Build a life worth living

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The beautiful thing about life is we are all different. For each of us, there is some activity or subject that makes us lose track of time and feel excitement. This is our passion. 

We are at our best when we are passionate. Think about all the great people of the past and present who have made great accomplishments. More often than not, they are making these strides in something they truly care about.

Throughout the years, I’ve read of people who have followed their dreams. It is always these people that most inspire me. These are the people that I want to be like. Whether it is my grandpa who became a surgeon, or 18 year old Katie Davis who left school, moved to Africa and adopted 13 kids, I am left with a burning desire to know what I want in life and follow it.

College is not only a perfectly set time to establish what we are passionate about, but to set the ground work for following it for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, many do not choose a major that will set them forward in their dreams, but one that is practical. 

Many go with the reasonable-sounding approach of pursuing a job that will pay well, and then switching to their passion once they get enough money. However, the comfort and security of their chosen job is likely to prevent them from switching over to what they truly want to do with their lives.

Pursuing our passions is often a risk, especially when our passions fall onto the artistic side. This is where the risk plays in because you are not guaranteed a high-paying job.

However, it is actually impractical not to pursue your passion.  It is our passions and dreams which bring meaning to our lives. What is the point of securing a high paying job if it is not something we enjoy? Yes, we may have a nice house and car, but does that matter more than living a life with such passionate pursuit that job and fun simply merge?

For some of us, what we pursue in college comes down to how we picture our future-selves. Do you imagine yourself in the medical field or being a traveling photographer?  Or do you imagine a big house with a big yard for the kids to play in? If your passion is simply providing a comfortable life for your family, then that is what you should chase. Allow your desires to drive you.

Let’s be frank for a moment. Yes, this is a depressing thought, but everyone dies. We won’t be here forever to enjoy physical possessions such as wealth or property. It is all fleeting.

To me, this is actually a reassuring thought because it lifts a burden off my shoulders. Realizing we have one life makes me want to simply spend it doing what I love.

The practical side of this is we often need money to do what we love. These things can go hand in hand, though. In fact, there are often ways to follow our dream and still have a house and place to stay.

Matt Kepnes, who worked a cubicle job in Boston, is the prime example of how money and passion collide. Kepnes’ dream was to travel the world. He found a way to do it without being rich first, so he quit his job and became a nomadic traveler. He has since visited over 70 countries and kept a blog at nomadicmatt.com where he not only tells about his decision to leave normal life and follow his passion, but where he explains how he does it on a budget. 

Job security sounds great, but what sounds fundamentally beautiful is living and working in what moves you and in what helps you become more you.