working out your passions

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The other night I had the privilege to sit in on a group discussion with some young adults.  Our discussion centered on this question.

What is something you’re willing to work for in life? (What is something that when you do it, it doesn’t feel like work?  Or even if it does feel like “work”, you have the passion and excitement for the end result.)

Passions for photography, cooking, running, music.  Passion to cultivate and pursue healthy relationships.  Passion to know God on a deep and personal level.

What these young adults shared blew my mind, but I was a bit jealous too.

In my late teens and early twenties, I had no sense of direction.  I didn’t feel there was one big dream or passion controlling my actions or pursuits.  School didn’t work out for me.  I fell into a bunch of different jobs, all of which were great, but none of which inspired a career.

I lived.  I worked my job.  I enjoyed great friends.  I went through the normal ups and downs of life.

It’s only been in the last couple of years that I finally feel like I’ve come into my own.  I’ve finally developed a personal sense of style.  I’ve finally decided what I want to be when I grow up.  I’m finally happy in my own skin.

I think of the young people in my life; some are flailing like I did and some are on a direct path to fulfill their dreams.

To those who are flailing: Try something new every day.  Talk to others about their dreams.  Cultivate curiosity in the world around you.  Pray for direction and guidance.  Ask others what strengths they see in you.  Take a career assessment test.  Take a personality assessment test.   Fail at something.  Seek. Try. Dream.

To those on their path:  Work hard, from the bottom up.  Don’t let anyone deter or distract you from where you want to go.  Learn and take in all you can, recognizing that you can always learn more.  Find a mentor.  Pray for direction and guidance.  Dream bigger than you already have.

But remember, life is a funny thing.  When you hit a milestone (be it age or accomplishment) and look back, the journey will probably be nothing you expected.

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