Let’s begin by pushing back against a long-held notion that you can either make a lot of money or you can do your passion but you can’t do or have both.
That’s simply not true.
It’s been said that “money is the root of all evil.” Not really. The truth is, the love of money is the root of all evil. Those are two very different things aren’t they? Money can be used for good, to have things you need and want, to help others who cannot help themselves. But being in love with money so that getting and keeping it drives everything you do is a bad plan. In fact, that plan might kill you. And, if your only way of keeping score in this life is by how much your bank account says you’re worth, that’s a narrow definition of success. It’s one that has no end. You never get there. Billionaire John Rockefeller was once asked “How much is enough?” His answer? “Just a little bit more.” That’s a surefire recipe for misery.
But, if you are doing work that matters every day and using all of your unique gifts and talents to their fullest to build something that makes a difference in some positive way, then money becomes just one of the ways you measure your progress and ultimate success.
So, how do you get to that place?
Let’s begin with a quick overview of passion.
True passion has deep roots of conviction, values, and commitment. From those deep roots come the positive emotions that we often associate with the word ‘passion’, which we’ll discuss more in a second. But it’s important to understand that the positive emotions are the fruit that grow from the deep roots, and the roots need to come first. Many people want the fruit, but they don’t consider the roots required to grow it.
Passion must be rooted in your strong conviction that what you’re doing matters. It must align with your values of what you know to be good and worthy. It requires your commitment and your sacrifice. Those are the roots of passion.
The fruits of passion are the positive emotions that we more often associate with the word, and they grow out of those deep roots. When you’re working in your passion, you feel satisfaction and a sense of contribution, indicating that you’re doing work that fits who you are. You believe that what you’re doing matters, and you like doing it.
There are two main conditions which will lead to these positive fruits—think of these as the optimal conditions to nurture growth from passion’s deep roots:
1. You are doing work which feels meaningful.
2. You are using your gifts, talents, and skills.
The absence of either one of these causes work to become toil. If you’re doing meaningful work, but it’s a bad fit for your gifts, you can easily become discouraged at your inability to make progress. On the other hand, if you’re using your skills but the end goal feels pointless, you’re headed toward burnout and misery. Generally, true passion comes most organically when you experience both purpose and the utilization of your abilities.
There is something about this kind of passion that deeply touches the soul and leads to real fulfillment—not a fickle “happiness,” but a deep pleasure, sigh-of-relief, truly satisfied fulfillment, the kind of sensation that causes you to breathe deeply and conclude, “It’s all good.” You feel like your gifts are being utilized, and you’re doing what you’re meant to do. This is what it’s like to be fulfilled.
Bottom line: You can build a business around who you really are and what you care most about. Then, every day you can plug your talents, gifts, experience and education into the tasks you have on your list and there will be joy in what you do.
We have found that when you arrive at this intersection, money (provision) follows. And, in a world where you still need to pay bills and keep your family fed, provision is most necessary. But getting it without passion is sure to leave you empty.
Stay with us in this space over the next few weeks and months. We’ll share what we have learned to help you find both passion and provision and build the life you’ve always wanted.
Next time: Provision