Afraid of hard work and sacrifice?

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Afraid of hard work and sacrifice?

Postby cyrano » Thu May 25, 2000 7:56 am

I like these boards and am glad they're here, but I have a complaint. Not about Barbara, or how the boards are organized-- that's fine. What I'm seeing a lot of, though, is a lot of wishing by people that their lives would be better, without a willingness to work-- and yes, sacrifice-- to achieve their dreams. I don't think this is so much a lack of character as it is a reflection of the fact that so much of what we get now is delivered to us at the touch of a button or the making of a toll-free phone call. We want our solutions delivered to us, next day, by UPS. I know I'd rather it happen that way, that I come up with a great idea (and I'm full of them), send away for a packet of Idea Mix, add water, and poof! I'm a zillionaire. But it doesn't work that way. At some point, the wonderful idea has to metamorphose into action. Money has to be raised. A strategic plan implemented. Bills paid. Loans obtained, or begged for. Long, wearying days and nights of meetings with skeptical people trying to persuade them to whip out their checkbook, or sitting alone at a computer terminal, trying to do just one more thing, write one more page, before you get a few hours' sleep. How to persuade your family that you really need to keep working at this, when they want to go off tothe baseball game. Very few of us have the will to make these sacrifices on a regular basis-- unless we have the underlying passion to want that goal badly enough. Then it doesn't seem so much like work, and you find the energy to do it. I'm bothered when I read people say, "I don't want to work THAT hard," or the like. Maybe that's workaholic me, the person who's always done something on the side instead of play golf or surfed the cable TV. And I agree that there's no sense in working your butt off for something you're not passionate about. What Barbara has been saying through her books, I think, is that, if you want to achieve great things, you'd better find the passion to pursue them hammer and tongs, holding nothing back-- and when that synergy is working, it may not be easy, but it is immensely satisfying. And if nothing lights your fire, and that bothers you, then your dissatisfaction is trying to tell you something. Your life's work, at this point, is to find that passion. Don't wait for the UPS man, however cute he might be, to deliver it to your front door.
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Postby KKG » Thu May 25, 2000 8:59 am

You are quite right, Cyrano. Thanks for the reminder. I have to do some things I hate today -- you've inspired me to shut up and do them instead of whining a lot and then doing them. They don't directly lead to my goal, but indirectly they'll help me get there. Idea Mix? Hmmmm. Kimberly
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Postby Laurie » Thu May 25, 2000 10:12 am

I recall Barbara having a somewhat different take on "passion" actually - i think her view was a little more easygoing in some way that i found extremely useful. Maybe in "It's Only Too Late..." ?
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Postby xnera » Thu May 25, 2000 11:33 am

Barbara talks about passion in Lesson Three of "Live the Life You Love", pg. 76. --xnera
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Postby Laurie » Thu May 25, 2000 11:48 am

Thanks xnera - i'll review it.
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Postby Monica » Thu May 25, 2000 11:57 am

Thanks for the post...I really needed to read this too. I feel as though I keep having the same "realizations" over and over again...about things that I would like to accomplish, about the way things were in the past, but I don't know what to DO with them, in terms of concrete action. That just makes me feel as though I am moving in circles. That being said, I do wonder about what you said regarding finding your "passion" or calling. I am not sure that actively going out and trying to find it works. In fact, most of the people I know who are working out their hearts desires found them through serendipity...not a plan. If that is so, how do the rest of us who have not been blessed with a guiding dream or emotion find it "without looking"? That's what has been on my mind lately. That's for that thoughtprovoking post, cyrano (and great name!) Image [This message has been edited by Monica (edited May 25, 2000).]
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Postby cyrano » Thu May 25, 2000 12:20 pm

