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The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

Dear Walt,

I am a 27-year-old female with a master’s degree in counseling education. I am restless! My interests include traveling, watching sports, writing, and sleeping. Yes, sleeping!! I am an avid football fan, and I love working with teenagers. Because I don’t like my job and I don’t possess as much money as I desire in order to do the things I like, I find myself unmotivated and caught in the monotony of work. Sometimes people ask me what it is I want to do, and my response is "I don’t know." To be honest, if I had my way, I’d have enough money and influence that I would not need to work for money, but instead travel, have fun, sleep, and volunteer my time to nonprofit organizations that really serve in the best interest of children, especially teenagers. Several people have encouraged me to go back to school and get a Ph.D. I have no desire to add another degree to my resume. Right now, I just want to have fun and enjoy life; I don’t see going back to school factoring into that equation. Please help me make sense of what I am feeling. Thanks


Hi Restless,

Personally, I think you’re a quite normal human being. In my humble opinion, you’re simply feeling the tug of a quite healthy realization that there must be more to life than this. I felt the same way for years when I was caught up in the corporate day-to-day. It wasn’t until I decided to pursue my passion and walk away from my job that life, with all its ups and downs, started to take on a new thrill.

I’m sure the sleeping is just a reaction to the absence of passion in your life. It’s quite tiring to keep up the façade, don’t you think? And sleep is a great way to escape from having to face the frustration.

I agree with you that a PhD may not necessarily be the way to go. The pursuit of higher degrees is often just a way for frightened folks to delay the inevitability of facing the reality of a life of quiet desperation.

I followed my passion for music, and was a first a radio DJ, then I managed artists, and then started a record label, which eventually led me to start writing books to share my music industry knowledge with others, which has now led me to sharing my insights online and in workshops to help others find their passion. I believe I’m on the right track now, but I wouldn’t have gotten here had I not taken that FIRST step in the direction of my own passion (music), and been willing to change course as required.

So, my advice to you is to take a step in the direction of your passion. It may not be the final answer, but it may be the first step in the right direction.

In order to do that, ask yourself a few questions. First ask, “Why am I here? What is the gift I am here to offer the world?” Then ask, “What do I want to do?” Now, when I ask passion seekers like yourself "What do you want to do", I’m not asking "Who do you want to work for?" I’m asking "What adds passion to your life? What would you rather be doing if you didn’t have to work for money?" Your letter reveals some clues as to what that might be. You’ve already said that what moves you to action is to do something in the "best interest of children." I suggest you head in that direction. You’ve got to start living life from the feeling of the wish fulfilled.

As you take the journey, eventually you’ll discover things about yourself you never knew. You’ll get to know your motivation, your mission, the underlying feeling that you seek to have in your life. You’ll be able to harness your talents to devise a life that complements your personality and brings you the passion, and the profit and the success that you seek.

Remember, success requires desire, decision and deed. Now it may not be that you’ll start a business around your passion, though I believe you could easily do so. But the profit in your life lies in who you will become along the way!

To live a life of false pretense
can make you feel so tired
You’ve got to find a passion, friend
to make you feel inspired

Some people think the answer
lies in higher education
But that may simply be a way
to hide one’s true frustration

So ask yourself: With all needs met
what would I rather do?
What value can I add to life
that may help others too?

Don’t think in terms of profit first
for money’s not the thing
What matters is the journey
and the growth that it will bring

The restlessness you feel
is your desire to be more
Decide then to jump into life
and all it has in store!

* * *

Until next time, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!-Walt


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