What Is Your True Passion? Are You Clearly Pursuing It?

Over the course of your lifetime, how many times do you think you have heard or will hear the comment, “life is too short?”  It is a common expression that we often use ourselves, or offer to others, in an effort to overcome short term challenges, move forward from long term conflicts, or, in some cases, avoid facing the reality of trying and difficult situations.  While the rationale and usage of the expression can range from very productive (some things are too insignificant and detrimental to distract you for too long) to very destructive (sometimes things don’t change unless you make the decision and take the action to make them change), the fact is that it continues to be a very compelling statement.  Individual human life, in fact, is quantifiably and relatively “short” compared to the other natural forces and powers at play in the world around us. 


On average, depending on gender, we have 78-82 years to experience life in the world that surrounds us.  If you consider that you spend 40+ years of that life working in some career, professional or job capacity, then you realize that your life, in fact, will be greatly impacted by the career decision that you make.  So, when you consider that 1 out of every 2 days that you spend alive on this Earth will be tied to your career, should that impact your decision on what you should be doing with that day? 


Would you rather be inspired and motivated, or bored and unmotivated?  Would you rather participate in the creation and evolution of something that you personally believe in and admire, or something that really doesn’t matter much to you?  Would you rather “punch in and punch out,” starting the clock stare from your cubicle every Monday at 9:01AM, or would you rather come to work Monday morning with ideas and inspiration from your daily personal life over the weekend?  We pose these questions not to state or ask the “obvious” but instead to set your mind on the proper path towards healthy career planning.  Career planning begins with career path CHOICE.  “Career happiness” is most highly correlated with “personal interest and happiness.” 


Consider the professional figures that have become household names over the course of your lifetime.  Was their success the result of a “9-to-5 job choice” or a “personal happiness choice” that manifested itself through their career?   Was Ted Turner looking for an easy way to watch TV while at work when he created TBS?  Was Walt Disney looking for a great part-time job when he created The Walt Disney Company and Disneyland?  Was Steve Jobs looking for a great vacation package when he created Apple and Pixar?  Was Bill Gates looking for great health benefits when he created Microsoft?  Were the Beatles looking for a place to play a gig when they began to put music and lyrics to their thoughts and passions?  The answer to all of these questions is obviously emphatically, “No!”  All of these individuals were motivated to fulfill a PERSONAL interest and happiness, choosing a “career path” that was more a “personal path.”  In making this decision, they were always working and playing, simultaneously. 


Let’s visit with some of the great names in history and remember what they offered to each of us as far as career advice:


“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.”

- Walt Disney

“Nothing is work unless you'd rather be doing something else.”

- George Halas

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”

 Bob Dylan

“Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.”

Jackson Brown, Jr.

“If it falls on your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the host of Heaven and Earth will have to pause and say, ‘Here lived a great sweeper, who swept his job well.’”

Martin Luther King, Jr.


“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

Albert Einstein 

“Flaming enthusiasm, backed by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.”

Dale Carnegie

“Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.”

Henry Ford


The entertainment and media industries have been highly glamorized, followed, analyzed, and pursued for as long as modern man can remember.  Over the years, the most lasting impressions of human life have been the result of EITHER bearing personal witness to an extremely personal experience (marriage, birth) or the result of viewing a product, creation or telecast generated from the entertainment and media industries (Summer Blockbuster Movies, TV Shows, Super Bowls, 9/11, the US Hockey Team Gold Medal.)  Media and entertainment have been as important to most human beings as their own individual daily life.

For this reason, these industries captivate, inspire, motivate, tease, and attract mass followings.  Visions of being the first reporter on the scene of an historic event, the face of a major television broadcast, the lead actor or actress in a major motion picture, the most powerful deal agent in Hollywood, the glamorous face of a global brand, or the “lucky ones” walking the red carpet at major industry events, drive many people to these industries.  While these motivating factors can be truly authentic and genuine, they can also be very intoxicating and distracting.  In fact, you must remember, these industries exist because of the personal interest and passion, as well as the human drama, which drive each of the stories in these industries.  From the most recognizable faces and famous names, down to the least known intern walking onto the “set” for her first day of work, these industries are driven first and foremost by personal STORY, PASSION and PURPOSE.  

There are no shortcuts, no back doors, no “easy ways” to success.  The path to success begins by clearly and genuinely finding your personal passion within these industries.  The path continues by determining the path that is most clearly aligned with your interests and passions.  The path concludes with you enjoying every working and non-working day of your life, because under this approach, your personal and professional life is nearly one in the same.  While you might not end up as successful as Walt Disney or as wealthy as Steve Jobs or as famous as George Lucas, you will still end up motivated, inspired and happy.  You might even end up impacting the world as we know it or will know it in the future.  Find your passion!


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