in life

Passion with a Dose of Realism

Would you jump out of a plane without a parachute? Yeah…didn’t think so. In life, in your career, before you take a leap, it’s important to have a plan, to calculate the risk, and to plan for possible scenarios and outcomes.

Today’s “lesson” in the video below is simple – pursuing your passion isn’t something everyone can do right now, at this very moment. For some, quitting your job, moving to another country and starting your own business tomorrow is impossible. And that’s OK.

I recorded the video below for one simple reason: To remind us all (myself included) that thinking things through, saving money and planning for a better tomorrow does not mean you aren’t making the most of today. Idealism must come with a dose of realism.

Don’t get TOO complacent and convince yourself that you can’t do something (because you can) – but it’s equally important not to beat yourself up if you can’t do it all today.

You’re not settling if you’re being smart…

(Can’t see the video? Click Here)

What passions are you currently pursuing? What are you doing to plan for them? When have you had to take your own personal or professional leaps of faith in the past?

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20 Comments

  1. Excellent point. There are so many people and books and blogs and (insert communication vehicle here) that say “Go do it! Be what you want! Don't settle!” I applaud their enthusiasm for trying to make us all more successful and personally fulfilled people, but sometimes they forget to tell you that they didn't just wake up with a crazy idea one day and then quit their job by lunchtime. Thanks for vocalizing the often unspoken “calculated” part of taking the risk to follow your bliss.

    As my mom always said, “If you're going to do it, take the time to do it right.”

  2. This makes so much sense it's ridiculous. Money can be a huge part of making a big change in your life, and once you make the change, there's an added sense of accomplishment in that you planned and spent a lot of time getting ready. I think it's more rewarding that way.

  3. Exactly Colleen – the enthusiasm and inspiration provided by others is great, but as you said, it usually takes a little planning before taking a leap into the unknown. Sometimes, you'll be thrust in a direction you didn't expect (as I was 6 months ago when I was let go from my 9-5), but there was still a lot of thought put into the decision I made to start my own business – a lot of thought, and support from my wife, family and friends.

    Thanks for the comment! Have a great week!

  4. Well thanks Cassidy. I agree – it seems obvious, but I think we get caught up in the 'go do it now' chatter because it's sexier than someone saying something like this, “Be smart, think before you jump, etc”. We've been indoctrinated with the 'life is short' mantra (and I agree, it is short) – but that doesn't mean a little calculation and realism shouldn't be a part of the mix.

    Thanks for coming by!

  5. Nice post Matt – I think people get confused between the ideas of setting goals and living for the future. A professor I really respect taught me that tomorrow is not a guarantee and we are stupid to believe that it is. Don't live your life always looking ahead waiting for something that's coming. However, that doesn't mean you can't have plans. Just make sure you are aware of today.

  6. Awesome post, Matt. Can definitely relate. Currently enduring a less than ideal situation in order to fund my future plans. Sometimes it's hard, but keeping one eye on the future is a reminder that it'll all be worth it.

  7. Agreed 100%. Living for tomorrow means your missing out on today, but having a plan for your future is almost always necessary to actually getting there. Figuring out what you love, defining what you're passionate about, determining what you want and need – these are all pre-requisites before you get out there and, you know, actually do whatever it is you want to do!

  8. You're on the right track. Even though I'm living an amazing life right now, I'm still not 100% where I want to be – but I'm working toward getting there – everyday I get a little bit closer, I figure something else out, I learn and grow – always with one eye on the future and where I want myself to be. Cheers!

  9. Agreed that it does get a bad rep – and should in some instances because people DO often hold themselves back by saying “it's not realistic” – but as you said, 'when done/used correctly' it's the key to achieving those idealistic dreams…

  10. Brilliant post, Matt! I too focus so much of my time and energy pursuing my passion(s). At times, I can get impatient and want to do everything RIGHT NOW. When at times, it would have been better for me to think things through, do some initial planning and then take the plunge. That point of planning out your next big move often gets lost. It's just as important to be responsible in the pursuit of your passion by making sure you can pay the bills and what not.

  11. Love it, Matt! Yes, it feels great to be totally enthusiastic about breaking free to pursue one's dreams. At the same time, one must do what works for that person at this particular time in his/her life.

    Like you said, not everyone can just quit their jobs and move to another country just like that. Some of us would love to but until we take the necessary steps to get to where we need to be, coming into work tomorrow and telling our boss off might not be such a great idea. As long as we're being smart about it. :)

  12. Irresponsible pursuit of passions usually leads to following short in your pursuit. Like it or not, a little planning and calculation goes a long way – it's not as sexy to talk about on blogs and whatnot, but the planning phase is the most critical phase of the decision making process aside from actually taking action.

    That's not to say spontaneity isn't pretty awesome in it's own right – but every decision in life cannot be made on a whim…

  13. What I love about our discussion today, Nina is that you HAVE a plan – which, as I mentioned to Colin, is the hardest part of the process – figuring out what you need and how you're going to get there is the hard part, actually taking the leap, once you've planned things out and made an educated decision? That's easy.

    In my case, I had to think fast and make that decision on the fly, but that's not to say I didn't put a lot of thought into my decision to go on my own – I think about the decision every single day and am constantly looking forward into the future and figuring out how I can get to where I want to be…

    Thanks for coming by Nina! Hope you'll be a regular over in these parts!

  14. I agree! I think people try not to entertain this thought because it might get in the way of fully pursuing their dreams, and they're afraid of being 'stuck' knowing that they have to put up with their (sucky) jobs in order to GET to that dream.

    Sometimes, people also tend to ignore the fact that it takes A LOT of hard work to pursue a dream! That it's not always going to be a happy journey, but the steps of getting there will be totally worth it. :)

    I'm glad that you pointed this out, because we all needed to be reminded of this :)

    Have an awesome day!

  15. Howdy Matt

    This video seems like something I would talk about to encourage the average person to not settle for whats going on in their lives. Having passion for something is like no other my friends.

    My passing is Internet Marketing period, its my life..not my job, and that's a big differences.

    Thanks Matt

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

  16. We're quick to point out the destination and talk about how great it is, but not often do we discuss the journey, the difficult obstacles that must be overcome to get to where we want to be. I'm an idealist, but I'm also very much a realist (I know…they contradict). I have big goals and dreams for myself and my family, but the realist in me knows that it's going to take a lot of hard work, late nights, and early mornings to get there :)

  17. Yeah, you're 100% right, absolutely positively. But I hate money. And realism. But I think you do need a healthy dose of both before jumping into your passion head first. As much as I love him, Gary Vee is totally guilty of making many of us believe as long as we love something enough we can make a living doing it. That said… sometimes you need to just jump or else you'll NEVER follow your passions/attack your dreams/etc etc. I think it depends on what kind of personality you have.

  18. Thank you for saying this. I sometimes get tired of hearing people say “just do it!” Everything is not that easy. As you know, I've been trying to get to Chicago for awhile. I have a friend moving to Chi-town this weekend, and if I found a job in time we were hoping to room together. At times when my job search wasn't going well I contemplated committing to Chicago, just so I would have a roommate. Thankfully, I realized the “I'll figure it out” mentality wasn't the smartest move.

    Now I'm happy to report that I have accepted a position in Chicago and will be moving in a couple weeks! I did not make the deadline my friend needed in order for us to room together. But we will still be living in the same city, and I'll have the financial means to support myself.

    If you stay positive and continue to move forward, you will get to where you want to be.

  19. Makes sense. The entire “pursue your passion” movement has reached a point of jumping off a cliff without seeing what’s down below. But, perhaps nobody needs money? Because if they did, they’d still work at what pays the bills.