Barbara's tone probably is different from mine-- we're different people. And I'm not being judgmental about people who lack that passion (by my definition) I'm referring to. And my aggressively independent take on the topic is undoubtedly a minority one. It's taken me a long time to ask for any kind of help whatsoever, and it still goes against my grain...but even an old dog can learn a new trick if he has to. I don't think I know how to be easygoing anyway. My primary point remains, however-- don't just sit and wait for life to deposit something on your doorstep. If you're stuck (and by definition, thinking of yourself as "stuck" means you ain't happy being where you are), that's a sign that your essential being, your spirit, wants a change. Work with what you have, explore, ask others whose experience and/or opinion you would value. Push, taste, sniff, experiment, try something on, see how it fits. I was reminded last night that one of my strongest motivators could be seen as a negative one. A year ago, I interviewed for a job that I thought I would be perfect for, but they offered it to someone else. Months later, at a convention, the guy who interviewed me went out of his way to pick arguments with me on the topics we were discussing, and, I found out later, was telling others at the convention that he had the chance to hire me but didn't. It was probably my assertive, maybe even aggressive attitude that turned him off. If so, good. I'd have been a bad fit there. But you know how, even when you don't want a job, you still want them to offer it to you? I did-- and I was not happy that he'd bad-mouthed me to our professional peers. That crystallized an amorphous desire I had, to publish books in my area. This organization would-- will-- be my main competitor. I think there's a lot about his books I could do better-- and when my energy flags and I start to think that this is a silly waste of time, I remember this smirking guy at that convention, and I want to take sales away from him by selling better books to his market. I have a lot of other drives too, and definitely want to make good money doing this, but beating this guy at his own game is a strong motivator for me. I found a picture of him and put it up over my monitor to remind me. So I'll stick by my guns here-- if you don't want it badly, very badly, then it's probably not the right goal for you. If you're happy and content with your life, then wonderful-- but I don't think most people come here, or read Barbara's books, because they're content. They have an itch that needs scratching.
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Postby cyrano » Thu May 25, 2000 12:44 pm

Monica, first thanks for the kind words. I wanted to write back, even though I need to get back to work. "I am not sure that actively going out and trying to find it works. In fact, most of the people I know who are working out their hearts desires found them through serendipity...not a plan." I don't doubt the power of serendipity, but I would venture to guess that those people whose life's work came through serendipity were doing something. Life rewards action...even if it's not action that leads directly to a goal. Fate-- serendipity-- can alert you to something wonderful that wasn't on your radar five minutes ago...but you have to be flying somewhere to pick it up. You see this action being rewarded in every facet of life. In AA (I'm told), they stress a concept called "act as if." OK, they say, you're a drunk and you're unemployed and you just KNOW you're a worthless bag of s--t. But you need a job. So you act as if you're not worthless, you put one foot in front of the other, act as if you're worthy of being employed. You know the story about Abraham Lincoln, right-- lost every election he'd ever run for, either went bankrupt or nearly so, had a lifelong string of failures, until he was elected President. Think Alexander Graham Bell, who had hundreds of failed experiments before the one success that made his life. Same with Edison. You keep plugging. Maybe the "plugging" involves talking with people you know (or like us, people you don't know) about their experiences, tapping into their expertise-- and giving of your own self while you're at it. You'll learn a lot about life, and yourself, by such an interchange. I consider this exchange here to be work furthering my life's dream along, and you should too. But don't stop here. If you're stuck and hoping to find that which lights your fuse, go and explore. You won't know what tastes good if you don't taste things. I think I've (finally) found my life's passion. There was an element of serendipity to it, but there was a whole lot more working at jobs close to it and learning more about me and what I'm good (and bad) at, doing as much research as I can to see whether it can fly financially (ain't no good having a passion that will bankrupt you), working on my skill set that I think I'll need to either do the work or be able to direct others in doing it.
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Postby Laurie » Thu May 25, 2000 12:47 pm

Well, I'm certainly rooting for you. Just don't let that bad guy control your quests TOO much - what a doodyhead. (see how us "easygoing types" deal with conflict?) Image
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Postby PeterH » Thu May 25, 2000 7:15 pm

I think youy are all correct.. " "Luck" is when preparation meets opportunity"
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Postby Bonny Lass » Fri May 26, 2000 7:34 am

