This is a guest post by my wonderful wife, Judy Quintero.
“Do what you love”.
We’re all familiar with this phrase yet few of us really take its advice. Have you ever used it to convince yourself of a path you must take? Isn’t it funny that when someone does, everyone else thinks they’re crazy?
Here’s my take on that….
I think we were all born with a purpose and no map.
The purpose is what drives us. What we love to do and wouldn’t mind doing for ever if given the opportunity.
The map we must create ourselves. It’s created by knowing with full conviction where you need to go and not stopping until you get there. This map is written as you go or sometimes in sections, tweaking it along the way a little to the North, left or right, etc.
If I had a penny for every single time someone tells me, “I’m tired but I don’t know why”, I’d be writing this sitting in my 80 foot yacht. This feeling of being “tired” groggy, or a case of the walking dead, I believe is just your heart sending signals to your brain that we can’t keep going the wrong way. It’s your heart saying, “I need to find my purpose, please. “
Your brain’s response is to send the archenemy, Fear. Brain needs to know you’re ready for anything that comes your way (like those that will think you’re crazy). You must believe in your heart that Fear is a giant bully, only if you let him. You must push Fear hard, and drag his ass to the ground. Once Fear is laying on the ground panting for breath and afraid of you, this is when the brain knows it can’t mess with you. Put on your walking shoes warrior, you’re ready for that road ahead. You can handle bad weather, people’s negative comments or any other negative influence that will try darn hard to stop you along the way. All these are needed in order to test you on how bad you really want it. Next thing you know, the brain and the heart work together to draft out that map we all want to find.
If you’ve read “What’s The Worst That Can Happen”, you’ll come to terms that finding that map will take courage, determination and perseverance but it’s not life threatening. You’ll just be asked every single day, “how bad do you want it?” Don’t use family or upbringing or even age as an excuse. If you want it bad, you’ll find a way.
When I was younger I would always say I wanted to create Art and help people when I grew up. My Cuban mother’s response to that would always be… “Most artists are drug addicts that live dirty lifestyles” (for years I thought she was referring to laundry). Oh, by the way, my Dad, is an artist. His art provided enough for my mother to stay at home with us, a car of our choice when we graduated high school, and it put all three of his kids through college. He never did drugs or lived a “dirty” lifestyle (my Mom did his laundry ). He loved his family and wife and this made us happy. We were middle class immigrants living in the land of opportunity, and he took full advantage of all those opportunities.
Her response to the helping people part was just as encouraging and enthusiastic…”Are you nuts? Don’t you know all those social workers are crazy because they can’t let go of their jobs when they get home from work” or “They’re all dying of hunger because the government hardly pays them anything”. So I grew up thinking that my interests would only lead me to become a starving lunatic or a drug addict. Who said anything about being a social worker? I wanted to help people. There are so many other ways!!! I wish I knew back then what I know now. Her fear for me stopped me from chasing after my purpose. She dreamt of me becoming a nurse because they made lots of money. Both of us never took into account that I fainted at the sight of blood. I went as far as applying for nursing school! She said I would get over the fainting “thing”. Needless to say, that never happened. This fear led me to roam around College empty inside trying to find where I belonged. I wanted to create with my hands. I ended up doing everything but. I can’t say I’m not grateful for the experiences but it wasn’t me.
At the age of 36 I stopped living in the past and started doing something about it. I currently have a craft blog and I sell some of my art locally. I post things I do with my kids and people write to me from all over the world thanking me for my ideas or to ask me questions about what color bedspread they should buy or how to make crayon art. I have no clue why but people actually read the stuff I write about and ask for my opinion. Maybe because it comes naturally to me or because what I’m putting out there is not pushed upon or fake. With all the fluff on the internet these days, there’s nothing greater than finding someone you can relate to. My blog has taught me that people appreciate the human person behind that article. They want to know that sometimes your project fails but you get right back up and are at it the next day.
I can’t say I’m 100% where I want to be. I’ve had my blog for about two years and I have no ads on my site nor do I belong to an affiliate program. Maybe one day I will or maybe I won’t. Right now I’m happy selling my stuff at local shows, and soon on my online store.
During the drafting of my life map, I figured along the way that helping people is what makes me the happiest. I discovered, this is my main purpose in life. I am taking courses, workshops, reading books, and (my favorite) listening to as many podcasts on the subject as I possibly can. Every chance I get, I work on what I’ve decided to pursue: to help people. I study in my car waiting for the kids to get off from school, when the kids go to bed, or whenever I have a free second in the day. I don’t plan on ever stopping. My goal is to enjoy and to exercise my purpose for as long as I live. I’m reaping the benefits by just doing this.
So next time you tell yourself or your kids “Do what you love” say it with conviction. Doesn’t matter what it is they want to be that day. Say it and mean it.