Passion, Profit & Inspiration
I saw this video posted on my cousin Jill’s Facebook page this morning and it got me immediately thinking about this website, my work here and the work I’m doing for NerdCRIT.com. To be honest, I only know about Alan Watts what a quick WikiPedia search provided. That being said, the message in this video spoke to me and I felt compelled to have it here for inspirational purposes. I know it sounds trite of me to say that because obviously that is what the video is intended to do. But it also touches on something that I did as well in my very first posting on this website. This year is about doing what makes me happy. Writing, creating new media content and simply enjoying the things that I had not allowed myself to for far too long because I felt I had to prove my maturity. And let’s face it – a grown man reading comic books at the office doesn’t scream maturity. But it is me and is one of the things I love to spend time doing. Which brings me to my next point.
Most of us, if not everyone reading this, has heard the quote “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I started what I call “My Life” at a very young age with the birth of my oldest daughter. With limited education that consisted mainly of public schools and one semester of community college under my belt, I felt as though I had positioned myself to only accept those opportunities that were presented to me and was not given the luxury of choosing to do what I love. Meaning I would and did take any work I could find that would provide the means necessary to care for my family. For anyone who has felt the same you know it is a frightful and seemingly helpless place to be.
This lead me down a path of very peculiar jobs that made for a confusing resume. On paper I was a lost soul and it was painfully obvious to anyone who read my work history the situation I had created for myself. Of course this lead to several rejections for work that at the time I thought I wanted. Looking back now it wasn’t the work itself I wanted, but the salary that came with it. I was doing exactly what Alan Watts references in the video. I was “…doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing – which is stupid!” I’ll never forget the most depressing first day I had when after only a few hours I found myself sitting out back of the property with a pit in my stomach thinking to myself – “This?! This is what my life is going to be from now on?” and thinking how helpless I felt in not being able to change my situation for the better.
For this reason my wife and I encourage our girls to do what they are passionate about. Though we may not agree on what they should be doing we ultimately concede that if their career path makes them truly happy, then they should pursue it now while they are young and free to do so. Sure – money and financial security is a necessary part of our survival. However, the extent to which one finds them selves financially secure is relative to the person and their ideals. My wants for my daughters may not be in line with their wants and goals. It really doesn’t take make much money to survive in this world – but what does happiness cost? That is the balance most of us struggle with.
This website and what I am trying to achieve with NerdCRIT.com is my attempt to now pursue that which I love doing and not worry about the money. I am fortunate enough to have a career now that provides for my family but is also something I enjoy doing. But enjoying something is not the same as loving it. I love to write. I love to create things and I love all the nerdy things that make up NerdCRIT.com. I, unlike my daughters, am starting down the path of pursuing what I love somewhat late in the game. Though I cannot pursue my passion on a full time basis, I can in my spare time regardless of the financial aspect. Which oddly enough is what I should have been doing all along. The only result I am looking for is happiness and the ability to say “I did that.”
My cousin Mark embarked on a similar endeavor this past Thanksgiving when he became a full time farmer. In line with my contemplating “passion versus profit“, I asked him this evening if he is happier now being a farmer as compared to when he was punching the corporate clock. I asked him to put aside the money aspect of things and just focus on his happiness. His answer surprised me in that he is somewhere in the middle. Perhaps the journey is too fresh to compare the two. Or maybe the stress of starting over again as a farmer, though it is his passion, is something that he wasn’t expecting because he did say the stress level is “VERY high”. But then he said something that to me has always embodied who he is. He said “Audentis Fortuna Iuvat” – Fortune Favors the Bold. I admire his tenacity and willingness to jump feet first regardless of the path and to always seek the good no matter where the road takes him. Those innate qualities have always lead him to succeeding in just about everything I have ever seen him attempt to do.
I am inspired by those individuals who, after trying to go about succeeding in life by following the paths laid out by others, take it upon themselves to carve their own path to happiness. The work is difficult and the end rarely in sight – if ever at all. However, the path is theirs! It exists because they chose to make it exist and for those bold enough, just being on that path is enough. It is enough because regardless of where they end up it is exactly where they were ultimately headed.
And if they have stayed true to themselves, then I believe they will have found their happiness.