Take the Leap, Chase Your Dreams
If you haven't noticed by now, I tend to write about such lofty and ambiguous ideas as following your passions, doing the most good, taking time to appreciate the simple things in life, and all those crazy concepts. "O, to be young and ignorant," some may say.
I have my reasons for this, of course, and it comes down to one core principle: Nothing, aside from God Himself, should be able to stop someone from achieving their goals and living life to fullest.
For each of us there are tasks and processes at which we exceed. There are often others which we greatly enjoy. Meld these two, and you find passion. Critical to my core principle is taking passion, and harnessing it into three areas: doing good for others, stationing yourself as a center of influence, and supporting yourself, your family, and anyone else applicable.
Easier said than done, right? It always is.
Aligning life's passions with support and influence is often a determining factor in whether an individual becomes successful - success defined as making the most of which you wish to make the most of. The immensity of this task in and of itself speaks for its difficulty, but why should it matter at all?
We need to do good for others because that's how we improve our wreck of a world. No, it's not by making more money, go figure (though that can often be a nice bonus). "Do a good deed daily" is what we always said in Scouts. "Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle," is also a phrase that can be seen at the bottom of emails sent by several of my family members.
Your influence upon others and upon this world are what define success. There's nothing better than contorting your passions to achieve this.
We need to station ourselves as a center of positive influence because that is what we are called to do, to lead by example, to let our faith show through our actions. "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Better yet, be the change you wish to see in your neighbor or co-worker.
We need also to support ourselves and our families for the obvious reason of living expenses. More than that, we need to put ourselves in a position where we will have the time and resources to tend to our loved ones. This, of course, comes back to doing good for others - being there for those important to you. You may be noticing a trend.
Alas, people rarely combine passion with positive influence. Why is that? I've been wrong before, so feel free to question me, but it seems like this is largely because most people do not take chances. A better way to say it may be that people often do not take advantage of opportunities because they are difficult and look like risk - a theory which certainly holds true for me.
Finance 101: Where there is great risk there is opportunity for great loss. Where there is no risk, there is no opportunity for loss. Sadly, this how we often view life events. If we don't really try something, we'll never need to worry about failure.
Everyone in the finance industry reading this is thinking, "Yeah, but with great risk you can also have great return." That's exactly right! Sure you may get burned, but if you never try to light a fire, how will you eat?
I'm not here to say "shoot for the moon, because if you fail you'll land among the stars" (which is anyways scientifically inaccurate). But take a chance. If the opportunity you're looking for isn't out there, create it! If it's out there, but it requires change, it's probably time to shake up your routine anyway.
Open that business, go back to school, move cities, start a band, adopt that child. Do what you've been feeling led to do, but have talked yourself out of.
Follow your passions so that you may be a beacon of positive influence to the world.
I want to see people take advantage of opportunities. I want to see people taking hobbies and turning them into successful ventures. I want to see people making a positive impact in the lives of others. And I want to see people happy.
Nothing's holding you back. Take a chance.