I realized the other day that one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of people pursuing their passions is also something I have scarcely touched on in this blog...money.
A perceived need to earn X amount of money can (and often does) shut down someone's passion pursuit in seconds flat. "You can't make enough doing that." "I need to be able to maintain my current lifestyle." "I want to be able to provide my children with _____."
I'm not going to sit here and preach that you should forget about the money and focus on the passion (though I've repeatedly seen the importance people attach to money drop when they're living their passions). Each person will figure out what works best for them. What I would like to do is plant a seed for a different way of thinking about it.
Right now, I'm reading Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Joe Rodriguez and Vicki Robin. They've got some interesting ideas on how to think about money. The following paragraphs are from an article that sums up one of the main ideas:
Try turning around that old maxim "time is money" and look at it this way: "We pay for money with our time." Those hours on the job (or our partner's hours on the job) are what bring money into our lives. Money, by definition, is simply something for which we choose to trade the hours of our life - what we'll call "life energy."
Defining money as something we trade our life energy for gives us significant information. Our life energy is more real in our actual experience than money. While money has no intrinsic reality, our life energy does - at least to us. It is precious because it is limited and irretrievable, and because our choices about how we use it express the meaning and purpose of our time here on earth.
I love the idea of looking at the things we buy in terms of how much life we gave up to get them. It really puts it in perspective. Maybe any given thing is worth it, maybe it's not, but just having a tangible way to start examining it is invaluable.
Passion Catalyst SM