Advice: Find your passion. Experience Joy


Follow Your Heart

This morning, while vacationing with my wife and sister, my sister Judy - who is ten years my senior - asked me a very thought provoking question. It's a question that I've considered all day long. She asked, "Now that you are the age you are and have experienced the things you've experienced what advice would you give to someone younger - someone who is less experienced and starting out?"

I paused for a moment and thought about the importance of her question. What would a nearly sixty-year-old man who has been married twice for a combined 34 years, had 11 employers, purchased 10 homes, lived in 3 states, all while helping to raise seven children answer such an important question? As I considered her question she waited quietly for an answer. My big sister is a very patient woman.

Judy and RodI drew in a deep breath and let my mouth say what my heart was feeling and my mind was thinking. I started with passion. "I'd tell them to find their passion - the thing that they love that gives them the most satisfaction and joy," I said. "And I'd tell them to find a way to put that passion at the center of their lives, both personal and professional." I went on by saying that I'd encourage someone starting out to not let the allure of money move them away from their passion. A career that is fueled by passion will trump one that is fueled my the pursuit of a larger income almost every time."

My second point of advice would be focused on the joy. I surprised myself a little when these words came forward into our conversation. "I'd advise them to be keenly aware that every moment of each day is the real thing and not to take any of the moments for granted. There is no part of our lives that is a dress rehearsal for the real thing. It is the real thing. Too often in my own life, I found myself looking forward for the joy that would be coming in the future. That's what I'd do differently now. I now know that the finding joy in the moment we're in is the most important thing.

My bottom line? For me it comes down to following your heart - finding your passion and placing it at the center of all you do. Remember and respect the joy of your past. Enthusiastically anticipate the joy you have yet to experience. And most importantly, find and embrace the joy in each moment you are currently in. We've looked forward to it and and now were in it. Before long it will be a memory of the past. Make it all that it can be... while you're in it.

That's what I'd tell them. Thank you, my sister, for helping me to think about what's important.

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  • Rod Brooks
    Dec. 14, 2012
    Debbie: You know how much I appreciate your writting and thoughtful feedback. Thanks for your comments here tonight. I hope all is going well for you this holiday season.

    Dart: Thanks for stopping by my blog. I have written a few thoughts about finding passion in the past. This link will take you there. I hope it helps.

  • dart
    Dec. 14, 2012
    Thanks! Any tips on finding your passion?
  • Debbie Bernard
    Dec. 14, 2012
    Bravo, Rod!
    This is such a significant blog, and so succinctly put. Judy pinpointed the question
    and you responded with the crux.

    I always enjoy your writing and think that your topics are relevant.
    This one is an especially shining gem and I am going to print it out.
    Because I don't know how to do needlepoint! So printing is the best
    means I have to keep these thoughts close to my mind.

    Thank you, and thank Judy!

The Fine Print

Rod Brooks (that's me) is VP & CMO of PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).  It's important to disclose both of those relationships and to be clear that this is my personal blog where I share thoughts and opinions that are solely my own.  Contact me!

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