Pipe Dream or Reality?
by Dr. Fern Kazlow
It could be either one. It depends on how well you identify your passion, how what you want to do intersects with the demands and needs of the marketplace, and how well you follow through on creating your dream.
Most successful people are clear that having a good mentor has a huge affect on how successful you are and how long it takes you to get there. The right mentor can literally shave years off your learning curve.
In The Mentor’s Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships, author Lois J. Zachary offers a vivid context for mentoring:
“Ecologists tell us that a tree planted in a clearing of an old forest will grow more successfully than one planted in an open field. The reason, it seems, is that the roots of the forest tree are able to follow the intricate pathways created by former trees and thus embed themselves more deeply. Similarly, human beings thrive best when we grow in the presence of those who have gone before. Our roots may not follow every available pathway, but we are able to become more fully ourselves because of the presence of others.”
More Money, More Fun and Fulfillment
Stan, one of my mentoring clients, told me “Now I get it! Everything you say about having an integrated life: all I have to do is be me. All I have to do is what I love to do. Now I know how to do it!”
Stan was successful and respected in his profession, but his life was flat. He suffered from exhaustion and hated fitting himself into someone else’s dream. Stan was tired of ignoring what really mattered to him and putting on a good front, while quietly resisting what he felt others wanted him to do and be. Stan became clear about his desires for freedom, connection to others, time for himself, and ultimately to work for himself.
What a few months earlier seemed impossible – to be himself and earn a living – is now wildly simple. He puts his focus on how he wants his day to look, his life to feel, and is making major changes in his work and personal life. Life has taken a whole new turn, with prospects for making more money and having more fun and fulfillment than ever before.
If You Won the Lottery Tomorrow, Would You Still Do What You Do?
I am amazed at how often people express envy and even disbelief that I am so passionate about what I do. This has been true throughout my life. I alter my work as my life and vision evolve, so it remains fresh and exciting. Whether I needed an income or not, I would still do what I do.
Unfortunately, too many of us believe that being yourself and living your dreams is a gift, and if it happens, a luxury. But the difference between being yourself and doing what you love – and not – can be the difference between being wealthy or not, making money easily or not, and can be the fundamental difference between a life of fulfillment and happiness and one that is barely tolerable. Yet so many of us choose to merely endure rather than live.
Often we have come so far from ourselves that we don’t even know what we want; we can’t figure it out. We have lost that connection between who we really are and what we really want. We are left with depression, anxiety, disconnection and often, physical ailments.
The Power of You
The power is in you to know what you want, to be who you are and do what you want. Getting in sync is a lot easier than the struggle of living a life without the alignment that makes us whole. What does it take? It takes willingness to change, to shed old ideas and habits, and fake attempts to get control. It takes a decision to live your life, to truly show up, and focus on not only what you can get but also what you can give to others.
This may seem like a tall order. But not if you do it one step at a time.
Take the First Steps Right Now
Honestly assess if you are really living a life that makes you strong, vital and happy. How do you feel when you wake up in the morning, what one word would you use to describe your life?
If it’s not all you want it to be, welcome that information. And do it without judging yourself or seeing it as a life sentence. See it with awareness that this information is the key for what will work in your life.
Take notice of what makes you feel strong, what makes you passionate. See what makes you feel weak or leaden. Pay attention!
Doing – Not Just Dreaming
When you come from your passion it is easier to create and maintain wealth. Does that mean all you really have to do is be yourself, do what you love and you will be wealthy beyond your wildest dreams? Of course not, but it is a great start. If you are an entrepreneur, you still have to find the place where your passion attracts the marketplace. If you are employed, your love, and desire to be yourself must match with demand in the workplace. And like it or not, not every aspect of your job is going to be on your “just what I want to do” list.
Speeding Up The Pace
“Getting there” more quickly is only one reason to enlist a mentor and a mentoring group. You may be unclear about what you want, quietly resisting change, or unaware of the pitfalls ahead of you. You need a mentor who will show you how to align yourself and your purpose so your energy supports honing your passion, following through, and finding your niche in the marketplace. In my mentoring groups, the feedback and support of fellow travelers focused on aligning their own journeys with the interconnectedness of others is priceless.
Whether working with a mentor or with a group, one constant holds true: the power to turn your pipe dream into a reality is in you!