“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs are people that come alive.” – Harold Whitman
Also, you don’t have to make money from your purpose.
There is so much pressure in self-help conversations about monetizing passions. Let’s face it, we have student loans to pay, and realistically, not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. If self-discipline, creativity, and decisiveness aren’t your strong suits, I hate to break it to you, but small business ownership is probably not the best match.
Your purpose is to share your gifts, or your superhero secret powers.
Are you the world’s best dishwasher-loader?
Are you the most badass metal bassist?
Perhaps a heart-centered-team player…
I know a woman who is incredibly talented but has reached a point in her career where things are becoming more advanced than her expertise. Instead of tossing her out, her boss chooses to keep her as part of the team because she brings a level of passion to the TEAM that is irreplaceable. Do you want to know her self-professed purpose? It’s being a loving team player.
Truth be told, she’d probably find success in another similar environment. But the point is that although putting “heart-centered-team-player” on her resume sounds like sweet fluff, what that looks like in practice is immeasurable. Each day she goes in to work knowing she is going to give her best in her tasks as an employee, but her true human gift is being an incredible team player and a supporting person. Purposeful living is about a feeling of overall alignment and truly experiencing the peace of why you are here on this world.
“Getting paid to do what you love” only works if it connects to what other people want. If being a mechanic is your trade and your passion is photography, look at your market to see if there is a legitimate need that your unique contribution can fill. Be honest with where you are in terms of your ability to provide it. It is entirely possible to work on your craft until you get to a level of mastery where you may transition out of working for others and in to self-employment; but timing is everything.
It may be that you never reach that point; that’s okay, too. Some passions are not to be monetized, but that is not to say that they should be suppressed. Align your action with your purpose (or gifts) and you will live a fulfilled and empowered life. Success has more to do with purposeful choice rather than with genius.
Your purpose is to share your gifts. End of story.