Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Trust that Your Passions will be Supported by the Universe

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Several years ago, after spending time in quiet reflection and reviewing childhood playacting roles, I wrote down things I had a passion for when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I had read some wonderful books that I found quite helpful including Carol Adrienne's The Purpose of Your Life.

It is said that passion can make your life richer in more ways than one. By recognizing what makes you happy and simply doing more if it, you can create a fulfilling and rewarding life for yourself. All kinds of people are transforming their passion into profits these days.

For the first ten years after graduation from college, I listened to other people’s "well meaning" advice instead of trusting my intuition. I ended up working at a bank in several clock-punching-nine-to-five positions, the majority of which I absolutely no passion for. I was bored to tears. After almost a decade there, I began to realize that I was capable of doing much better. I also had a feeling my destiny was something altogether different but I didn't know what.

So I set out to find my path.

That's when I eventually quit and became a Wall Street stockbroker. Five years after that, I had another revelation and quit Merrill Lynch to follow my dreams of becoming a motivational speaker and eventually pilot. Those were heady days, trust me. Scary too but well worth it.

Doesn’t it make sense that if you are doing what you love doing and getting paid for it, you’d be happier, more content? Millions of people are tired of going to work with a less than excited attitude these days. Why do you think they dread Monday mornings? Why do you think customer service is just horrid - are these people, by definition happy in their jobs?

Here's how I found my passion(s). I took out a piece of paper and wrote with wild abandon what I wanted to do with my life. I wrote anything that came to mind without worrying how ridiculous it sounded. I also wrote down my goals with the same zest. My mind was allowed to drift back to when I was a kid - I asked myself what things I did during "playtime activities" that made time fly by fast.

While I was doing this little exercise, my ego tried to interfere and plague me with doubts saying things like, “How will you accomplish this?” “You're crazy, you can’t afford to do this!” “How will you survive?" “You're not good enough." If you have a family to feed, you might get something like, "You've got a family of four mouths to feed, you'll just have to wait until they graduate from college before you do this!" If thoughts like these find their way through your mind, gently acknowledge them and set them aside. In other words, give them no power.

I vividly remember when I used to play "schoolteacher." As a youngster, I pretended I was a pipe smoking professor, teaching imaginary students for hours at a time in my tiny bedroom. Even though I didn't grow up to be a "professor," I am now a teacher of sorts as a professional speaker showing others how to turn adversity into a university of possibilities! (and while I don't smoke pipes, I do smoke cigars!)

Another childhood pasttime was imagining myself as a pilot, flying model airplanes over makeshift villages with little plastic houses and fences. Right around that time, I begged my mother to take me to the airport to watch planes take off and land until I was old enough to drive. When I turned 16, I often took her car to the airport and hung out all day by myself instead of going to the local mall with my friends. Then I took it one step further and drove out to the countryside where I could safely drive down the middle of the highway, pretending to take off and land. (Unfortunately, I ultimately paid the price with a couple of speeding tickets! Isn't that what the pundits mean by "paying the price"? Well, it was definitely worth it....in retrospect, of course!)

See the connection there? Whatever you used to do as a child that you found fun and engaging is most likely what you're destined to do as an adult. The reason many people aren't doing what they're called to do is because they ended up repressing their dreams in the name of "being realistic."

Realistic according to who? Their parents? Their friends? Relatives? Society? They have a myraid of excuses saying, "You don't understand, I have to work at XYZ Corporation because I have to pay the bills even though I hate my job." No, life is not about paying the bills. It's about living your life's purpose and all it takes is a little time to find out what it is.

Only you know what you’re good at. Others might have some kind of idea where your talents lay but that’s only their opinion. You’re the only one who can decide what talents you have and how you will apply them. The universe will guide you if you pay attention to "coincidences" and "synchronicities" which hint at what action you should take.

Based on my life's experiences, I've found that the universe eventually provided me with the “how.” That's how I was able to earn the instrument rating for the first time in aviation history this past February. When I first started flying in 2000, I distinctly remember seeing FAA regulations where it spelled out, in black and white, the two way radio requirements for the instrument rating. By definition, that excluded the deaf pilot population; yet, I affirmed that I was going to find a way around it somehow. What happened was I made a decision that I would achieve it even though it looked impossible at the time. I'm very fond of a quote by an unknown author:

When you "make up your mind" about something, you set the universe into motion. Forces beyond your ability to comprehend--far more subtle and complex than you could imagine--are engaged in a process, the intricate dynamics of which you are only just now beginning to understand.

You see, I hadn’t yet met Donna Moore who eventually introduced me to Denise and Mike of American Winds Flight Academy. I hadn’t heard from the FAA that it was indeed possible for a deaf pilot to fly in instrument conditions (i.e. flying in "bad weather"). If you want to see what it's like to fly in actual instrument conditions, go here and watch the 43-second video. Be sure to turn up the volume on your computer speakers. You may need to download Google's free video program in order to watch it. It's really cool!

All of that was to take place in the future - 5 years after I made the decision!

Food for thought: Cultivating and nuturing your passion(s) will take you places beyond your wildest dreams. Trust that your efforts are being supported by the universe once you make a decision. Also trust that life is very generous to those who follow their passions.
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