I wish I could take credit for the truth found in this week’s Tip, but the credit actually goes to the famous American author, Mark Twain. He was the one who put into words what so many of us wish we could do daily, namely, to do what we really love to do. Do you want to know what I think? I believe that it is possible for all of us to do that! Of course, it will not happen easily or on the first day of any job, but if we pursue what we really enjoy doing, then it may be possible to turn our vocation into our vacation.
I vividly remember close to 50 years ago being invited to speak at two banquets during the Christmas holidays. I was the keynote speaker. At the first speaking engagement, I went with no expectations of receiving anything in return. I was simply happy to be the special guest speaker. I spoke and we had a wonderful time. Afterwards, I was given a check for $100. I could hardly believe it! Besides having had a wonderful evening and a delicious meal, I had only spoken for about thirty minutes, so to be paid $100…well, I just did not think it could get any better than that!
The following week I went to speak at the second engagement and my expectations were high. I could hardly wait to see what they were going to pay me. When it was over, I was patted on the back and told what a great job I had done. They shook my hand and thanked me very much for coming. That was pretty much the end of the evening. Boy, was I disappointed! However – although I did not get paid, I was finding my passion.
I have never forgotten the lesson I learned from that experience. I went to the first speaking engagement expecting nothing and ended up being rewarded. I went to the second one expecting to be rewarded and walked away empty-handed. And that was just the beginning of many lessons I have learned from being in the speaking business.
Many months later I was sitting at my desk. I opened my calendar and had twenty-three speaking engagements booked. Most of them were insignificant, however, the thought crossed my mind for the first time, “What if I could do this full-time? What if I could do this for a living?” The thought both excited and scared me. I can still remember feeling fear. How in the world would it be possible to make a living just by standing up and talking? I knew others had done it, but could I? I discovered that if that truly is what I wanted to do, I better have something interesting to say that is worthy of people’s time and attention! It took me some time, thought and preparation, but surprisingly, people seemed to like what I had to say. So, over 30 years ago I took the leap of turning my vocation into my vacation. I am so glad I did!
Remember what I said earlier? This usually does not happen when you first start out in your career. It takes some time to develop your talents and abilities. I am sure you have heard the famous quote, “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” (Rohm – get it?) I have found that concept to be absolutely true. Discovering what you really love to do is a process. Speaking is what I love! It suits me well and it is what I believe I was designed to do. With every passing day I try to keep learning how to do it better!
So, let me ask you bluntly…do you really love what you do every day? Do you wake up energized and excited about the opportunity to participate in your daily vocation? I believe that when you do, you will live longer and enjoy life more. Each one of us should pursue fulfilling our dreams based on what we believe we were born to do. Our destiny is too important to miss it! I was in my early 40’s before I was able to fulfill my dreams, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you have not found your passion yet.
This week, ask yourself what it is you enjoy doing more than anything else. You may not be able to stop what you are currently doing and transition overnight, but you can at least take a few steps in the right direction by enrolling in a class, attending a seminar, or maybe finding someone who is already doing what you think you want to do and interview them. It may require hiring a coach or getting a mentor to help you reach your dream. Again, I think that if you do what you want to do, and what you were created to do, you will live longer, be happier, and more fulfilled. I know that has been my experience and that of many, many others. It is available for all of us. But it will never happen unless you take the time necessary to discover your passion.
I encourage you to pursue your dreams this week until your vocation becomes your vacation! You deserve it!
Tip: The secret to success is to make your vocation your vacation!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm