I made the decision many years back that neither do I expect to grow up nor do I have intentions to stop working. Consequently Terri White’s blog “What do you want to be when you grow up,” caught my attention.
Pen went to paper to compose a quick response to her blog. However as sometimes happens my mind keeps going which keeps the pen moving. I was off on thoughts having more to do with advice to others rather than a correct response to White.
Questioning entered at a couple points prompting research. That part took on a life of its own. Then doubt about my personal decision called for discussion with people who might think differently. Days later researched reports, notes from conversations with others and a notebook filled with thoughts littered my desk. Possible chapters for a book glared at me from a yellow Post-It note attached to the wall.
Recognizing the affliction that sometimes hits me my wife stepped in before I locked myself in a room living on coffee and pan de yuca and wrote until there were enough pages for a book. “Just put succinctly put into a few steps what advice you can give,” she said.
I suppose the reams of paper strewn around the room and taped to the walls reminding her of the three work-in-progress (or unfinished depending upon how you wish to look at it) books gave impetus to her words and her tone that was somewhere between strong suggestion and demand.
Ok, here goes – how to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.
Step one – Find your passion or passions
Now this is not as easy as it sounds. True passion is one thing. Wants and addictions are something different. If your passion involves just money then it is most likely a want. If you pursue your passion by skipping step five below, then it is a sign that it could me more of an addiction.
Interesting enough is that in a lifetime you can have more than one passion. When I asked my writing students to make a passion list they always listed more than one thing. So look at all of your passions. I especially like a comment by a friend of mine the other day. “Once upon a time, work was my passion, pastime and entertainment. Now I am learning to how have fun like other people learned how to read.”
Many people have found their passion and direction by using the books, Astrology For The Soul, by Jan Spiller and North Node Astrology: Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose by Elizabeth Spring M.A. Both of these can provide ideas of where your strengths lie.
Step two – Figure out all the directions of your passion.
We cannot put on blinders with passion directions. It is important to see all the ways and areas of what you really enjoy can be used. My wife told me how she believed her passion was to be a lawyer. In university she excelled and was well on her way until an unfortunate event made continuing almost impossible. What she found was the parts of being a lawyer she liked were possible in other professions.
I have known people who could not draw a straight line even using a ruler, but they really enjoyed fine art. They ended up collecting, lecturing on and selling fine art antiques. Another got his degree in business and worked his way up to director of a museum.
Step Three – Education
Study in your passion area. This gives you credentials and opens your eyes to possibilities. Let’s say that you enjoy decorating. Interior design classes at a university or community college are good. But if you can’t do that then adult education classes on such things as wallpapering, painting, light design and garden design are good.
Education also involves joining groups of like minded people. If you like writing then consider joining a writing group.
There are those who say they don’t want to work for someone else. But how can you know how to be a good boss if you don’t know how to be a good employee? So if you can get a job in the area of your passion you will also be getting an education in what it takes to run your own business.
Step four – Eliminate Energy Barriers
For many people this may sound a little strange. However it costs nothing and has over 5,000 years of experience. Yes, part of what I am talking about involves Feng Shui. This does not mean purchasing items and sticking them around the house. I like to think of it as setting yourself up for the best way to have the universe help you.
To often our career paths consist of us trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. Our choice could have more to do with money, ego or peer pressure than with passion. But inside a person may feel that they are going against who they really are.
Ok, to begin with calculate your Kua number according to Feng Shui. Next find your best directions based upon your number. Take care to sleep and work facing one of them, especially in the areas of success and personal development.
By doing the first three steps mentioned above you show the universe where you want to go. Whether you want to believe that it is God, guardian angels or spiritual guides who help you, they can’t help you if they do not know where you are going.
Now comes one of the most important parts. You need to watch for the signs and follow them. Some people may say it another way; when opportunity knocks you need to open the door. But this is a very difficult step for some people. The sign may indicate something that goes against logic.
Step five – Get a job, any job, to pay the bills until your passion can support you.
Letting someone else support you or living in poverty just to do what you believe is your passion is not the correct path to reaching true fulfillment. It also does not send the correct message to those trying to help you whether it is other individuals or the universe. Don’t tell me that you want to be an artist and spend your days begging money to purchase paint to throw on a canvas. Instead wait tables or do whatever to make the money yourself and then paint when you are not working. If you want your own business, then start it while still working for someone else. Learn the pitfalls of running your own business at a time when the mistakes won’t cost you your dream.
If we believe in step four above then it is often that through other jobs the universe helps guide us. I have spoken with people who tell me that the job they were working gave them more knowledge to succeed or that they met someone who helped advance a career in their passion.
Remember that you can have more than one passion and that your passions can change with time. Do not keep blinders on and believe that a passion can only have one direction or be tied to only one job. Learn as much as you can about your passion. Do what it takes to help the universe help you while keeping your eyes open for signs. Work to support yourself and show that you are serious about going after your passion.