The Beauty of Hard Times

An Infinite Holiday

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This week concludes our Summer Travel Series. Enjoy today’s post, and check out Friday’s finale: Adventures of a Septuagenarian and Octogenarian.

dragonfly - emma

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
― Confucius


WHEN we’re heading towards a vacation destination, a feeling of getting close starts to permeate the air. Everyone starts to get a little antsy as anticipation builds. Soon all the planning will pay off and we’ll be enjoying a much-needed respite from the world.

But, what did it take to get to that point?

Vacations are the culmination of a lot of hard work. In order to get there, most of us must go to a job every day to pay for them. We must also agree on a spot for rest and relaxation, create an itinerary, save for the trip, make reservations, and pack for the journey ahead.

In much the same way, these are also the steps to earning a living at the work we love. As Confucius implies in his opening quote, this is akin to taking a permanent vacation. The keys to achieving a perpetual holiday follow the pattern of a typical trip:

1. First, we must heed Oprah Winfrey’s advice to “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” In other words, we have to go to a job every day.

But what if we are at a job that seems to be soul destroying? This is when our mind must really come into play. Just as there is the right tool for every project, each job teaches us valuable lessons to take with us on our personal journey into greatness. It is essential that we change our thinking about our present situation. If it isn’t where we want to be, it is a step in the direction we need to go. Work your job to the best of your ability, but think of it as another step in your upward climb.

You will be able to say one thing clearly…where I am is helping me get to where I am going to be.

2. The next step, finding the destination, is comparable to finding our passion. As Steve Jobs encouraged in his 2005 Stanford commencement address, “…the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

If you don’t yet know what you’d love to do for a living, try asking yourself some of these questions to draw it out of yourself: What did I love to do as a child? What lights me up now? What occupations have I been drawn to in my life, even if I’ve never participated in those occupations?

You can also check out Stages 1-4 of The 10 Stages of Purpose for some additional insights into helping to understand what makes your heart and Soul tick.

3. Having an itinerary, or a plan of action, for our dream job takes it out of our head and into the physical world. Here, we can ask ourselves, what specifically would I like to accomplish? We jot down our goals. We come up with a timeline. This is a fun stage, where everything is possible, yet our job here is to start to move from “everything” to “these specific things”.

Make your itinerary real by creating a Dream Jar. Put pictures and lists of your goals in your jar to pull out later for both motivation to keep going and also to give yourself kudos for what you’ve achieved so far. This gets you actively invested in your dream in the here and now.

This is also a great step to involve our kids in: we can give them their own dream jar to teach them how to focus on a goal. This is a win-win situation because children have a lot to teach us adults about the power of manifesting. They are masters at it because they don’t let the ‘HOW’ get in the way of their strong desire to pull something to themselves.

4. When we save for a trip, we put aside cash. When we save for doing what we love, the most important items to put aside are distractions. Stephen Covey spelled this out for us when he said, “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.”

Distractions show up in many forms, but the most common come from our own fears: we fear being ridiculed for our truth and we fear we are not good enough to succeed. To overcome these mental blocks, we need to meet them head on with the most powerful weapon in our heart’s arsenal: action towards our goals.

5. Unless you’re cousin Eddie from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you’ve probably never shown up unannounced at somebody’s house for a week’s stay. Before going on vacation, we make reservations, either formally at a hotel/resort, or informally with friends and family. In other words, we take action on our vacation plans.

In the same way, we begin to reserve our dream job by starting to act on what we love: we train for that bike race; we sign up for that business course; we display a piece of artwork on Facebook. As mentioned in step 4, this is also how we overcome our own mental distractions (fears) that hold us back from what we truly desire.

6. Finally, packing for the journey ahead is akin to doing the work that is required to turn our natural talent and passion into our skill. We must put in the work to ensure that when our vacation starts, we have the items (skillset) in our luggage that allow us to enjoy the trip to its fullest, and to help others to do the same.

So practice your passion, and remember, no matter how impossible it sometimes seems, our vocations CAN become our vacations.

Here’s to a never-ending vacation for us all….


– Trina and Kirstie


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