Writer’s Name: JC Gardner
Title: Are You Living Your Passion?
Recently, two of my friends, Sandra and Bridget, lost their jobs. These were not just temporary jobs or “something to do to past the time away” type of jobs. Roots were planted at their places of employment, friendships forged, and years were invested towards securing a decent retirement.
To make matters worse, termination of employment was not anticipated. It was shocking. Unlike the past, where it was typical for firings or lay-offs to happen on a Friday afternoon, the news was given in the middle of the week, right after lunchtime. The stunned women were given no options, other than to pack their belongings and leave.
Personally, I have been employed at the same place for over twenty years. I’ve held various positions, taking advantage of career development opportunities as they arise. Quite frankly, I live a lifestyle that requires I remain gainfully employed. But what if on tomorrow, all of that came to an unexpected end?
When I spoke with Sandra and expressed my sorrow over this unfortunate event, she was not the least bit worried. Her faith in God kept her strong; and although the job paid the bills, it was not her passion. While it would have been nice to leave on her terms, this unexpected release now freed her up to do what had been in her heart all along. While I was close to tears, she was shouting the victory!
Bridget had a similar reaction. She, too, aspired to do other things. Even though she had many years tied into the company, she took the news incredibly well, and walked out of the building with her head held high preparing for life’s next adventure.
Both of these women had a vision of doing something different – something other than the regular nine-to-five routine. Their passions and desires were dormant but became activated when their circumstances changed; forcing them to peel back the delicate layers of inner-self so they could begin focusing on what they really wanted to do.
Like these women, I have a vision of doing other things with my life. Matter of fact, it is my vision that keeps me motivated and gives me a reason to get up every day ready for life’s challenges. If I lost my job tomorrow, I would have to trust that when God closes a door, He opens a window. And while that portion of my life would be over, I would have my skills and my passion to see me through to the next phase of my life.
Having a vision also gives my life deeper meaning. I know a lot of people who want to work until they are well past retirement age; the thought of going home terrifies them. It appears they invested all of their time and energy into their jobs with nothing to look forward to once that journey ends. Somewhere along the way, they forgot to invest time in what they desired and focused all of their energies on working for someone else.
When Sandra and Bridget first told me of their predicaments, I immediately conjured up negative thoughts of hopelessness, worry and despair. What would they do now? How would these single women care for their families? Sudden loss of employment has so many negative connotations associated with it, but they were at peace because they were determined to turn their circumstances into something good.
Many people are not doing their passion. Life has a way of ordering our steps in a different direction than what we envisioned. If we took the time to ask our colleagues if they are in their dream job, I bet the answers would not match their current positions. In many cases, what we see does not represent the true person’s nature. We see their avatars – a manifestation of their outer selves that shields their true personality. Some of our visions and dreams are suppressed by the reality of our situations, but that should not erase them. Don’t let your job steal your joy. Think outside the box and aspire for greater things in life.
*Names changed for confidentiality purposes