31, 24, 13, 64, 21, 53 – Bonus – 30! Congratulations – you have just won the PowerBall Lottery. Money is no longer the overriding concern. You are financially set!
Now what? You can do anything you want – pursue any passion you dream of. I truly hope that kind of freedom will find you – or maybe it already has but you are just ignoring it. That is so easy to do with our easy absorption of life’s ‘to do’ lists. So how do people get started on living their dream life?
Let’s take an example – Elizabeth Holmes – have you heard of her? A daughter of parents who worked in disaster relief Elizabeth dropped out of Stanford University at age 19, feeling compelled to ‘modernize’ blood-testing procedures, which had not undergone any significant evolvement since the 1960’s. She founded Theranos whose innovation is to draw a small amount of blood from a patient via a virtually painless finger prick. Apparently up to 40% of people don’t get the blood tests they need for fear of the ‘needle’ and the expense. Theranos, according to reports, raised over $700 million in funding and has had evaluations as high as $9 billon making Elizabeth the youngest self made female billionaire in the world. But, and here is the important part, it was not money that started her on this journey. It was passion, a calling if you will. So what is yours? -you know it is in there.
Granted Elizabeth was at the beginning of her career and not 20 or 30 years in. But does a couple of decades of experience mean we cannot pursue such aspirations driven by passion? Of course not! So what would you do if money was not the dominant alter you prayed before in your daily life? What calls to you? Do you still feel the desire; that there is so much more to what you are doing? Or has the seductive routine of a too busy life caused you to stash your dreams in a someday closet?
Honestly, I was that ‘someday’ person for many years. I had a senior position in a firm with good pension and benefits; where same/same and mediocrity were the regulars at the boardroom table. Raising a young family, and for the last 10 years virtually on my own, I had the usual reasons/excuses/rationalizations (what ever label you wish) we 21st century mid-lifers use when trying to explain why we have given up on previously non-surrenderable or recently discovered ‘must-do’ dreams.
Fortunately my work brought me face-to-face with many entrepreneurs starting their own dreams. This unerringly caused an unsettled feeling deep within me every time. One of my students, in their mid 40’s, was a former VP for a major transportation firm. After a 6 month internal debate with himself, and another 3 month negotiation with his wife, he decided to give up the corporate trappings and start his own specialty line of desserts. He and his wife realized there was never going to be a perfect time to start. Four years later the delicious desserts are sold in over 50 shops in their area – and they have never regretted their decision. And I am so grateful that I met them both.
So what would you do if you reduced the value of material things and instead pursued your deeply held passions? What would you do if you could break the ‘earn more, spend more’ cycle?
If you already have – awesome! You are feeling the freedom to pursue. However, if pursuing your dreams is in your ‘someday plan’ make this weekend the chance to begin. Take the time to disconnect and allow your limitless thinking to take up residence. If your desire is strong enough you will look to free up time and money to start breathing life into your goals. When this happens drop me a quick note and share your motivation.
(Scott is a professional speaker and performance coach)