Occasionally during a brief encounter I have with someone whom I’ll probably never see again, I hear a statement that I want to hold on to.
Last week my wife and I attended a function to launch a new line of products for my daughter’s fashion business. At one stage during the proceedings, I walked outside to get some fresh air and got into a conversation with a young guy who had been involved in preparing a group of girls to model the clothes and perform a dance routine. In the middle of the conversation he said, “I LOVE WHAT I DO”, referring to his career in dancing and teaching dancing.

He then went on to tell me how he wasn’t sure how his father would feel about him embarking on a career path like this, but was greatly encouraged by his father’s response which was something like, “It doesn’t matter to me what you do, but whatever you do, BE THE BEST AT IT YOU CAN BE. Even if you wanted to be a garbage collector, be the best garbage collector you can be.”

He reminded me of the following passage I read in Bear Grylls’ book A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR LIFE:
“Ask yourself what you would do if you didn’t need the money. Ask yourself what really excites you. Ask what would inspire you to keep going long after most people would quit. Find those answers and therein lies your dream. We all have our personal Everest, and if we follow its calling, then that is when life truly becomes an adventure. ”

The ultimate career is one that pays you the income you need, and also combines your passions with your gifts/skills/talents/natural abilities.

This is not always possible when raising a family and your highest priority has to be providing a home and education, and meeting every expense associated with family life. However there will always be a way to exercise a passion at some level without having access to huge amounts of finance and resources (perhaps in a totally voluntary capacity for the time being).

We may have to wait until the dust settles after children have grown up and mortgages are more under control or paid out before it is possible to transition a higher allocation of time and resources to our passions. I am thankful that, at the age of 65, I have eventually arrived at that particular chapter of life, and am still fit and healthy enough to focus more on the activities which fit into the description of dreams in the above quoted extract. A couple of these include: a strategy which I have been planning for supporting troubled youth; and teaching refugees to swim.

The important thing is that we don’t take our dreams to the grave, (better late than never) because many people can benefit from them. The world needs us to exercise our passions, make our dreams become reality, and BE THE BEST THAT WE CAN BE at whatever we choose to do.

Bob Helyar

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