Following your passion is a privilege

Passion is often believed to be the driving force behind people’s motivations and desires. All your favorite influencers, celebrities, CEOs, investors, etc., talk about “chasing your passion,” but not many talk about the first step needed to get there. My stomach turns when people my age or younger say “I want to work on something I’m passionate about.” The response in my head is usually alongs the lines of, hey, dumbass, you haven’t put in the work to be blessed enough to follow your “passion.”

Being able to follow our passion(s) is a privilege that we need to put in the work early on to earn. There are three traits that I value in people who I’ve seen with tremendous work ethic that are now pursuing their dreams. I am a firm believer that putting in overtime to these 3 traits will lead you down the right path of passion and success.

First – be dependable. When I say I’m going to do something, I will always do it. No matter what the job is, you should strive to hit above the expectations. Show the people around you that you are serious, reliable, and will always follow through even when the circumstances are beyond what was imagined. Jay-Z’s verse puts it in the simplest terms in “New Day”:

Look a man dead in his eyes, so he know you talk truth, when you speak it.
Give your word? Keep it.

I get goosebumps when I hear that last line, where would society be today if everyone who gave their word actually kept it? Your word is tied to your reputation. Your reputation is what people believe and invest in. Your word is everything. This is something that I learned early on in my own life: at eighteen, only two years after my dad was murdered, I told my mom that she would be able to retire in six months. Was it easy work? No, not at all. But I had made a promise, so I would follow through – and I did. Within that sixth month, my mom was able to retire. I gave my word, and I kept it.

Second – be proactive. 

My favorite Kobe (RIP) truth is, 

These young guys are playing checkers. I’m out there playing chess.” 

It’s also very simple. The human brain often considers things in the sequence of points a > b > c. We know that step one will result in step two, and so on and so forth, but not everyone will proactively get ahead and start mapping out the next steps. It doesn’t matter if it’s a part-time job or if you’re climbing the ladder to the CEO’s position, acknowledge the different steps and don’t wait to be told what needs to be done. 

Look at it this way – when COVID hit, all the masks on the market were uncomfortable and one-size fits all (which we know is never actually the case). These types of masks weren’t created to be worn 8+ hours a day – they were mainly being used as chin straps due to the discomfort of all day wear. So, recognizing that the world needed more comfortable masks with multiple sizes without sacrificing filtration quality at affordable prices, I made them myself. This was one of the biggest contributors to WellBefore’s success. If I had waited for someone else to figure this out, my life and our company likely would have been on an entirely different path right now. Why wait? You know what to do next. Take those steps yourself and get ahead of the 99% that wait to be told what to do. 

Third – be aware. You probably know this by now, but I’m a firm believer in the universe’s ability to communicate with us. Every single day it’s sending out messages to guide us – and all we need to do is listen. Some days, the messages might be small, and other days, they could be big. Though it varies, you should recognize that the universe can communicate with us through a variety of means… the birds, the trees, music, the people around us, etc. Raise your awareness of this type of communication from the universe to you because I believe it is truly directing us towards a path of something greater, something more fulfilling. Only once you raise your awareness can you begin to be receptive – and responsive – to the direction. 

The next question I usually get asked is, “how do I raise my awareness?” Well, asking that question was the first step. Now keep following that curiosity and openness. It’ll come, be patient, be aware. Consider your awareness and your good heart, to be a tool – not only to help achieve your goals, but as a means of helping others. What you pour into the world around you will eventually make its way back around. The universe has guided me to what I’m aiming to accomplish with Emagineer, which is my passion. I’m less worried about succeeding. I’m more focused on listening, responding and executing. Everything else will hopefully fall into place.

To anyone who is at a stage of growth in your life, these are the best tips I can give to you because this is how I got to where I am today. I am working on things I am truly passionate about after 15 years of working my ass off. Be dependable and show others that you are highly capable. Play chess and be proactive on what the next steps are to get ahead. Tap into your awareness and listen to the universe’s guidance. Passion will then flow through your veins and attract the right people, situations and opportunities for you to do what you really love.