Skip to content

Don’t Follow The Money. Don’t Follow Your Passion

January 17, 2017

It sounds like typical new-age mumbo-jumbo: “Create the life you want to live.” Typically, it’s got a picture of somone on a beach, or a boat backlit by a beautiful sunset. We look at. We sigh. And then we go back to the drudgery that is our lives and think, “If only that were me.”

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.
– Rocky Balboa

Life is not what you make it. Life is what you make of it. There’s a difference.

My kids love to cook. My youngest son make waffles this morning before school. He used the waffle mix, but he also knows how to read a recipe and make the batter from scratch. He knows how to make something. However, he’s more at a loss when we are out of waffle mix, and we don’t have any eggs to make the waffles from scratch. He can look at a recipe and say,

Give me the ingredients and I can make that.

He’s less good at looking at a random pile of ingredients and saying,

Here’s what I can make of that.

Life is like that. We don’t get a recipe and all of the ingredients. We get a pile of stuff and are expected to figure it out.

It’s great to love your job. But, even the most exciting job has parts that suck. And if you get paid to do something you used to do for fun, you need to find a new hobby. (Howard Needed A New Hobby.) And work is easier if you at least like your job. Personally, I enjoy my job a lot. There are parts that make me very excited. There are also parts and people that make me question my career choice.

The trick, in my opinion, is to not get your validation from your job. (Company Loyalty Only Ever Goes One Way.)

We all fantasize about what it would be like to ditch our job and our responsibilities and head to the mountains, or the beach, or Paris, or Fiji. We see those motivational posters and think, “Yeah, I should . . .” and then, we’re stuck. You should. . what? Leave your job? Remember how much work it was to get the job? And remember how important the health benefits are? And the money?

I should. . .leave my family? If that’s your thought, get to counseling.

So, what is it that the pretty picture with the sunset and the sailboat is actually doing for us? It’s showing us the sunshine and rainbows that Rocky talks about. That ain’t life. Life is what we make of it. It’s kids with a fever at 3:00am and you have an important meeting tomorrow. It’s that strange knock in your engine and payday is still two weeks away. Life is what happened while you were making other plans. (John Lennon)

The “hard” parts aren’t the hard parts. The hard is what makes it great. (Jimmy Dugan) How you choose to deal with it determines your life, your satisfaction and ultimately your happiness. Bad things happen to everyone, even that guy and girl in the pretty picture on the sailboat.

We have to first accept that life can be hard, it can be mean and nasty. So, what are you going to do about it? And when you accept that life can be unfair and unkind, you can then take ownership of how you choose to react. How much you keep moving after getting hit.

And once you decide to take ownership of how you react to life, you also get to take ownership of the happiness in your life. Happiness is not something that happens to us, it’s something we create. It’s the result of what we make of life.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss
Facebook (
LinkedIn (
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply