For a long time, at least over the last 10 years, maybe longer, I have had a vision of my life’s purpose. The problem has been I haven’t been sure how to implement it. I’m still not really sure of how it should all come together.
In my first post on Friendship Society, I talked about a prophetic dream I had as a child. In this dream I saw the name of a book. That name was “Friendship Society.” This name has stuck with me… haunting me perhaps. The name stays in the back of my head constantly. It’s like a little Jiminy Cricket that keeps whispering it to me. I hear him whispering but I then I shove him into a small closet in the back of my mind and tell him “Maybe later.”
I think to myself, “I’m not ready yet” and “I don’t know how to get started.”
Whether I knew it or not, I’ve been on a path that is leading me in the right direction. In my twenties I started reading more. I gobbled up a ton of personal development / personal growth books. I would get little sparks of inspiration from each book I read.
In my late twenties, I joined a club. It was a group of Jeep enthusiasts called The Orlando Jeep Club. In this club I learned much about friendship. I learned what it was like to be around a bunch of like-minded people. I volunteered on the board of directors for this club and learned a lot about running an organization.
Four years ago, now well into my thirties, I started a blog about personal development, Eden Journal. This blog hit on a wide variety of personal development topics. I hit all the standard stuff and also delved into some more philosophical and esoteric topics. I felt like I was wandering… searching. I never had a clear direction with this blog, yet I continued to write. I developed a voice and a style of writing. I connected with my fellow bloggers that followed in the same genre. Looking back on this time, I feel that this may have been a stepping stone to lead me to where I am today.
Along the way, though, I wandered. I tried to monetize the blog. I wanted to make some money from it. I got caught up in various things along the way after reading so many online success stories. I tried ads and affiliate sales. I made enough to cover my hosting costs, but not much more.
I think back to some books I read about Edgar Casey. Edgar Casey was known as the sleeping prophet. He had the ability to enter a trance like state to have access to universal knowledge. Many people sought him out to give readings for various things. Many were ill and sought cures to their ailments. Some sought financial advice. Even presidents of his time consulted him on various matters.
With ability like that, you would think he would be a very rich man. Riches weren’t part of his path however. In his younger days and on into his midlife he tried to benefit financially from his gift. It just never worked out. For several years of his life he pursued oil in Texas. He wanted to use his gift to strike oil so that he could be rich.
It seems only natural that one would do those things. In a way it’s the same thing that I was trying to do. But his gifts were meant to help others. It would be in helping others that he would benefit himself. Once he realized this later in life he dedicated all of his time to helping others. He continued doing this until the day he died.
I’ve been feeling a lot like that lately. Friendship Society is my calling, yet I’ve strayed into various money making ideas instead of focusing on my calling. I had hoped to start a lifestyle business that could fund my more noble pursuits. I tried starting a few affiliate websites, but I never had the time to dedicate to making them successful. In truth, I never had the drive to make it so.
In the past year I have been focusing more and more on Friendship Society. I started jotting down ideas in a notebook. I gradually filled page after page of ideas. Every once in a while over the past five years I would check the domain name to see if it was available. Finally the .net and the .org came available and I picked them up, holding them for a time when I could do something with them.
One week ago, SETT opened up to the first 50 people. I had been waiting for SETT as I felt it would be the best platform to grow a community. Friendship Society needs friends and I wanted a blog platform that would make communication between members easy.
I’m still not exactly sure where I’m headed. I have some ideas, and I feel like I’m finally on the right track. I feel like I’m beginning my life’s work, the work that will become my legacy.
I want to hear from you. Do you have that nagging feeling that you are supposed to be doing something, but you ignore it to make money? I know there must be others out there. Please share the life work that you know you are supposed to do but don’t know how you’ll make a living doing it.
My frustration is a bit more complex. I have an idea I want to pursue and I don’t know how to make money with it, BUT I am currently NOT making ANY money, so it’s a REAL problem. You can’t survive without money. And I have had my domain for a couple of years now. But let me offer an alternative to “Do what you love and the money will come.” I read it somewhere, I think in a book by Joe Vitale, and it really resonated with me. He said, (and I am seriously paraphrasing) “Don’t do what you love and the money will come, do what you are good at and the money will come, and then you can do whatever you want.” And he had a really great example. He said, “Everyone knows what a great basketball player Michael Jordan is, but what HE really wanted to do was play baseball.” And we all know how well that went.
Also, I had a cranky uncle who used to say, “No matter what you do, you will learn to hate it, so be sure to do something that makes a lot of money.” Sadly, I found some truth in that. Like two of my neighbors talking the other day. One says, “How do you work at Dunkin Doughnuts and not bring home doughnuts?” The other says, “Are you kidding me? If I never saw a doughnut for the rest of my life it would be too soon.”
And there is a gynecologist joke in there too, somewhere, I just can’t remember it :o)
I think there is some truth to your paraphrased quote. I currently work in IT and I'm good at it. It gives me a good income to pursue the things I enjoy and hopefully to make this dream a reality. I don't love what I do for a living, but I like it enough to keep doing it. I can also relate to the doughnut neighbor, for a long time I didn't want anything to do with computers when I came home from work.
I wish you luck in our quest. I can only imagine how tough it is to have a dream and no money at all to support it. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know.
"Edgar Casey was known as the sleeping
prophet. He had the ability to enter a
trance like state to have access to universal knowledge."
