I tend to get too many books going at once. A friend of mine from Seattle suggested that I read a book called Killing Sacred Cows. It is a financial book. I have read some of those in the past but not for awhile as they are not what all that interesting to me considering all the other philosophical stuff out there, but my friend used one of the magic words in describing it, “contrarian.” I really love contrarian, not in a rebellious sense but in a re-examining sense, looking at things differently, considering traditional ideas differently (much like Pagan Christianity),  and examing for truth. And after just reading the introduction I can tell I will not be disappointed.

The author, Garret Gunderson, in the intro, among other things, discuses passion. The terminology he uses is “Soul Purpose” and defines it this way: “…your unique set of talents, abilities, and passions applied productively and effectively, making tremendous impact upon the world and bringing the highest levels of joy and fulfillment for you and everyone you touch. It’s the mission you were born for….” That’s good stuff. And it speaks to me. It does this because I have not ever really felt like I was there in that place of my Soul Purpose. Maybe that is one reason why I am always searching so much, doing something new so often, changing all the time. Maybe I’m, in the end, trying to discover that place.

Briefly, I decided on medicine in junior high because of a knack for science and math and fixing things. And I cannot remember anybody ever suggesting anything else to me. But after being in medicine for 18 years with 10 of that out on my own away from school and in 3 different venues, it is rather obvious to me that I am not doing my passion. I have found a niche where it is livable, where I can tolerate it, but I haven’t found what I love. I can recall probably 10 instances in the last 10 years where I had an interaction with a patient that I would say I truly loved. I will bet that the cumulative time of those 10 encounters is about 2 hours. Out of 10 years. 2 hours.

I don’t want to get to the end of my career and retire because I finally can afford to quit doing the thing that I got stuck doing, the thing that I didn’t like, the thing that I at times hated. Does that mean that I just throw medicine away? I don’t know to be honest. I have a lot of knowledge and time invested in it and am fairly good at it much of the time. But I don’t want to miss my passion because I was too afraid to venture beyond the traditional, too afraid to consider how I might blend this thing and the parts of it that I like with another thing, whatever that thing is.

I have known this stuff in my heart for a long time. My friend from Seattle called me a few days ago and mentioned that I had been on his mind a great deal. He thinks that I might have something to offer his company and suggested that I read this book. We have a meeting via a teleconference scheduled for April 7th. I don’t want to be delusional about my current place, making it worse than it is. It’s not bad. I’m comfortable. But I don’t want to miss out on discovering my passion, because while I am comfortable, I am not thriving. I am not in my passion.

There a few things that I can name in life that I love, and maybe they will come out in the discussion that emanates forth in the comments if that happens with this post. Thanks for reading.


12 responses to “Passion

  1. I read something from Joseph Campbell about following your bliss. I quoted him on my last post on something different. Campbell speaks about following your bliss(what you love). If you do usually the money will follow, if it doesnt at least you have your bliss. But if you follow the money and it doesnt come, you have nothing.

  2. John. I like that idea. Although I confess that at this point I am not all that concerned about making a gob of money and being “rich.” I want to make enough to do what Karmen and I want to do and to be able to plan ahead in a responsible manner. Other than that, the money is not what I am after so much as I am after that bliss of which you speak.

  3. I work one job to pay the bills, a job that I like, nothing great though. The same kind of deal, just drifted into it because it was the direction to which I was pointed years ago.

    I work my second job so I can provide more for my kids and for myself. They get to do all the expensive Jewish stuff and I get to do work that I find meaningful. I may never be a rabbi but right now I work for two of them and that I enjoy. I get to interact with them, listen to them talk and learn firsthand from them. Sometimes I wish I could quit one job so I wouldn’t get so tired, but I can’t give up this job, not even on the days I swear I’m insane to want to work there!

    Plus, I do what I love in my free time, study, write, think about it all. And now I’m finding more opportunities to combine all that with the part-time job and with my life as a congregant. My talents are becoming evident and are being put to use. It’s fun, even though, at least as of yet, it’s not about money.

    It seems to me as life goes along I’m finding my way more and more into work I enjoy, just as a part of living. Sometimes I think man I’m getting old, other times I think man life is so much better now. I’ve lived a lot and have figured out a lot.

    Not that any of this matters to anyone….it’s just my story. I do think, however, that’s the way life sometimes works out for us as we go along. It’s not huge changes, it’s just the little things that can lead who knows where?

  4. Not that any of this matters to anyone….it’s just my story(Yael)

    Interestingly enough, in the past it wouldnt have mattered. For some reason, now it does. Thanks.

  5. Yael. I agree with John. It does matter, and it gives perspective. One of my mentors once told me that my avocation was what brought meaning to my life, not necessarily my vocation. And sometimes I think I should just be content with the OK spot where I am so that I can then enjoy my avocation. Problem is, my avocation is triathlon, and that doesn’t really benefit many others besides myself or so it seems. Plus, it isn’t an avenue where I am getting all this other stuff (love of philosophy, desire to write a book, love of all contrarian for example) a place to thrive along with it. I continually wonder if I am missing something.

  6. Just wanted to be clear I wasn’t making the point that everyone should live like me. God forbid on both counts!

  7. I’m kind of in a similar struggle, trying to find my true Passion. Have worked for the same company for 15 years, achieved several patents and a comfortable staff position. Had products that I designed demonstrated on Good Morning America and Home & Garden TV, by yours truly. So I still have another 10 minutes of fame left. But even so, I don’t love what I do. How did I get to where I am? It allows me to survive and supply for my family. Several years ago I made a decision to abandon something that always intrigued me. The decision too quick and all money related. But I still have questions of my true Passion. Is it what was abandoned?

  8. Yes, when I look at what it will cost to study to become a Rabbi and the time it will take, I think I have to be insane to keep holding on to this dream. In time perhaps I will have to finally let this go, but not just yet. Yes, I’d be an old rabbi, but this isn’t unheard of. I have no visions of grandeur, just the desire to help a small group of most likely older Jews be able to live their lives Jewishly right to the end. At the same time I would want to continue writing because then I would know so much more of what it is I want to know….

    My dream….Does it take courage to bring it to reality, or delusions?

  9. sacred cows make the best burgers. good book.. looking forward to this one as well. i just put down a fantastic one called “If Grace is True.”

    wonderful stuff!

  10. Scott. I know you are struggling with the same stuff. It’s an interesting place to be. There are some possible changes happening at VC, and I kind of just wish they happen because that will force my hand a bit in branching out further from where I am. Not sure what I am going to do.

    Luke. I like it. Sacred cows making good burgers. Great!

    Yael. I think it takes courage and delusion. You have to be willing to step out of the stereotype lane and into the original lane. That’s tough to do and it sometimes requires some craziness.

  11. It’s always good to have the courage to step out and do something different. However, it’s alot easier when something else pushes us in the right direction. No one wants to jump into the pool to find out the water is cold.

  12. Agreed. It is a big jump to take with a lot of uncertainty. But maybe we ought to focus on the possibilities instead of the dangers.

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