that connects these two is that they appear to have learned early on what they loved and then made it their life's work. Every day I talk to people who are in jobs that don't fulfill them. Yes, there's something to be said about being grateful for having a job, but that doesn't mean you should set aside your avocations or your passions, your true desires.
There's also something to be said about making what you love what you do! Why? Mainly, because it brings meaning to everything else you do, even the job you don't particularly like.
If you don't know what that thing is, here are some good questions to ask yourself.
- If money were no object, what would you spend your time doing?
- What is it that you do where there's no sense of time and space? Where you have a sense of peace in your body and mind?
- What have you been known for all of your life, perhaps outside your 9-to-5? Where do people compliment you?
- Where, and for what, are you a go-to person in your life?
- What are the top five things you know you're really good at, that you also like to do?
- What did you love to do when you were a kid? How did you spend your alone play time? How did you interact with other kids? When you examine this you really learn a lot about your true desires.
- Complete this sentence with as many things that come to mind: "I can't wait to..." Don't edit yourself.
- Where are you relentless in your passion?
Look for ways to incorporate what you love to do into your life. Find and meet like-minded people, surround yourself with those who are doing it. Join a group, attend some events in your desired field. Devote a little energy every day perfecting the skill, if that's what it requires.
At the very least, take a step today toward making what you love what you do. Pretty soon you'll being taking the next step, and the next.
What's not to love about that?