Breaking Free of the Zombie Mob: Finding Your Passion

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(Above Image found on: http://tipsforclassicalmusicians.com)

I love “Shaun of the Dead” with Simon Pegg. The movie opens with Shaun shuffling zombie-like into the doorway. He moans the call of the undead. Most of us would think of it as the “Oh Gawd, not this again!” realization of the weekday morning. He soon joins other commuting zombies on the way to work. We can all relate, but do we really want to?

We change the channel to a news story about an amazing, happy person who has achieved something awesome. They seem so passionate about what they do! You just know that person jumps out of bed in the morning, anxious to get back to their life’s passionate purpose. It didn’t matter to them how hard or daunting their goal might seem. They kept going and made it despite the odds. Sometimes you wonder how they found that strong sense of purpose. What makes them different than you?

They found their dream, their passion. These folks turned their backs on the many naysayers in their lives and accepted the risks. Are you ready to do the same?

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Take Stock: Sit down with the information capturing device of your choice (pen and paper, laptop, iPad, Etch A Sketch) and then answer the following: What are your current skill sets? What are your current hobbies and interests?

Did you feel something spark?

Example:

My current skill sets: Project Management, Mentorship/ Trainer

My current Interests: Writing, Encouraging Others

Result: I use my PM and Mentorship experience to mentor and encourage new writers. This is something I enjoy very much.

Go Outside Your Comfort Zone: Maybe you’re completely bored with the “Me” thing and want to try something completely different? This one is going to take a little more creativity. Consider looking through the free community education magazine you usually throw away. Do you see any classes you’re curious about? Try going to local events: races, special lectures at libraries, museums or botanic gardens. Okay – you get the idea. You may just find your passion out there where you’ve never considered looking. If you don’t find it, at least you’re having fun!

Example:

Getting out of my comfort zone: I was diagnosed as a potential Celiac several years back. Hollywood eventually adopted the Gluten Free Diet and changed the restaurant industry’s approach to food allergies for the better. I had to adhere to the diet before it was cool (FYI – it’s never going to be an easy diet). Finding food with no wheat, barley, rye or oats away from the house back then was a nightmare. I was terrified of traveling. What if I ate the wrong thing and wound up in the emergency room again?

Action: I don’t like fear. It vexes me. I decided to try a quick four day trip to some place I’d never been before. San Antonio, TX seemed like a great choice. It has the Alamo and the Riverwalk. I didn’t know how Gluten Free Friendly it was until I got there. What a lovely surprise. I had a great time. It remains a favorite destination of mine.

Result: That trip helped me realize FEAR was the only thing stopping me. My love of travel was rekindled. Today, I travel all over the country managing IT and medical projects. I’ve experienced some pretty cool things in this job, things I never would have seen if I’d let fear continue to cage me.

Take Steps: Do you have that spark of excitement yet? It’s time to take action. Obviously, the steps will depend on what your passion turns out to be.

Here are a few suggestions: take classes, get involved with an organization, ask an expert about your interest.

See! I’m excited for you! Get after it and don’t give up!

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Advice From My Project Manager Side: If you decide your new interest might be something you’d like to translate into a new career, please approach it thoughtfully. Understand you may have to work the day job and do your passion in your spare time for a while. The added pressure of earning an income will crush a dream in no time. Careful business planning is key. I know there are those exceptional individuals who quit their jobs and open thriving businesses. They are the exception! Have a thoughtful plan with adequate funding to get you through hard times. Your dreams can come true, but you need to set yourself up for success first.

Final Thoughts: I am deeply committed to my own passion – writing. Sometimes I forget not everyone wants to pursue grand literary dreams, climb Mount Everest or find a cure for Cancer. Sometimes, as an old friend reminded me, small dreams can be the most rewarding. My friend’s dream was a home and a family. After searching and visualizing for many years, he found the person he was meant to be with. I am pleased to say Dad, Mom and their two wonderful kids are very happy.

Find your dream! Live your dream passionately! You’ll be happier whether you’re “garage band” or “rock superstar” successful.

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