Cyrano When people say "It's too hard" or something like that, they don't really mean they can't be bothered. It's more like, "Because I'm not sure about this, I'm worried that I'll invest so much time and energy and it won't be the right thing." Probably based on experience. Like yours. So much energy spent on becoming a lawyer, and you seem quite miserable about it. That worries people. Keeps them awake at night. Hey, we're human. Fallible. Delicate. Precious. Most folk on this board are pretty good at flagellating themselves - if we were perfect we wouldn't be on the board. I am drawn towards Barbara's writing precisely because she doesn't punt the type of thing you're talking about. Been there. Done it. The night school thing? Living away from home thing? Raising kids on my own? Spent 12 years of my life pursuing what I thought was my dream career? sacrificing everything, including my child's homelife? - only to find I hate my career so much I'd rather drive a bus. Nearly everyone on this board has done something similar. We just don't have that many lifetimes to waste. My character is fine - if you have a problem with yours, we'll help. Bonny Lass [This message has been edited by Bonny Lass (edited May 26, 2000).]
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Postby cyrano » Fri May 26, 2000 2:42 pm

I apologize for any hurt or insult I may have made or caused. [This message has been edited by cyrano (edited May 26, 2000).]
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Postby Helga » Fri May 26, 2000 6:11 pm

Personally, I think hard work and sacrifice are highly overrated. Let’s say person A plays guitar until 4:00 a.m. with his friends because he loves it and there’s no where else he’d rather be. Person B plays till 4:00 a.m. because he’s determined to put in the hard work and sacrifice for a great career. Let’s say both are equally very talented. Who is more likely to make it big? I’d bet my money on person A. Let’s say due to bad luck and poor breaks neither one makes any money at music and they both end up working in a boring, low paying job. Who will still be enjoying music? - most likely person A. Zero points for hard work and sacrifice. It’s true enough that person A is doing something, not sitting around just dreaming about playing. As for finding out what your passions are I came across this today in "Zen and the Art of Making a Living" by Laurence G. Boldt. It says: "As a practical matter, when you are looking for your talents look for: 1. What you enjoy doing 2. What you enjoy thinking about 3. What you enjoy learning about 4. What you enjoy as a process What do you have the most fun doing? This is the first tip-off to your talents." (note talents - plural) I think we do things backwards when we try to find something that will bring us the best future - because no matter how much we analyze and plan the future is pretty much an unknown. Our goals need to stay fluid. So often our future depends on someone we happen to meet or a meeting we happen to go to, or else, some natural or social or economic disaster throws our best developed plans out the window. What works is adding things we enjoy to our life today. Ask - what would make this boring job better? Maybe a more beautiful atmosphere - put an orchid on the desk. Maybe more interesting people - strike up a conversation with someone interesting in the next department. Who knows what might come of it. The worst that can happen is that you have a nicer day today. We negate many joys when we dismiss them because they are not our "one" passion or "it won’t make any money". Let’s say someone enjoys - walking in the woods. No money in that - we throw it out. What happens if instead we just practice walking in the woods more because we enjoy it. Then ask just what it is that we enjoy about it. (easier to figure out when you are doing it, I think). Perhaps it’s the fresh air and physical movement you love, so you ask yourself "what else could I do that would add this to my life?" Then maybe you join a bicycling club …… Perhaps it’s the patterns of the trees and leaves that you love and then one day you think about how you could incorporate those patterns into your pottery … Perhaps it’s the outdoor atmosphere and the kinds of people you meet in the hiking club, then one day one of them asks you to help raise funds for an environmental organization …. Maybe you become a computer programmer and find that a weekend walk in the woods is just what you need to clear your head and make you productive during the week. There are an endless number of different paths from the very same starting point. I think the way to find our passions is to just keep practicing all the things we love as much as we can and see where they go. If we don’t know what we love - keep trying things that we think we might love. Page 77 - Live the Life you Love - Barbara says: "I’ve found the need for passion comes from an aching emptiness in the heart. That emptiness seems so huge that we incorrectly assume it can only be filled by a giant passion. But that’s not so. When you start doing the work you were born to do, you don’t feel passion. What you feel is that nothing is missing. One person after another, on finding their life’s work has said to me, "It was like putting on a comfortable old shoe," "I sighed with relief and relaxed," or "I knew I was finally doing the right thing." OK - I’m done now - but hey - this was fun.
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Postby topatate16 » Fri May 26, 2000 8:31 pm

Helga... I totally agree with what you are saying. I studied to be a journalist. I worked for newspapers and in broadcasting. But when my husband was assigned to Moody AFB in Valdosta GA, I found that there were no openings at the local newspaper. There was not a TV station there at the time. I sold radio ads for awhile but it was a station where paychecks would bounce now and again. I found a job creating a sales department for a hotel. Did not study to become a sales rep, did not care to be a sales rep, but the money was good and as an Air Force wife, I was moving every 2 1/2 years (if not sooner). Twenty years later I was still working in sales for hotels/resorts and realized, "Hey, wait a minute. This is not what I wanted to do with my life." Stuff happens. Life happens. I worked very hard at my career, traveled a lot, worked long hours, took work home. But I wasn't happy. Now that I am working for something that I truly love and want to do, it's not work. But it's all I think about. Everything I do is taking me a step closer to where I need to be next. I know what it takes to obtain the skills I need and how to create my product. From my "previous life", I know how to market and sell. I've spent hours creating boring databases because I know that a well targeted direct mail campaign will bring me leads. It seems (at least from my perspective) that the people I need to meet, the lessons I need to learn, the experiences I need to have are coming my way. But will I be successful? I believe I will. Although I personally feel that there are one or two people on these boards who are looking for quick fixes, instant answers, the winning lottery numbers, or as The Moody Blues would say, "someone to change (their) life, a miracle in (their) life", for the most part I think a lot of what happens on these boards is that people are given the opportunity to explore ideas without going through the pain of working for something they think they might like only to find after years of study that they hate what they've worked for. I'm thinking of Jeff with his law degree who'd rather be a writer. I'm thinking of Gail who was exploring copywriting. And there are plenty of people on these boards who are in action. PeterH with his US tour, Barbara and her Kilm project, and lots of us are writing - staying up that extra hour, writing one more page. Cyrano, I think its sad that your dream is motivated by what sounds like pure and simple revenge, if not just a good old fashioned testosterone snit. However, it is the path that you have chosen. Frankly, I'm fed up with working with people who are motivated solely by getting back at someone or wishing to destroy someone by beating them at their own game due to some perceived insult. And I, for one, hope I will always have an "itch that needs scratching." I hope I am always open to learn or try something new because if I'm ever that content and happy with my life, then I must have transitioned to another plane of existence.
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Postby Transitionalgirl » Sat May 27, 2000 5:35 am

Cyrano: I can appreciate your point of view, and I applaud you in following your dreams for your own reasons, whatever they may be. But my feeling on the "stir" you've created is: in my opinion, whether you meant to or not, you've set yourself up in a somewhat parental role here, and it seems some members' sense that you are generalizing that everyone who posts on their obstacles is stuck and needs to stop whining and get busy. You seem very impatient with us. That's not what we came here for. I like to think we're all adults here, and we all, sadly, have people who've taken parental roles in our lives, telling us what we should do, and telling us "don't make the same mistakes I did." What difference does it make to you how much we stumble, or analyze, or nit-pick our way? If we aren't able to help you with your goals, then we apologize. If we need more support than an "independent and ornery" sort like yourself, so be it. We are here because we found a light in Barbara's writings, and a fellowship of diverse individuals, all with unique dreams and challenges. When you publish, set up a web site and a bulletin board, lots of people will stop by, visit, discuss and learn from you too. But don't forget why we're here. There are lessons in Wishcraft and Barbara's other books that come BEFORE action, steps of analysis that you may be way past, but many here are not. There are also complications and stumbling blocks in many of the lives here (depression, illness, family responsibilities, debt) which make action difficult, painful and for some, temporarily impossible. Posting and interacting on this site IS ACTION, and while it CAN become a crutch, there are far worse ones. Here, friendships and alliances are made, hard times gotten through, happy times and small successes celebrated. We could find find worse things to spend our inaction on. All I'm saying is, if you want to be a mentor, don't forget where you came from, and don't assume your way, at your speed, fits everyone else. And please don't assume I'm p-o'd with you, or want you to go away. I just hate to see this board, like so many others on the 'net, deteriorate into arguing and defensiveness. There's room for everyone here, so long as we respect each other's point of view and feelings. By the way, any thoughts on my posts to you regarding the specifics of your obstacle? I'd appreciate knowing if you thought they had any merit. If not, that's fine - I can handle it. Peace Image ------------------ Julia [This message has been edited by Transitionalgirl (edited May 27, 2000).] [This message has been edited by Transitionalgirl (edited May 27, 2000).]
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