I have been fortunate enough to have travelled a life journey that commenced with me experiencing everything that the corporate world had to offer, and when I write everything, I mean ‘everything’. I then worked extensively in the ‘not for profit’ sector, then became a full-time carer for family members for three years as they battled life-ending conditions and lost. Of more recent times I commenced a journey into the world of Podcasting and have continued with my Philanthropic activities. You could say a diverse life journey, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
My journey has taught me what to appreciate in my life, which is important to me, and what makes me contented. I don’t chase happiness, more on that in a minute. I use the word ‘contented’ because every day I greet the day by waking up aboard my sailboat, which is also my home, and my Podcast studio. I am grateful for everything I have today, and what I do with my authentic passion*. ( see APART)
Whilst in the corporate world my life was consumed by global travel, KPI’s budgets, and town hall meetings and shallow relationships. Was it a life that was authentically me?, no it wasn’t. Did I enjoy it? For a lot of the time I did. That chapter taught me a lot about the world, and more importantly a ton about myself, it also gave me invaluable skills.
However, for me, the corporate world did not deliver on the deep-seeded desire I have to make a ‘real’ difference in the world. Making shareholders wealthier through my hard work, and chasing targets that annually continued to reach for the stars was not a sustainable journey toward a hard-earned dream of ‘retirement’, nor was it creating the legacy I want for my life.
My journey into the not for profit sector was initially fuelled by ego. The ex-corporate warrior set out to do good in developing nations taking selfies with happy smiling Asian children while creating lavish cocktail fundraising events where all those in attendance were made to feel as though they were single-handedly making the world a better place, yet many were there as a means to rid themselves of some guilt associated with living an abundant expat lifestyle. Most of those donors had no idea about the greed, the corruption and mis use of funds that is at epidemic levels across the not for profit sector globally. The charity model has been broken for a long, long time.
Begging for money was cleverly disguised as seeking ‘donations’, and it really was just another non-sustainable path that I volunteered my soul to for a number of years. The turning point, or perhaps the ‘tipping point’ for me came through, and immediately after that period where I was caring for my very ill family members. Watching day by day someone’s life slipping away had a profound impact on me, and helped me to centre some things in my life, and to continue to get some ‘other’ things wrong, mainly relationships.
As the breath was sucked from my fathers’ lungs his last words that would echo in my ears for years to come, gave me a newfound sense of what my very own existence meant to me.
The reflection was short and raw, I had not been living a life with authentic passion.
Today I am in a position where observing is a pastime, as I watch and view many of those who appear on the surface to say that they are living an authentic passionate life. OK, fair enough, it is not my role to judge but based on my life journey, and how I feel about what I am doing today, maybe this is a little fun test I call ‘APART’ might help you see if you are;
Answer these questions for yourself.
Authentic Passion Assessment Report Test (APART)
- Would you do what you are doing today for zero money?
- Could you vanish from all Social Media platforms and not share anything that you are doing?
- Could you give up whatever it is you are currently doing and chase your ‘dream’ ?
- Can you get through 24 hours without telling a lie to yourself?
- Could you spend the next three years chasing your dream no matter what happens in your life?
- Are you ready to own up to your excuses? (you know what they are)
- Do you realise that your insecurities are stopping you from living your true authentic self?
- If you don’t already meditate are you prepared to try it as it will change your life?
- Have you really got rid of all of the negative energy ( people) in your life?
- Are you really truly authentically prepared to help someone else who needs it?
How did you go?
Easy, challenging, unrealistic?
Life is a journey, and depending on what you want to make of that journey will, of course, depend on the outcome you achieve. Reaching a stage in life where you are doing what you do because all of the other ‘distractions’ are removed will see you closer to living with authentic passion.
My current Podcast journey has finally enabled me to connect with my authentic passion. I love talking to people, having real conversations about a subject I am truly passionate about, travel. I don’t get paid for what I do, I am nine months into this, I work (hobby) 60-70 hours per week. I have no fear associated with ‘where’ this journey will take me. I am not hung up on how many people listen to my show. I don’t compare myself to anyone, and I am only on social media to promote my show.
As I continue my journey toward my greatest version of my authentic self I realise more and more how important that thing is that you do every single day. Call it a job, a pastime, a habit, a hobby. Make sure that whatever it is, it is the reason you want to get out of bed every single day and be honest with yourself that you would, and could do it without payment, without your ego being stroked by others, without any recognition at all other than you knowing by doing it you are the absolute contented you can be.
In closing, let’s finish on this whole chasing happiness theme. If you are chasing just a ‘happy life’, stop right now. It doesn’t exist. Happiness like the tides around my sailboat comes and goes. Being ‘satisfied’ eg: contentment will help you set more realistic goals and achievable outcomes that are way more sustainable.
Thank you for reading this far. I hope my sharing has been of some use. Maybe there is one tip here that can lead to you living a more contented life, I hope so.
In Kindness and Respect.