Don’t Sacrifice Passion in Lieu of Paying the Bills

Have you ever felt so bogged down by your various responsibilities that you find yourself wondering what the point of the daily grind really is? Have you ever found yourself craving more purpose in your life? Do you think that you can’t follow your passions and pay the bills at the same time? You’re not alone!

Too often, we get lost in the daily minutia of our lives and lose sight of the value of having an outlet for our passions, hobbies, and personal interests. I’ve read about and spoken to far too many people who believe they are “stuck” in a job they hate/dead-end position/an industry they have little interest in merely because they have to pay the bills.

While I’m not advocating you just up & quit your day job, I am officially challenging each and every one of you to make room in your life for something you’re over-the-moon passionate about. Here’s a few ways you can do so:

Look past your job.

Nobody ever said that your job must be aligned with your passions. Of course, this is perhaps the Holy Grail of employment opportunities, but it’s also something that might not be in the cards for you right now. So look beyond the job. Are you a budding rock star? Moonlight as a guitar player/singer at a few local mic nights. Do you love to garden? Create one in your own yard or on your porch. Love the arts? Take a class at your local center for adult education.

Remember that service breeds passion and satisfaction.

Helping others is helping yourself–it’s documented fact that people who volunteer consistently have increased self-confidence, are less susceptible to depression, and stay physically healthier than those who don’t give back. Volunteering is a wonderful way to connect your life with your goals and interests. Hello, passionate, fulfilling lifestyle!

Revel in gratitude.

Still convinced that your job needs to provide money and fulfill your passions? What about having no job at all?!  What about not being able to give back or take on extra endeavors because you’re not able to work at all? Shift your perspective and you’ll be amazed at the myriad of benefits you’ll enjoy from doing so.

Be flexible, patient, and focused.

Perhaps you’re not where you want to be at this moment in life, but don’t let that stop you from working your tail off to get where you want to be. Flexibility and patience are sorely undervalued traits in our go-go-go, fast-paced world. Don’t fall victim to this negative groupthink. Chart your own course at your own pace and revel in the fact that you’re on your way to doing great things!


How do you fit in time for your passions while still balancing your bottom line?

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Freelancer; reformed spendaholic; risk taker; adventure seeker; world traveler; rose smeller; debt destroyer. My mission is to inspire others to live a healthy, balanced life one cent at a time.


Don’t Sacrifice Passion in Lieu of Paying the Bills27

  1. Great post!!! While I am a stay at home mom/nanny to our family with lots of work to do to keep our family in running order I make sure and fit in time for charity and volunteer work, without giving back I couldn't find true joy in my life. Sew, gardening, crafting and cooking are other passions I have but they all fit in nicely with my at home duties.

  2. I definitely know how hard it can be to hold a full time job, care for a family, AND make room for passions. Especially if your interests require energy, and you generally don't have any after all your obligations are taken care of. The turning point for me was realizing I didn't have to clean the house every night. Instead of spending all my energy on cleaning, I now spend it on my hobby, and let the toys lie underfoot and the dishes be unwashed.

  3. I have been making a real effort the last number of months to find better balance in my life and to let some things sit so I can fit in others. It is a really hard juggle most days but I want to make it work. I don't want to feel like I let my life pass me by.

  4. Thank you so much for this inspiring post. I really needed it. I have been feeling so bogged down with the daily grind and work, applications, relationships, chores, housework, etc that I have lost sight of things that I should do that are meaningful to me. I need to take more time to stop and think of everything I am grateful for.

  5. You're so welcome! I'm happy to hear that's it's coming at an applicable time for you. Even taking a small break (to smell the roses, perhaps?) will have so much benefit. And for the record, I find you to be a rock star for balancing everything the way that you are!!!

  6. Since I am not in the lucky few to have a job that I love(yet), I always keep in mind that my job should enable me to do other things I am passionate about. I also keep in mind that going into stupid debt will just hold me back.Sometimes, you just need to do something for yourself that you want to do, even if it may have a cost. Don't let life get the best of you. You should be getting the best of life.I know you already know all of this stuff though that's why I admire you. It's so awesome that you are sharing your story and experiences with us all. It helps a lot.

  7. Great post and very timely. After having had a career I was passionate about and now transitioning into retirement I realize now that it screwed my life balance by taking over from everything else. Don't get me wrong, I loved every day and still dabble when the opportunity presents itself – but I regret now not making more time to enjoy each day with my family and taking time for myself to get to know 'me'. It's taking me longer than I expected to learn how to focus on myself and to stop listening to the voice in my head that says I always have to be busy and doing something 'useful'.

  8. This is a great comment, thank you so much for sharing! I'm happy that you're now taking time to balance your priorities–it's never too late to do so! Also, EVERYONE deserves "me" time, and a lot more than we think. Congratulations on your retirement!

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  21. Great post! Like anonymous, I had a job in a field that I felt very passionately about. From the time I was 12 years old, I wanted to be a journalist. I thought it was one of the most important parts of our democracy, and I loved writing. I went to college for journalism, worked at the school newspaper, landed a paid internship at our city's largest paper, and then began one year of employment for a smaller newspaper in the next county over. And work took over my life. I worked at home every night well past midnight. There was almost always an event to cover on the weekends.

    I should mention that I met David right at the beginning of my employment at the paper. And though there were other concerns – problems with the order of the classes I took, so I had to switch majors and needed to focus on graduating – it hit me toward the end of that year that I didn't want that life. I didn't want to be so obsessed with work that it was all I thought about or did. I wanted to go out with my boyfriend and his grandmother for lunch on Saturday or lie in bed all day on Sunday without talking to an editor over the phone.

    I'm glad that there are people out there who take their jobs so seriously that they devote their lives to them. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as you feel fulfilled. I thought I would and didn't. It's still a struggle. I think I *should* feel like changing the world through my work, devoting myself to a noble cause. But I want to enjoy my family and my husband and the blog and home improvement projects and friendships. That was a big step for me, deciding that I didn't need to find fulfillment through work.

    But you're absolutely right that there are a myriad of other ways to find fulfillment beyond our day jobs. I hope to find more of that kind of balance in 2013. :)

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