The Paradox Of Following Your Passions

And How To Really Get Paid For Doing What You Love!

I’ve been super naive.

You see, when I was this young dreamy Pisces girl, growing up in Vienna, Austria,

My head in a book most of the time (romance novel that is *cough, cough*),
Heart in the clouds,

I thought that I would never do something in my entire life that I wasn’t truly passionate about.

I couldn’t have been more wrong for a number of reasons but to that later.

Fast forward a few years and I had the opportunity to make money from playing the violin professionally while growing up in Austria.

At first, it had been a blast.

Though, it was getting more and more in the way of my high-school studies.

The passion for music – as I was getting paid for it – seemed to become less colorful and it was eventually replaced by the desire to go travel the world; to fully experience what life was all about.

The thing I had not realized until that point was that passions change.

Yes, for some people there are passions that last a lifetime.

For many others, passions change quite frequently, or every few years.

As I am writing this, I am still figuring out why that is so in case you have an opinion about this, be sure to leave a comment down below ;).

Back to my story…

I made the hard decision to stop playing for money.

I cried on the day I quit playing the violin professionally and informed my teachers about it.

For years, I pondered about this decision. Though, would I be thrown back to this very point in time, I would probably do it all over again.

So, I concentrated on getting accepted to an American university and off I went, studying in Hawaii.

There, I realized another passion and talent of mine – writing. I set a new goal for my life – to become a published author of fiction books.

The thing that I do not even mention a many of my friends was that I failed.

I failed to become published and it stunk.

I wrote three entire novels and sent out hundreds of letters to literary agents and publishers.

None of them wanted to publish my novel.

I got one rejection after the next.

The more rejections I got, the further I found myself falling back into this dark whole of not knowing what to do with my life.

Maybe I should start to listen to my father who grew up quite poor during war-ravished Europe after World War 2 and went on to follow a strict corporate career path?

Maybe I should stop dreaming and start taking responsibility for my life?

And you know what?

It was then and there that I realized that even though, I was working and writing and trying to get an agent… I was not really taking responsibility over my life.

I expected something of life, rather than showing the world that I deserved to achieve my goals.

For many more years to come though, I fell back into the same cycle.

A cycle of trying to be responsible and taking on a corporate job to quitting said corporate job and working on living life on my own terms.

Regardless, it seemed like I could still not figure out how to get paid for something I was truly passionate about and it made me wonder about what ‘passion’ really means to us as humans.

My romantic heart started to slowly stop dreaming more and more.

I barely recognized the little girl and romantic teenager I once was.

My heart hardened. I became more angry at life!

Depression and anxiety set in.

The depression I think and the anxiety resulted out of this complete loss of identity.

You see, growing up my mom always encouraged my brother and I to dream bigger. To not be afraid to ask for the moon and the stars.

An orphan that nobody wanted, she was the complete opposite to my father. She desperately needed to dream to be able to survive.

The problem was that we still struggled financially growing up.

I asked myself, what was the purpose for me to ask for the moon and the stars and to dream about them, when those dreams don’t pay the bills?

After all, in this society and culture we live in, we need to make money to survive and to make a fairly decent living.

Yes, money is just a tool for the decisions we are able to make throughout our lives (big and small) but the older you get, the more you can’t help to measure your achievements based on the number in your bank account.

So, I continued to feel stuck and oh, so confused.

What was the next logical step for me?

I tried to be smart and figure out what skills I had that allowed me to add value to other people in exchange for money.

From doing random English-German translation work to teaching the violin, to doing some social media work and copywriting, dang, I did it all.

However, you see, the interesting thing about us humans is that just because we are good at something because we have developed certain skill sets with which we can add value to people and get paid for it in return is like DOPAMIN on steroids,

It does not necessarily mean that we are also in love with said transaction.

In other words, the passion subsides fast.

If you’ve ever been with a hot guy or gal just because you thought they were hot and wanted a quick fling… you know what I mean.

No way would you be able to build up a serious life-long relationship and commitment off of a fling.

This understanding and knowledge, however, did not translate for me into my professional life.

So here is where I got naive.

I thought that reaching the point in my adult life of where I only had to answer to myself (aka, the famous ‘be my own boss’ mentality) and not to some manager that is part of a big corporation, that it would make me satisfied.

Happy.

Passionate with life.

Well, it did not.

Not all of it.

How so?

Because I often times focused so much on the hot guy or gal in the room that was great for a short fling when all I finally wanted was a long-term, meaningful and romance-novel-deep relationship.

Guess with what you can identify a ‘fling’ in the professional world?

Money.

Crazy, isn’t it?

So if you’re just going after the money and you are in it for the money for the money’s sake – boy, you’re doing it all wrong.

If, instead, you’re focused on building up the relationship, the money will come to you and just flow ;).

What a paradox, isn’t it?

But it’s true.

So, what should I have focused on?

I should have focused on the things that light me up inside;

That make me get out of bed in the morning;

That make my heart feel all giddy and intoxicated with purpose.

In my crusade to “be free”, I have yet again trapped myself a bit.

This was a realization that I have come upon this past year.

Now, I am making the intentional steps to move my business and my life step by step to something that I feel strongly about and committed to.

One of the things I use to help me do so is to be one hundred percent honest with myself, take weekly self-inventory and be as authentic as I can possibly be throughout my content creation and business operations.

That is the paradox of following your passions.

First, you need to identify a passion in regards to its level of ‘hotness’ and ‘long-term commitment capability’.

Sometimes, you just know before even acting upon a passion.

Other times, you have to act on it first to know.

There is no right and wrong answer ;).

Second, you have to become smart during the process of self-discovery so to speak.

In order to fully discover yourself,  I found out that you have to forget about purely ‘making money’ while at the same time, managing your existing money in order to truly create that life of your dreams in the long-run.

I say, challenge accepted.

Regardless, I do believe that there is some truth to the statement that you should follow your passions.

Ultimately though what I think it comes down to is love in its purest forms.

Like I mentioned before in this article, passions so often times subside while when you truly love, you love forever <3.

In order to differentiate one from the other, we are in this constant state of discovery, identifying if we are lieing to ourselves in the ‘heat of the moment’ or, if certain endeavors are really true passions that we want to dedicate ourselves too.

One last realization I want to leave you with, just making a good income is not enough.

Trust me, I know.

There were (and still are) times I make a multiple 5-figure income per month and I still feel somewhat hollow inside.

So, I want to make a new commitment to myself.

And that commitment can be summed up in two words:

BE INTENTIONAL.

Let me know your thoughts about this topic in the comments down below.

I can’t wait to chat more about this with you <3.

 

P.s.: You might also like: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/02/14/people-succeed-life-others-dont/

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Hi! I'm Cornelia Pauline, the author of this pretty badass blog. My team and I have been running a full-time, international digital marketing agency for the past 3 years. We've helped many of our clients scale up to multiple 6-and-7 figures. Throughout this blog, I hope to provide kickass value by sharing my knowledge with you ;).

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