TV journalist Maria Bartiromo said, “Every successful person I’ve met has a strong sense of his/her unique abilities and aspirations. They are leaders in their own lives and they dare to pursue their dreams on their own terms.”
Nelson Mandela said, “There is no passion to be found playing small, and settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Have you found your passion? Do you know what you would like to do?
You will not fulfil your destiny doing work you despise. When you tap into your passion, it gives you the E&E factor: Energy and Excellence. Passion gives you energy and an advantage over others.
How do you know what you want to do? How do you tap into your passion?
Listen to your heart. Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author Thomas L. Friedman advises: So whatever you plan to do, don’t just listen to your head, listen to your heart. It’s the best career counsellor there is. Do what you really love to do and if you don’t know what it is yet, keep searching because if you find it, you’ll bring that something extra to your work that will ensure you will not be automated or outsourced. It will help make you an untouchable engineer, an untouchable teacher, an untouchable sales person.
Growing up, I was gifted at math, science and the arts. However, creativity was not seen as a solid career path in my birth country. Being an accountant, lawyer, doctor, engineer were some of the highly valued careers. I did not have a role model around me that was creative and was unable to explore this pathway at the time. So, I majored in economics and worked as an economist in banks for 7 years. I enjoyed being an economist and was very good at it.
However, when I changed careers and became a graphic designer, it was wildly different. I was so passionate about design that I found I ate, slept, sang and danced design. I would analyse everything I saw: why I liked certain designs and fonts, why some designs worked and some didn’t etc. Going to the movies was no longer enjoyable especially when I found the fonts used just didn’t work with the concept and genre of the movie! I was insanely in love with, and totally passionate about, ALL THINGS DESIGN.
I couldn’t stop reading books on design and spent many weekends bent over design books in the library, Kinokuniya, Dymocks and wherever I could get my hands on specialist design books. I could not get ENOUGH of great design.
Like John Maxwell describes above, Energy and Excellence truly came together for me and in a few short years, I was winning awards and commendations from the industry for my design work. People often ask me what process I use to come up with ideas… its a tough question to answer, how to you tell them “it comes because you are working in your ‘sweet-spot'”. They will think I am crazy! The truth is, that’s what working in your gifting looks like, others cannot put a finger on ‘THE HOW’.
As Thomas Friedman advises above, Listen to your heart. So true! I always knew I wanted to be a creative – I just didn’t know how to convert it into a financially rewarding career, and so chose the next best thing I enjoyed.
Author Stephen Covey observed, “How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to know what matters most.”
Knowing yourself and what you want to do is one of the most important things you’ll ever do in this life.
When you discover what you want to do, work with the best people in that field and do what you must to learn from them:
- Possess a teachable spirit
- Go prepared to the meeting with your mentor
- Ask great questions
- Be accountable
You cannot get where you want to go on your own. You will need the help of others to guide you on your way.
Over the years, a lot of people have asked me how I made the change from economics to arts (left brain to right brain). Yes, it was a radical change. Yes, it involved a lot of sacrifice and determination, but I was so convinced it was my destiny and I could not ignore it.
About 8-years ago, I decided to join the John Maxwell Team so I could become a leadership coach, trainer and speaker. My desire is to help other people discover their gifts and talents and walk with them on their journey of change, so they too can reach their full potential. I want to help people:
a. discover their passions and dream BIG dreams;
b. uncover their limiting beliefs so they can reach their full potential; and
b. become better leaders so they can uncover the potential in the people around them.
I hope this blog challenges you to step into your gifts and talents so that you too can reach your full potential.
(Parts of this post are edited extracts from John C. Maxwell’s book: The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth)