Choosing the Right Path, Knowing Your Passion & Overcoming Adversity
Life tends to give us a lot of signs—who to marry, what job to take, where to live. Sometimes these signs are unmistakable, sticking out in your life like a speed limit sign on a desolate highway or they’re hidden like a sign behind a bush or tree. Wherever the sign, it’s there for a reason—to give you the pointers you need in life to make the decisions that shape your life's jouney.
Recently, my daughter sent me a text with a photo of a calligraphy project she was working on in water color that she was drafting and just developing the base composition to work from. The message was all too telling for me and was one of those “signs” I needed at the right time.
At the time, I was struggling in dealing with my son’s third birthday after he passed away in September of 2014. He would have been 25, which would have been a seminal event for him. Birthdays have always been special times in our house, but the void that we now have every May 16 is challenging. This "sign" from her helped me remember the basics of my life's philosophy.
I always said after losing my son, that I wanted to do something different. I really didn’t know what that meant, but as I navigate a career transition and my personal journey I believe I’m seeing signs all over that place that tell me be to true to myself; don’t change who I am; embrace the passion and skills that I’ve acquired over my career; and most importantly to enjoy what I do. Those signs have ranged from straight out advice to realizing the legacy of my professional life has left on others.
It’s not entirely surprising what happens if you let life direct you. You lose total control. The secret – follow the signs; watch for them; choose the right ones. Make the best of your life, but don’t let it control you. Let the signs help guide you down your journey.
“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time
It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right
I hope you had the time of your life”
Green Day – Time of Your Life
And the fuel for your journey is your passion. It doesn’t matter what that is, but make sure passion is in the cockpit with you as you travel your journey.
Practicality gets in the way of passion many times, costing people the opportunity to chase their dreams. Bills have to be paid, children have to be raised, life happens. Keep the passion tucked away as a motivator and don’t lose sight of the signs that can lead you back to what really drives you.
So many times in life, it’s really about the signs and what road they tell you go down or follow. Sometimes, the signs are warnings; other times they are reminders; other times, they really tell you which way you need to go.
My son, Drew, always thought big. He leaves us signs all the time. These aren’t pennies from Heaven. These are quarters from Drew. We constantly find quarters, and we know he’s left us a sign that he’s okay and thinking about us. Those quarters are the most important signs for me. I look for them every day.
Think about what signs are important to you and follow them. They’ll lead to your passion, which lead you to your success or finding what’s really important in your heart. Don’t be afraid to follow them.