6.09.2014

DESIGN A LIFE YOU LOVE

DESIGN A LIFE YOU LOVE | Charm & Gumption


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about where I want to take Charm & Gumption, and how I want my career to look, long-term.

I started thinking about this word "passion". It's something that we're told we're supposed to seek and find and do in order to be happy, and the more that I thought about it, the more I realized that we maybe have been misled about its meaning.

Is your "passion" just another word for something that you love to do? By those standards, I discovered early on that I had a passion for performing. I also have a passion for good design. I am pretty darn passionate about the truffle fries at Burger Up. I am passionate about my dog and my husband. I really love shopping - does that make it my passion?

I think that you can be passionate about a lot of things, and the commonly-given advice to "find your passion" is misleading. I think we need to start thinking less about our action-based passions and more about our life's passion, which is typically more of a strong value in our lives.

For most of my life, I thought that I was meant to be an actress (as embarrassing as that is to type in this blog post) because acting scared and excited me in a strange way that nothing else did. It gave me butterflies and I loved it. I have sort of been pursuing it "on the side" for quite a few years now.

But I realized over time that in order to really pursue it, I would have to either move or be willing to travel constantly, work 12 hour days on set, hundreds of miles away from my husband and family, postpone having children until I got to a certain "level" where I felt I could take some time off (what / when would this be exactly?), and most likely have to partake in romantic scenes with dudes who are not my husband. The life of a working actor is not glamourous, by any means, and only about .000001% of actors are "famous" or "invited-to-the-Oscars" actors. Most are just normal people who work regularly on TV shows, commercials, etc.

It didn't feel right, but it was my "passion"....wasn't it?

See how following an action-based passion can sometimes lead you astray? If your action-based passion doesn't match up with your life's values, then it's not your real passion. Let me give you an example...

If you have the action-based passion: of "cooking", your real passion may be for
"sharing the knowledge of the health benefits of organic, locally sourced food with others"
or it might be
"teaching people the simplicity and power of a home-cooked meal and eating at the table with your family"
or maybe
"creating a delicious masterpiece out of everyday foods with simple tools".

See how the cores of those three passions are different? Just pursuing cooking rather than the core of why you are drawn to cooking may lead you into a life that you aren't happy with.

So what the heck is the point?

I finally narrowed down that my passion isn't "acting" or "freelance graphic design" or even "entrepreneurship". My passion, and the core of what connected those actions, was the fact that they were all career paths that required taking chances, not settling for the status quo, choosing your own path.

That's what I love. I love people who don't do what other people want them to do, just because of social pressure. I love people who choose a scarier path in order to be true to themselves.

That might be the musician living in a studio apartment whose parents wanted him to be a doctor, the CEO who quit her stressful job to pursue teaching yoga full-time, or the 28 year old who was climbing up the corporate ladder when she realized that she wanted to devote her time to being a stay-at-home mom and raising a family. It isn't limited to one specific career or life path.

It's about designing a life you love.

All this to say: that's the direction that you will see Charm & Gumption going. I have a lot of new things planned for this blog and the site, including a new design and some new product offerings (more on that later). You can expect more posts dedicated to helping you design a life you love, and less beauty and fashion related topics...because I love beauty and fashion, but they're not my real passion.

Let me know what you think in the comments, and thanks for reading this super long post! Also, my goal for those of you reading is to start thinking about your real passion vs things that you enjoy doing. Is there an overlap that you could take advantage of in your career? xo!

16 comments:

  1. What an awesome blog post. And a great thought for the day. I think one of the reasons I love my job as much as I do is because I don't have to compromise all of the other things I love. That's important. And you're so right - doing something that aligns with your values is extremely important. PREACH. Love you like XO.

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    1. thanks, Loges! :) yeah I agree that it's more important to find a job with people and an atmosphere and values that you're on board with and then try to fit your skillset into that, rather than chasing the skill and hating the vibe or the atmosphere at the job. Clearly, you be killin' it at your job! love ya, girl!! miss you!

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  2. I'm just discovering this myself...I became a nurse because I thought that's what I was "supposed to do" but have recently quit to be at home with my kids. I am excited for what this means for me and my family as I am exploring a side of myself that I never had the time for. I am so thankful I was able to do this and I look forward to designing a life I love! My first blog post was quite similar to this topic :)

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    1. That's so awesome, Linsee! I think that as you get older you realize what's really important in life and you stop caring so much about impressing other people or living up to other people's expectations. You go, girl! :)

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  3. LOVE this post! Thank you! It's what I needed to read today.

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    1. So happy to hear that, Sharon! xo

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  4. What an awesome topic! I am going to do much thinking over it! It really has got me thinking hmmm????
    Which is great so thank you!

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    1. haha glad to have gotten you thinkin' ;) thanks for reading, Dawn!

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  5. I liked reading your post- because I just recently went thru this as well with my career (going back into interior design full time, full steam. And, am continuing to go thru it (most notably in my blog writing). You must've felt it too. I felt like people were expecting me to write about certain things - things that I wasn't particularly excited or passionate about - so, I stopped writing. I've only just come to the realization that I love to write and let's make it fun for me! If it's fun for me -then others will appreciate it too! So....loved reading it today! :)

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    1. Thats so great! Yes, I think that it's really noticeable if someone isn't writing whole-heartedly. A person's passionate vibe really comes through in the writing. It's not really something you can fake, I don't think. Best of luck with your business and blog! xo

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  6. I respect your insight - you've definitely got me thinking about my own life and the direction I should take!

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  7. Such a good post Holly!! One that more people definitely need to read & understand (myself included! haha) xo

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  8. Just stumbled across your blog -- this is an excellent post! Definitely a good topic for every person to ponder and keep forward in their mind. My husband and I recently had a very similar conversation -- we wondered how our lives have developed the way they have and how we arrived at our unhappiness with our career paths. When we go to college we kinda think we know what we want to do with our lives. But most importantly we want to make sure we will make decent money so we can gain independence. Then after college we start our career paths and we are happy for awhile -- money is good, we go on our first "grown up" vacations, splurge on new things, etc. And then... the glimmer wears off... and we find ourselves unsatisfied. What to do next? We are in our mid/late 30's. Go back to school (night school is only option) and start all over again? Umm no! Chase our creative passion and go on the path less traveled? (he guitar, me jewelry design) Well, we are trying that but we are coming from corporate career paths and we have a corporate paycheck ways of living. Huh. Yeah. So we've been working on this. We know that we must find a way of life that is true to us so we feel more satisfied. But it's that tricky transition from one path to the other that is a conundrum.
    Keep up the great posts and keep us inspired! :)

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    1. thanks so much, Tiffany. I know what you mean - it's so hard to go down in lifestyle once you get accustomed to a certain income level, but I can promise you it is super rewarding doing something that you love. I would so much rather make less money but be excited when I wake up in the morning. :) Hang in there!

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