One of the questions that I have been grappling with is if a person keeps on banging his head against a wall and making no progress towards his goals, how does he know this is part of his purpose in life (the path he should follow) or a sign that he should give up and try something else?
There is no easy answer to this that can be answered in a short blog. Yet, part of it is having a knowing of our purpose in life. What we are born to do. For many, we may think we know our purpose yet do we really? What I mean by this, I see numerous examples of people going out to start their own business as their purposes. For many, this may be their true purpose in life, the work that makes their heart sing. However, for others, they may be driven by wanting to get out of the corporate world or to put food on the table.
Thus, when I heard last week on America’s Got Talent that Terry Fator, the ventriloquist, almost gave up his act because he had only one person come to his show years ago, I wondered how do you tell which person should carry on their dream (which may get Terry the $1 million prize) and another person to go try something else?
I guess the simple answer is if you are doing what you love to do (your purpose), you would do it even if you had 1 person in the audience. Terry’s passion was to bring ventriloquism back to mainstream. And, as I saw the other night, that passion is probably going to make him a millionaire. Note, his goal was not to become rich, rather do what he loved. When he was asked why he should win the $1 million, he gave a totally different answer than the other two contestants before him (who said something to the effect that it was their dream to win). He said that there were 4 great contestants and only vote for him if you (the voters) thought he deserved to win. His goal was not to get rich and famous (at least from what I have heard from him so far), it was to live his passion. This does not mean that the other contestants do not deserve to win. It means that when you seem to be butting your head against the wall, you really need to see if what you are doing is really your passion because if it is, you should trust that you will break through.
Thus, in determining if you should trust your current path if things are not working out the way you would have hoped, think about:
1) What is your passion in what you are doing?
2) Are you driven by what you are giving to the world or what you will receive back?
3) Would things be different if you had $1 million or $100?
4) Are you driven by what you want to avoid? For example, working for a greedy corporation or to change the misery that people are suffering.
5) Are you expecting a certain outcome?
If we look at Terry, he was doing his passion not for changing the world or for achieving a certain outcome rather because it was what makes his heart sing. In giving his talent when he performed for 1 person, he showed that $100 or $1 million is not the issue for him because he is giving to the world rather than receiving.
As strange as it may sound, trust/passion does not include performing an action to change the world. When I got involved in personal growth, I wanted to make a difference in people’s life. In particular, I did a lot of work with children and teens because I wanted to make a difference in their lives. However, even though I seemed passionate about the work, nothing really worked out. I did have an effect on many; however, the next door never seemed to open for me. I ultimately turned my focus on my brand of personal financial with an emphasis on personal growth and doors have started to open. What was the difference? When I was driven to help, I did not step back to see which doors would open (I just tried to push them open). When I took a breath and a step back, the doors just seemed to open on their own. Wanting to help others and change the world is an admirable goal. However, if we are pushing to open doors instead of seeing where they open, we are driven versus trusting the process.
Trusting includes knowing that the world will be saved with or without us. It does not mean that we do not help, yet we join with others to see where we are each best utilized. For me, my work is helping people take responsibility over their finances and raising my own child. The work with children that I wanted to help with is being continued by a few friends of mine who I introduced to the right people in the field of child development. They will carry my work to bring a specific program to Cleveland because their youthful energy is opening doors for them that would no open for me.