BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL
Nov. 7, 2015, Ottawa, ON - Nothing comes easy.
The more you work, the better the opportunities that will eventually present themselves. However, I think the misunderstanding here lies in the two most pivotal words from that sentence, “M-O-R-E" and "W-O-R-K.” But is the answer really more work, or just the right work?
I, myself, have also been a pawn of the over-arching social narrative. Sure, they will all tell you “you just need to keep putting resumes out,” or “you’ve got to put your best foot forward,” or “you just need to impress the right people,” or, even more commonly, “you need to have the right connections.”
To which I say: “you need to do what you love.”
Far too often we become overly focused on getting what we think we want, rather than pursuing what we actually do want, that we forget that putting love into our work is what makes that work worthy of doing in the first place.
Scholastically, I've achieved a degree in marketing and a post-graduate certificate in corporate communications & public relations. And do you know what these accreditations have afforded me? Knowledge. But knowledge without the wisdom of knowing results in the pursuit of what we think we want, bypassing what we actually do want.
I love art.
Ask me why I went to school and I will tell you, “because I wanted to.” Not to get a job, or to make lots of money (though both of these would be pretty sweet right now - and definitely make a few people really happy). I wanted clarity. I wanted to simply understand for the sake of understanding. If I had pursued the good old pipe-dream of making loads of money without ever being happy, I would have become an accountant or a financier - both viable options for me, as I was relatively good at both. But, what was I truly being called to do by my inner-self? Exactly what I’m doing right now. Sheer contentment.
Accompanying my scholastic pedigree, I’ve also pursued and attained my black belt in nerkin ouj. I am also currently pursuing my yoga certificate from Life Cosmic. Again, why, you ask? Not because they will afford me loads of money, but because I wanted to. Because I love doing what I love to do.
In doing what we want, we are better afforded the skills, the passion and the drive to do what we want most. To do what we love. In that way, work doesn’t seem like work anymore, it seems like play.
Take for example someone who has become a lawyer. Not because they wanted to, but because someone forced them to. We have so many internal and external social narratives that are constantly being played on us, pressuring us to follow some unrecognizable or even achievable dream: to make loads of money and live a happy life. To make your parents proud. The boundless pursuit of happiness. Yet, how can you make lots of money and live a happy life if you hate what it is that you do, despite all the money in the world? True happiness can only come from within.
We’ve heard countless stories of CEOs and top executives quitting their jobs to follow their life-long passions. To which I ask: why waste your life pursuing something you didn’t want, just to break at 50 and follow something you knew in your heart all along? Desire.
The desire to be accepted; the desire to make people happy; the desire to play a role; the desire to make lots of money. The desire to do what we’ve always been told was right; the desire to avoid fear of the unknown; the desire to stay comfortable in your comfort zone. And yet, every “successful” person will tell you that nothing good was ever built from comfort zones. Success, by its truest definition, is going to bed at night, happy over what you've done that day. Break out of your own social narrative and recognize the real truth: only you can make you happy. In whatever form that is to you.
Now, I’m not saying this approach will guarantee you lots of money, or fame, or success. I don’t even think this approach will grant you peace of mind in the short term - but change and growth are always upon us. You may hate it in the beginning, you may struggle against it with gritted teeth, but in your heart, you will know that what you are doing is the right thing to do. Un-attach yourself from the outcome, and do the work for work's sake. That is true Love.
What I can promise you is that it will be a struggle. You will most certainly be miserable at times. You will want to give up and do something else that seems much easier. You will want to just throw in the towel and call it a day. You will not want to achieve what it is that you truly believe to be the best for your self. But, when nothing else right now is going your way, and all you can do is follow your heart, then why don’t you? Persist and be strong. That’s what you were meant to do, after all. You were meant to rise into Love.
In the end, what you will find is acceptance (for yourself and for others). You will find pride (not false-pride, but honest pride). You will find self-belief (not blind belief). And you will find serenity (in everything that you do). But most of all, you will find happiness (all of it coming from within). Not the happiness that can be found at the end of a stick, but the happiness that comes from the Self that’s shining through underneath. Become your true, authentic self. The you that you were meant to be. Connecting both of the selves - upper and lower - and that is truly a great thing.
We’ve all been so concentrated on fulfilling a job, that we’ve lost focus on building our life.
So, do what you love - because the only time is now.