Finding Your Passion
The Three Questions

A few weeks ago, I got a quick blackberry email from a friend with a simple five word message:

"How do I change careers?"

I sent him the url of this blog, and told him to consider the exercises on January 7th, 8th, and 9th) as “homework.” To be honest, I didn’t really expect him to actually do it, but this week, he emailed me several pages of thoughts that those articles generated. So I figured if he’s that motivated, I just had to buy him dinner.

So just this morning, we made a dinner date. We can't do it for about a month, but we agree that since the issues are long term, that should be ok.

Meanwhile, I found a much abbreviated version of the "Passion Test" in an article on Life Planning in the February issue of Investment Advisor magazine. They represent a cross between the exercises I pointed my friend to and my five star book recommendation, Chasing Daylight, which was written by a successful CEO who was given three months to live, and chronicles how he managed his time during those final months.

So fresh from the Kinder Istitute of Life Planning, and Investment Advisor Magazine, here are the three questions:

1. Assume you've got all the money you need. What would you do with it? How would you live? - This two-part question addresses the same issue as my "You Just Won the Lottery" exercise. Since most of us feel constrained by money limitations, our perceived lack of money inhibits our ability to free our mind to pursue what we really want to do with our lives.

2. You see your doctor who diagnoses a rare illness in which you'll be just fine for five years and then you will suddenly, painlessly die. How will you live those five years? - This question differs from the scenario in Chasing Daylight only in the amount of time you are given, but the point is the same. If we could live our daily lives with the perspective of short timers, how differently would we live?

3. You see your doctor and he says you only have 24 hours to live. What did you miss? Who did you not get to be? What did you not get to do? - This scenario, while similar to the previous, focuses on our deathbed perspective (i.e. how we will feel LOOKING BACK on our lives, when all the time remaining will be taken up by saying goodbye. As the old saying goes, "Nobody on their deathbed ever wishes they'd spent more time at the office."

My career-frustrated friend, though in his late 30s, also touched on this point in his note to me:

"Time is the REAL treasure (as you noted in your Jan 9 blog). I realized a while ago that I can always make more money. No matter how much I spend, I can always work and make more. However, once I spend time, its gone forever."

I think I may start working on re-massaging my chapters on finding your passion. I will, of course, keep you posted. :-) Bob

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