Weekend Read: The Choice

There’s an old adage,”do what you love and the money will follow”.

Many, many people think that’s a crock.

I believe the people who think that are not considering the whole picture.

If you want to play in a reggaeton band, and that’s your passion, and that’s what you live for, then expecting to live in a house with a white picket fence and a BMW in the driveway is probably a fool’s errand.

We can do anything you want, anytime we want, any way we want to do it- it’s the lifestyle we aren’t willing to give up.

I’ll stay on the music theme.  David is my friend. I have known him for 40 years. He went to Northwestern, he was the big man on campus in a fraternity and he got his degree.

He has been making music his entire life.  He decided early on that this was what he was going to do, and he stuck to it.

Is he a millionaire? No.

Does he covet the possessions of a 1%er?  I doubt it, but I do know he’s long made peace with the fact that his choice of a profession was going to result in the adoption of a frugal lifestyle.

David has a lot of living left to do, and there may be a point at which he chooses to extend the skills he has acquired these past decades and do something that makes him quite handsomely well off. Or he may choose to play that Fender Stratocaster until the day he dies. I respect the choice he made for happiness.

You know what else David is really, really good at?

Budgeting.

A friend tweeted me a recent article from the Harvard Business Review today  I want to share with you. It addresses this question of ‘happiness versus money” directly. I think the authors hit it on the head with this blog.

Research shows that people who make progress every day toward something they care about report being satisfied and fulfilled. If you are at the stage of life where children and other factors render the dream of being a fine art painter unattainable, you aren’t being selfish. You’re being responsible.

My words on reinvention are not an infomercial. I don’t guarantee 6-pack abs in 90 days. I don’t guarantee a life void of sorrow. I don’t promise you’ll never have to do do what you need to do to protect those children of yours.

What I’m asking of you is to not make excuses.  Reinvention does not have to be an extreme makeover; it can be incremental steps to fulfillment, and this achievement is now, and will always be, a choice.

The Harvard Business Review blog makes a powerful point about those small advances to something better for you. They write:

So take those small steps. You might discover that your passion does, in fact, make you money. After all, who knew you could make huge amounts of money figuring out a way to connect all your friends (Facebook) or make a better map (pick your favorite GPS tool).

Even if you don’t, you want to spend part of your day doing at least one thing that’s making you happy.

Otherwise, something is terribly wrong.

The Reinvention of You: a one hour a week, five-week online course on Skillshare. Discover the talents you might not recognize you have. Class begins  Monday night, April 2. I’ll be your teacher. Find out more by clicking here.

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