Friday, September 3, 2004
I was recently emailed a cynical syndicated news column that attempts to address the nature of success in today's world. The article is humorous at best and is entitled, "Do What You Love And You'll Probably Starve." As can be imagined, the author attempts to explain that by doing what you love and enjoy (as a career), will most likely not bring you fiscal reward and success. He begins his column with the following statements:
"...We've been sold a bill of goods when we're told to "Follow your passion, " or "Do what you love and the money will follow." Fact is, if you do what you love, you'll probably starve."
The column continues to focus shallowly on fad-ish definitions of success and status, not once considering the greater personal calling within this Life. In fact, it is sad to say that the majority of our public and private institutions of higher education in this country fail to engage our students in this very dialogue: the melding of one's trade, skills AND personal calling. Only recently have a handful of institutions started to focus on moral development and ethical decision-making; both of which flow directly into this very conversation of the melding of one's trade, skills AND personal calling.
The column article left me disagreeing with the author but also wondering what it is that I will tell my children at the first utterance of the question, "Daddy, what should I become? What should I do for a living?" Here simply lies my answer as an inexperienced parent, but an experienced Life traveler:
Do what you love in Life - there's is something motivational, inspirational, all-powerful and noble within this pursuit. Because it is so rarely seen in this world, your life will serve as a magnet, helping others connect with their personal passions.
Do what you love, my child... and just as important, love what you do. Do what you love and love what you do with all the passion you possess; not the passion that yearns for material goods, but the passion that thrives on your own personal growth, self-discovery and character-building. This is where your greatest satisfaction and peace has and will always be held.
It has been said that "by doing what you love, you will probably starve." And through today's materialistic eyes, this may seem true. But don't be dismayed, for there is more to the story. For by doing what you love, you will also never get fat.
You won't ever feel an extra ounce of weight from the greed and envy of what others have. For all that is of this Life is momentary. No one gets out of here alive and no one takes anything with them. True success and wealth come in the self satisfaction of knowing a life well-lived and steeped in passionate adventures.
Doing what you love, you won't ever find yourself bloated with slothfulness, boredom and laziness. It is these emotions and conditions that rob you of your sleep, your peace, your years. True success and wealth come in the acknowledgment of a life lived with clear purpose and enjoyment, far from the realm of regret.
And by doing what you love, you won't be tempted to lazily take the easy way out or the shortcut across your Life journey. Many a person has been laid to ruin by these deceiving and winding roads. Momentary success and wealth is simply measured in bank accounts and assets, and it is fleeting... and eventually willed away. True success and wealth come at the end of each of your days and at the end of your Life's journey, knowing that you did not take the easy way, but the right way... the way guided by your heart and its passion.
My child, whether you realize it or not, you are and will forever be a sojourner in search of truth, justice, acceptance, love, hope, contribution, compassion, and peace. It is these things for which your very spirit will starve, and its pangs you will not be able to ignore. No amount of savings account or stocks will ever completely feed its hunger. Simply listen to the world around you and you will hear the same hunger pangs coming from the rich and the poor, the affluent and the deprived. It is a hunger that is universal and life-long. So feed it with the very passions that emerge from the same place as this hunger.
Do what you love, my child; bless it and sanctify it with your efforts, your commitment, your life. In doing this, every where you walk will remain holy ground. Invest more time in people and less time investing money in things. The world may not ever give you a tickertape parade or award for these efforts, but these efforts will not go unnoticed. For the One that matters, you are continually called to be faithful, rather than successful... and in this, your success will be certain.
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