Friday, August 5, 2011

Choices ~ Owning It

 

The following is a post from Phil Cooke that I use in a presentation I give on "Passion"...it is a powerful post...

"Words like “stability” and “safety” are what financial advisers try to make happen for their client’s money. But is that what you’re looking for with your life? Better yet – what are you willing to risk to accomplish your dream? In my book “Jolt” I tell the story of the recent movie “Up in the Air” starring George Clooney. There’s a wonderful scene in the Jason Reitman film where Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, whose unusual job is to fire people from theirs. He’s hired by major corporations to handle big layoffs. Although he’s become brilliant at the task, the anguish, hostility, and despair of the job has left him empty, falsely compassionate, and yet—strangely enough—loving every second of it.
In a powerful scene where he and a new assistant are firing an aging middle manager, Clooney’s character notices on the manager’s resume that he had been trained as a French chef. As the angry manager despairs over losing his job and having to face his wife and kids, Clooney reminds him of his original dream. He asks a remarkable question, the essence of which is, “Back when you started, how much did it take to buy you away from your dream?”

It is a compelling scene as the middle manager thinks back to the time he exchanged a steady paycheck for what he really wanted to do with his life. Now, decades later, he realizes the devastating impact of settling for second best.

Have you ever rationalized settling for second best? It’s amazing how you can make it sound as if it’s the right thing to do, even when your innermost being is crying out for you to follow your heart and discover your real potential.

Stability or growth? Back when you started, how much did it take to buy you away from your dream?"

Link to the original post by Cooke "How Much Did it Take to Buy You Away from Your Dream?"

Whether it is on a personal level or on a professional level...spiritual or financial...I believe we all have to ask ourselves....

What are my passions?  What are my goals?  What is God's intent for my life?

Sometimes I am afraid we don't ask the tough questions because we don't like the tough answers.  Maybe to follow your passion(s) and be truly happy ~ you have to sacrifice having the big house.  Maybe to be happy professionally means you don't take the job that pays the most money. 

I remember a friend of mine many, many years ago who told me...we don't need two incomes to survive...I can be a stay-at-home mom with our kids...we just don't have a microwave.  I remember how much I admired the fact that they had made choices so that they could have what they really believed they needed and wanted for their family. (BTW...I realize that story ages me. :) )  Some people would call that sacrificing.  I simply call that making choices.

We live in a world and a society that tells us (men and women, old and young, rich and poor) that you can have it all.  You can have everything your heart desires.  I hate to be the one to tell you this, but that is a lie.

Whoa.

The truth is that we all have choices that must be made in our lives...Every. Day.  You can have a great life.  You can have a life full of your passion(s).  You can live your dreams.  All of those things do not mean you can have it all.  Even the people you believe do have it all...Don't.  If the stars line up for you with the perfect job in the perfect city with the perfect benefits...count your blessings, but don't fool yourself....there is a sacrifice somewhere...there are choices in there somewhere. 

I am all about finding your passions and living your dreams, but I am also all about don't fool yourself into believing that once you figure all that out....the road is clear and easy...smooth sailing.  Nope.  The journey has just begun.

My father and step-mother are full-time missionaries in Panama.  When they started, they had a five year plan.  The five years is up.  Now they are wrestling with the reality of assessing the past five years with all of its went wells and next times....and planning for the next five years.  Last night I found myself giving them a pep talk about how exciting this part is...have I lost my mind?  No.  It is exciting...they have finished one chapter of their dream, and they have so much to be proud of...so many highs (and lows) that they have learned from and grown from.  Now it is time to take all of that experience, debrief, and sit and dream once again about where they want the next five years to take them.  Also, especially in their business, where does God want them to go over the next five years?  The work ahead of them is hard (especially if you know my father) because this is where you sit in quiet time and reflect, dream, and plan.  (BTW...it is the reflecting part that dad does not enjoy. :)

I am here to tell you...passion and living a passionate life or simply living a life built around your passions...isn't necessarily easy.  It really IS NOT for the faint of heart.  It is hard work.  It is sacrifices.  It is choices. 

Mainly, it is worth it. 

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

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