How about insanely rich Oprah?  Or always upbeat Kelly Ripa?  Or devilishly handsome George Clooney?

I must admit, I haven’t actually asked any of them how happy they are, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and say YES.  But it’s not for the reasons you might be thinking.  It’s not because they have so much money that they don’t have to worry about where the next mortgage payment is coming from.  Or because they jet set around the world on a whim or always look like they belong on the cover of a magazine.

They’re happy because they’re doing what they LOVE!  What they were born to do.  It’s what they can’t imagine not doing, because if they stopped, they’d die.  None of the folks who keep company with Donald, Oprah, Kelly or George could ever spend the mountains of money thrown at them.  I’d guess that most people doing what they LOVE don’t even know how much money they have because it has ceased to be an issue.

George doesn’t make movies because of how much money he’ll make.  He makes them because he thinks he’ll enjoy playing that part.  Oprah could have continued on her path to syndication riches, but she decided to take a giant leap of faith by launching OWN.  And if you believe the critics, it’s not coming as easily as she thought it would.  But my money is on Oprah because she LOVES what she does so much, that she will make it work – even if that means accepting and learning from failure.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…those are TV stars, business moguls, people who’s lives you might not be able to relate to or learn from, but here are a few less extravagant examples.  Starting with me.  I was born a poor black child … oh wait a minute, that was Steve Martin in “The Jerk.”  But really, I was born a poor black child  — in the south to parents who’s beginnings were even humbler than mine.  My love of listening to and guiding others to find their purpose has become a way of life for me.  There’s a place in the world for people who need what I do and I’ve been able to turn it into a very successful career.  First in corporate HR, then in corporate coaching and now in personal growth.   It was who I was born to be.

The husband of a dear friend of mine walked away from a high paying job – even though they had a new mortgage and two small children.  He took a giant leap of faith.  Casting away the safety net he ventured out to find the job he wanted.  Crazy right?  But he followed his dream and his heart and now has accepted a position that’s tailor-made for him.  Think he’s as happy as Donald Trump today?

My book LIES That Limit is filled with stories about people who denied themselves the pursuit of their dreams and have since shed the limiting LIES to follow their hearts.  So I ask you, who’s dream are you actually living?  Even if you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, why not be poor doing something you LOVE?   Where’s the risk?

Doing something you LOVE makes the inevitable obstacles much easier to overcome.   It might take some creativity to find a way to get paid for what you LOVE, but you’re already using your creative energy to do what someone else thinks is worthwhile.   It will likely take several tries and maybe a failure or two.  The stories we hear about overnight sensations are rarely — if ever — true.  The difference is that LOVE carried them through the tough times, the hours of rehearsing, the years of schooling, the rejections and the hurtful doubting of others.

There are many things that come along and take our eyes off the prize.  And we devise solutions that seem to be expedient and but they’re only temporary.  The “I’ll take any job to pay my bills” is a trap – one that keeps you bound to a life you despise and one that likely furthers the dreams of someone else.

That voice calling you toward your true purpose is leading you to the ultimate prize – the only prize that will give you the lasting joy you seek.

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