Monday, July 4, 2011

"Discovering Your Wealth"

I apologize for the time lapse between this article and my last. It's been a whirlwind for me so far this summer. Between a trip to Disney for the kids, working, and supporting my wife's efforts at a local park helping low achieving children, I've had no time to think about anything I deem creative or enjoyable. Even though I enjoyed doing the above, there is something to be said about feeding your own passions in life.

Sunday morning, July 3, 2011 found me jogging in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. It was an awesome morning. The sun was shining bright, and forced me to confront moss tree shadows as I caravaned by harnessed ringed time. The cool air felt great as I passed row house after row house littered with rocking chairs, and second story balconies covered with tables adorned with beer bottles, and spent ashes telling Saturday night stories. I felt like a young boy growing up in Varnville, South Carolina again as I railed by elders making their way to the churches that sured up Rutledge Avenue on every other block. Some were active still, and others were already abandoned by concrete. Yet, somehow, I got a rise as I past; I was stirred by the history and the spirit of this place. I jogged on but thought to myself, what faith could have held a people through slavery to freedom? What hope and assurances encouraged them to build homes and businesses in a place that for so long didn't even acknowledge their existence?

When the House of Prayer was long sensed in my rear view, I had settled into my first mile at the park in front of The Citadel, and I smiled. I was having the best time of my life doing something I loved, running. I felt confident, free, and loved. I was apparently late for the party; the dance of the runner had began without me. I passed families, couples, girlfriends, old friends, and lovers running together. I enjoyed the hesitation in my stride as I said hello to everyone I encountered on the track. I felt connected to these strangers, if only through our communal smiles and salutations. My passions were awaken, and for those 3 1/2 miles, for that moment in the middle of Charleston's breath, I didn't want to be anywhere else. Life's burdens, obligations, and stumbling blocks were removed, and I was one with the universe. I was indeed free.

As I made my way back to Cousin Joy's house on Rutledge, I realized that I wanted that type of freedom professionally; I needed that type of empowerment and freedom professionally. Then something whispered, you have it already. And it was right, I did have it, but it couldn't be recognized under my expectations. I realized that I may not make as much money as other people in my circle, but I always seem to be happier, and it's because I actually love what I do for a living. I've heard so many people say do what you love and the money will come. And I believe them; I, like some of you, have to exercise more faith on the matter.

Loving, or being passionate, about what you do is the key to discovering your true wealth. I spent a long time following other people's dreams and plans for my life. I spent a good portion of time trying to live up to their expectations before I learned to set my own. Life has taught me that you've got to carve out your own dreams to follow. Individually, we've got to set our own life's pace. Ultimately, our legacy, and our wealth will be established while we're striving and toiling to pursue our passions in life.

So if you're interviewing or applying for a job, or maybe deciding whether to pursue a professional opportunity, ask yourself this question, "If I could do anything in the world at this moment, what would it be?" Maybe it's a dream, or maybe it's a dream that is currently a hobby. If your answer is not related to the job you are applying for, or the opportunity you're pursuing, don't do it. Pursue that idea, or career that makes you feel alive. Go after what you are passionate about with all of your soul and spirit. You will be better for it in the end.

I'm speaking from experience because I was a job board, job site junkie. I always needed to find the next thing, or I needed to make more money. Money, money, money was constantly on my mind because I wanted to provide a nice comfortable living for my family, I needed a bigger house, and a newer car. Thank goodness passion, and faith reformed me. They helped me realize that I am comfortable and genuinely happy and excited about my future. My pursuit of the non-factors was making my life uncomfortable. I had to realize that the non-factors were imposed by others and adopted by me, not created by me. I didn't have any expectations about building my wealth when I started my Sunday morning run, and yet, when I was finished I was a wealthy man. Who knew so much would be revealed and confirmed in my life in such a short distance. My cool down began, and I was thankful for my revelation, thankful that God had caught me listening.