The other night I was watching Top Gear and thinking about the hosts of the show: James May, Richard Hammond and, of course, Jeremy Clarkson. In each episode these guys seem to enjoy what they do, they seem to love what they do. Which sounds perfect to me. It’s not difficult to see their eyes filled up with excitement whenever they test a new car and whenever they speak about cars in general! And so after the show, there was always the same thought running through my mind: I cannot believe how lucky these guys are! They have the most amazing job in the world and all the boys and men have every reason to be jealous and want to be them… But why?
What about people who work from 9 to 5 and are not as lucky as the hosts of Top Gear doing what they love? What about those who go through life executing soul draining tasks and who are hostages of the jobs they seem to hate passionately?
What about them? Do they stay in their places or do they have the courage to change their life for the better? What drives us to do what we love?
What Drives Us to Do What We Love?
Displeasure Is What Kicks Us at First
I was sitting in the cafe with my friend in Covent Garden. We were talking about all the things people do for a living. Alena was a successful banker in the past. Her co-workers always perceived her as the toughest shark the banking world has produced so far. Alena is highly motivated, driven and ambitious. Back then she always seemed to be a type of person who always knew what she wanted and she just went for it full steam ahead.
But then a dramatic change took place in Alena’s life. Suddenly, nothing satisfied her anymore. Successful contracts and all the company perks became simply meaningless.
“I was in the office day and night. Business meetings all over the globe 3 to 4 times a week. I was so used to living in hotels, that I completely forgot what my own bedroom walls looked like. Although I love traveling, my friends had the wrong idea about the whole set up of traveling with work. I visited so many countries, yet I felt blindfolded as I saw nothing but conference rooms of different companies I had to deal with. I was dissatisfied and that was the reason to stop, think and make some new choices… ‘Displeasure is what kicks us at first. It relentlessly indicates that you probably have to take a closer look at your chosen path and change it if necessary.’ – shared Alena.
We Can Always Learn Anything We Want
What skills you have or can obtain that are truly extraordinary and valuable? Ask yourself this question and see what your mind holds for an answer.
“Although I was intimidated at first leaving my familiar and cozy comfort zone to start something new and meaningful, the desire to express myself and create something new was greater than fear that was trying to hold me back. I realised that any limits I had were just a part of my imagination and ever crafty fear. I always had very crisp imagination but I never had a set of skills to express it the way I wanted. I dove into the world of arts nevertheless. I attended art classes, I met new friends and like-minded people. It was fun! I never felt so content in years and that amazed me. It brought a completely new meaning into my life. Finally, I found that missing piece of the puzzle and felt complete. So, from banking, I went straight to the things I always wanted to learn despite the fact that I never held a brush in my hands before. We can always learn anything we want.” – Alena continued.
Take a Leap of Faith. Why Should I?!
We’ve heard it all. Take a leap of faith and the safety net will appear, right? But the stone cold truth is that it is extremely scary to take that leap at all, especially when you have no idea where you will land.
When we are at the beginning of doing something new, we hardly ever have any picture of the outcome or exactly where are we going. We never have any guarantees where that road may take us. But what is scarier than that is to spend the rest of your life doing something you never enjoy doing!
“I still remember my first art lesson. I was nervous. My hands felt funny. As if they were made of rubber, absolutely disconnected and without any clue how to express the whole universe of my imagination on the canvas.
The place I found myself starting something new and exciting and the place I wanted to be – seemed to me like completely different cliffs with bottomless fear in between. I never had any sort of special talent, or I hadn’t discovered it yet, but I practiced painting relentlessly 6 to 12 hours in the row and that’s when my bliss finally hit me and I have experienced my true passion for the very first time!
Yes, at first my paintings looked like drawings of a 5-year-old girl but I didn’t mind that. And I appreciate each and every work I went through. And now, when my paintings are selling all over the world, I couldn’t be more content and grateful for that leap of faith I took not so long ago…” – said Alena.
Finding a Striving Passion
Somebody told me that the quest of finding a striving passion in life can become a great distraction from living in the moment of now, enjoying life with all the things it has at the moment that we all should be grateful for. But is it true, though?
Without passion, a person transforms into a raft drifting aimlessly wherever the stream of life may take him… Without a striving passion, we go about our lives without daring to wonder if it has something MORE stored in its bottomless pockets for us. Without a striving passion and its wind of change, we are simply unable to take risks to catch an opportunity to make our lives better.
Therefore, finding what really drives you is never a distraction, it is a fuel towards new dreams and new beginnings.
The Truth Is…
I was hiding from my passion too, for years trying to pursue a whole range of different paths to success that weren’t mined after all. I was scared, I was running away taking detours always believing that in my case it’s easier not to try at all than to try and fail or succeed… It was easier to hide than to go relentlessly trying again and again. I had to find my passion… and the truth is, it always was not so far away from my reach.
No fear should hold your back.
I had to make new choices in order to change my life for the better. So I started HavingTime and I started writing. It was particularly difficult at first as English is not my native language and expressing my thoughts seemed to be not that easy. Though, I believe that practice brings it closer to perfection when you truly apply yourself. Naturally, I became more fluent and confident. At first, it was scary, but not anymore.
I love what I do and I hope you will find what you love, or maybe, you already did… Have the courage to pursue your dreams and they will eventually come true.
By Lesya Li
Photo by HavingTime