Doesn't this seem a bit--just very slightly a bit--over the top? I mean, do you actually believe this?
A quick glance at his bio on Wikipedia shows that the guy was undoubtedly (in my view, anyway), a charlatan and a mental case. "According to Cayce, five human races (white, black, red, brown and yellow), had been created separately but simultaneously on different parts of the earth. Cayce also accepted the existence of Atlantis and had claimed that 'the red race developed in Atlantis and its development was rapid'. Another claim by Cayce was that 'soul-entities' on earth had intercourse with animals to produce giants that were as much as twelve feet tall."
I don't really know what to add to that.
Anyhow, I'm not sure I'm really following what you're trying to say. You didn't really explain at all, in fact, what your website is about. And it seems you chose the wrong example to support your point that some people choose to follow their dreams rather than making money.
In any case, I recently read in an amazing book by Keith Ferrazzi, "Never Eat Alone," and in it Keith mentions that people are usually driven by one of three motivations, and they often come
down to: making money, finding love, or changing the world. Some people are of course driven by a motivation to change the world, and if this is really what drives you, you'll dive into it even though it might lead you to a path with few monetary rewards.
For most people, though, what drives them is money (or fame, or power). And of course, since people need to eat, sleep under a shelter, and have other basic needs met, even if they wish to change the world it's going to be hard without first meeting those needs, and these latter require money. In my personal case, I truly have a desire to make this world a better one, but I first must fulfill a few basic needs, and among these are to have enough money to support myself and the ones I love, and to enjoy doing what I do, which is traveling, learning languages, and learning new things.
Regardless, I believe that if you are really, truly passionate about what you do, money will naturally follow.
The three basic motivations you mention are interesting. I suppose when you break it down, the ultimate end goal is to change the world. Finding love and making money have an end point. At some point you can find love and that goal is complete. At some point you can make enough money. Granted not everyone falls into those categories, but think of people like Bill Gates that went on to make plenty of money and then turned to the Change the World goal. Changing the World is quite possibly a goal that never ends. Maybe this thought is over-reaching a bit since most of us will never feel like we have enough money to move beyond that in into the Change the World category.
On the topic of Edgar Cayce, I think you'd have to read more than the Wikipedia article to get a feel for who he was. I do believe that some people have more psychic ability than others, and so I am open to the possibility that he could have been legitimate. I can't say that I believe it, because I need more then some books to form a belief, but I am open to the possibility. Some of the stories of him helping to heal the sick and locating medicines that few people knew existed are quite compelling.
In any case, the point of mentioning him is that he strayed from his calling (of changing the world) in order to try to make money. Once he followed his calling of giving readings for people his life fell into place, and he ended up making a comfortable living.
For me, I feel like I've been straying from my calling. I'm already working and making a decent income, but I wanted to develop an online income to support me in whatever I chose to do. Every time I started a new venture I would get this feeling deep down that it wasn't the right direction for me. Yet I ignored these feelings and pressed on.
Now I've finally decided to abandon all these distractions and decided to focus on my calling. I didn't speak much about what Friendship Society is all about because I don't fully know myself yet. I have many ideas and I'm still trying to craft those into something that will make a difference in the world. Right now all I know is that this is the path I'm supposed to be (destined to be) taking, and I'm finally focusing my energy on it.
I'm sure some of this talk about a calling and destiny will be dismissed by some, but these are the things I feel. I feel like I'm being led down this path and now I'm finally accepting that and trying to make something of it. I had to finally admit that I have no idea how or if I will actually make any money doing this. It's looking like I'll need to keep my day job and pursue this in my spare time. Maybe this will develop into something that can make money and maybe it won't. Whatever the case I feel that it's what I should be focusing my time on.
People always say that if you follow your passion the money will come, but I'm not sure that's always the case. I'm sure there are plenty of people that followed their passion and ended up broke. This is one of my worries. What if I follow this passion and it ends up costing me more than I bring in. What if there is no way to make money at it? Is it worth pursuing even if there is no potential income stream?
I guess this lead me to the Change the World motivation. If that's the goal then perhaps I need to set aside all thoughts of money and just pursue it.
This is a continuation of the story, How I Became a Famous Pickup Artist Part 1. If you haven't read that already, you should do so before reading this article.
Papa was notorious for being in contact with everyone in the pickup scene. I couldn't blame him, either - he was the business side of "Real Social Dynamics", a company that taught seminars and workshops to aspiring players. Not surprisingly, he was the only person at the seminar that I knew.
In order to extract every last precious second out of my experience, I had gotten on the earliest flight to Chicago that I could book. I called Papa when I arrived at the hotel at 10am. I could hardly make out his voice. He'd been out in the clubs until very late and was still sleeping.
I found the young man, sitting low below the small bulb of the street lamp. He was homeless, his clothes disheveled, his eyes bloodshot, and his hair and beard caught and twisted in knots. I had seen him a couple of times before then, though never in such a state. He was...sadder than usual. I went up to him, and asked if there was something bothering him, more than the usual I mean. I made sure that I made that clear. He looked at me, his jaw slack, and his cheeks sunken.
“What...What time is it?”
I looked down at my phone and told him it was eight at night.
Upon hearing this, he put his head in his hands and began to sob.
I stood there, upset at myself for coming over to talk to him. What had I been thinking? What did I expect was going to happen? He stopped suddenly, his cries silenced, his breathing shallow. What he said next distresses me to this very day.