How to find the right path?

In success stories, once piece of "advice" I often hear is to do things which we feel passionate about. While it may work for people who have the right combination of passion and luck, for the everyone else it's just highly impractical advice.

4 years ago, I wrote in my blog that I quit my job to write full-time.

"Mastery is often simply staying on the path" - Richard Strozzi-Heckler, In Search of the Warrior Spirit: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets

I thought that by focusing on writing, I would be able to make my dream come true. Maybe I wasn't determined enough, maybe I didn't have enough luck, maybe I didn't do enough research, maybe the market here is just too small, maybe I didn't have the right marketing plan.

The most practical advice I'd ever received was from my ex-boss. She said that I do not have to find a job which I am passionate about but it would be better to earn good money from I job and to use that money for my passion. I didn't heed her advice at that time and I quit my job (she was no longer with the company then).

Unfortunately, I found that the road to financial wealth wasn't about following one's dream. We can't always have what we wish for. Not everyone can gain substantial wealth by doing things they feel passionate about.

1 year later, I returned to my previous profession. I was more determined to improve my skills and become an expert. I don't regret quitting 4 years ago because if I didn't do it, I would always be stuck with "what if". I wouldn't have been able to continue with and make progress in that profession. It is clear to me now which is the path and which are merely the flowers along the path.

How to find the right path? There is no way of knowing without walking the path!

"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive." - C. S. Lewis


Anonymous said...

We are all passionate about sex, then following the Green Berets "advice" we should all become porn stars?

No wonder we don't hear of Green Berets any more these days!

SOA said...

You are right, at least you tried and I know you will be more successful than ever if you tried to follow yr passion again.

I need to be on my own path without straying too.

Chin Ee said...

You are a brave person and it's great you put up a good fight for what you feel passionate about. Continue writing. You write well. Looking forward to your next book.

David said...

The world has seen a number of great success stories. What is less known is that many people who are famous for thier success, failed once or more times before achieving great success.

Thomas Edison's teachers told him he was "too stupid to learn anything."

Read more:

Steven Spielberg was rejected from his dream school, the University of Southern California, three times.

Macys was founded by Rowland Hussey Macy. Failure was not new to Macy. He had a history of failed investments and business ventures, and success was not on his side. At the age of 36, Macy opened his fancy dry goods store on the corner 14th street and 6th Avenue in New York City.

Soichiro Honda was passed over for an engineering job at Toyota and left unemployed.

Vera Wang failed to make the U.S. Olympic figure-skating team. Then she became an editor at Vogue and was passed over for the editor-in-chief position.

Oprah Winfrey was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn't fit to be on screen.

While you have followed your dream. Success is rare on first, second or even third attempts.

Presuming that writing is your passion, then consider that perhaps you have not found a topic that you are passionate about that at the same time the public is passionate about.

Sex, and relations involving sex on the surface appears a topic most everyone would be passionate about. However, sex is already everywhere. Novels, cable, movies, television and online blogs are full of sexual adventures and passions run wild.

This does not mean you cannot be successful writing on this topic. You have not found the vehicle that can carry your passion into words that will capture the imagination of readers.

The boss that recommended you find a job that can support you while you pursue your passion is only part right. At some point you must attempt to take the stage of the world media. SG is a small market. Likely you need a piece that will capture the attention of many on several continents.

That is a steep challenge.
Only Yu-Kym knows what is inside her, and how hard, and how high she is willing to work and climb to achieve a goal.

You have courage and charisma. You appear to have good media presence and perhaps enhancing your ability to relate and appeal to mainstream media can open more opportunties for you to reach out to a larger audience.

May 2014 see you happier and more prosperous!