Lawn Mower or Porsche?

If you don’t combine your passion with your work you will never achieve excellence and fulfillment.  I imagine it kind of like having a lawn mower engine in a Porsche.  Yeah, it will move along but it can hardly get out of the way of other traffic and it sure doesn’t give you the thrill and exhilaration that driving a Porsche should.  (I took a friend’s Porsche 959 for a spin recently.  It had been modified from its original 331hp to 615 horsepower – what a rush!)

Every week I hear from lots of people who are still trying to find their passion.  Here are some examples:

Dan, I cannot think of anything that just supremely stirs my drink. I have no passions or dreams. (I’m in my early 50s).  I mean, there are some “warm” areas. But there is nothing I feel like I want to give my life to. The old cheese has moved, and the old dreams are dead and gone. I’m looking for a new one.

 I’m currently working with a high level financial executive who, after 26 years with the same company, is being “invited” to leave.  He’s having to catch up with the new opportunities because for 26 years “I’ve had my head down, and pencil up.”

Today I talked with a 34-year-old who has a history of starting businesses “that have nothing to do with my passion.”  And then he wonders why it’s such a struggle to make them work.

I’m also working with a 48-year-old dentist who after years of frustration says, “I just keep getting better at what I intend to get out of.”

What’s blocking you from finding your passion – and integrating it into your work?  Are you convinced that work is meant to be boring and stifling – only a means to a paycheck?  Do you think that fulfilling God’s will always means sacrificing your true passions?  Do you believe that if you followed your passions your income would drop dramatically?  I believe all of these are false statements.

A couple months ago I wrote a blog on “Is Your Music Still In You?”  The response to that was so overwhelming we now have produced business card-sized magnets with those words on them for a constant reminder to not let that happen.

What’s your reason for not living in your passion?  Share your comments here.  I’ll choose 10 of the most interesting responses and send you one of the “Is Your Music Still in You?” magnets.

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123 Responses to “Lawn Mower or Porsche?”

  1. davidbmc Says:

    There is no reason not to live out your passion. I’m living my dreams. It just took me 20 years to figure out what they were and make them happen.

  2. lorinorr Says:

    I’m almost 50 and have spent my life trying to help my kids get stable. Accidents and divorce have caused many set backs. I’m exhausted and have health problems, but I work every day and try to stay active in church. How does one get motivated to find their passion?

  3. Trevor Says:

    G’day Dan,
    I am writing from downunder in Australia. I am a forty three years old and still seaching for the niche/call for my life. I was born again at age 17 and have since that time been seeking to find a vocation that fits with my temperment, skills & giftedness. I earn a living by painting and I used to be so motivated to do that to the glory of God but somehow over time the loftiness of that has worn off and I keep defaulting to the position that what I do is simply a means to an end, that is to pay the bills, put food on the table and enable my kids to do things that they enjoy. My dreams (if I really had any) are buried under responsibilities and obilgations, I feel stuck, fearful that I can’t dream because I may drop the ball by being distracted by this dreaming stuff. Please help me!

  4. Jesse Says:

    This is the issue that has filled my mind for the last 5 years of my short life. I’m 22 now and find my self graduated in something in which I have very little interest or opportunity. The root of the issue is simply “knowing what you want” and for some reason I can’t decide this with the amount of clarity needed to really drive my goals towards accomplishment.

  5. Trent Walker Says:

    I just turned 39 years old in March and I know that my music is still in me. My music is still in me due to fear. Fear of trying something and falling flat on my face. Why I am this way I have no idea, but I can look back over the last 20 years of my life and see that fear of failure has been very prevalent. And now at 39 with a wife, four kids and a mortgage it(fear) has grown even larger. I do not want to be fearful of stepping out and letting the music flow, but I just can’t seem to let go of the ‘what if’. I did leave my insurance agency of 11 years, but after two years I feel as if I am still no closer to finding my passion than I was two years ago.

  6. Mike Says:

    I’m 52 years old, doing very well at what I’ve done for years – and missing everything. I wake up knowing the richness of life that is out there – and no clue how to find it. I’m a writer at heart; a photographer; a witness to God’s plans for us yet still cannot see how to find the dream and then live it.

  7. Kate Says:

    I am a writer at heart. I recently had to go to work fulltime in corporate just because I need health insurance. I have pre-existing issues (arthritis from birth defect) and cannot get insurance anywhere else. Now I’m covered with the best health insurance in the world, yet my heart bleeds for my writing every day. I know I could make a living at it- I’ve done it before. But, not enough money to cover health needs.

  8. Richard Says:

    My faith is too small. I will turn fifty this year and can relate to the dentist you quoted as saying, “I just keep getting better at what I’m trying to get out of.” I have been a professional fundraiser for 23 years and I’m sick and tired of it. But it is too comfortable here. I am afraid to leave, but I can’t stand the thought of doing this for twenty more years. I am a musician and a writer. I purchased your package “Write To The Bank” and for a day or so I’ll get excited and think, “Maybe I could do that.” We have no debt other than our mortgage, $10K in emergency savings… but I am just too scared. My faith is too small. I feel stuck.

  9. Carla Mc Says:

    I do not have a web site, but I do have a comment for everyone out there.

    I am 56 years old, I have had dreams, of always making it big. I even tried lots and lots of times. All to disappear as fast as they came. I have the motivation and the spirit to do this. But, I lacked one thing that would carry me through. I did not have GOD in my heart, I always believed, but never acted on his advice. I never knew how to listen, I’m in sales, and that is the most important thing a good sales person needs to do is stop and listen.

    Proverbs 28:19- I just received this today 4/16/08. He is speaking to me, slow down and let me bring it to you. We must not engage ourselves in things that GOD never intended for us to do in the first place. Why do we fail, because it is not the path that he has chosen for us. Stop and listen, and believe, he will show you. I’m listening now, I’m sorry it took so long. But, all things will happen in him.

    Good luck to all of you out there, I pray that you listen and your dreams will become a reality.

  10. Judi Ketchersid Says:

    Dreaming takes up a large part of my life. I’ve been dreaming since childhood. I’m 62 and have had a life full of adventure. I honestly believe the course of my life was set when I began early on to see all of life as a calling. This calling was to walk out what God gave me – ability, health, giftedness, vision to see the unseen, and the will to push forward in prayer and focus on my goal when the going got tough. He will be there for us! This is the kind of God we serve, and the kind of example Jesus gave us since He is present with us, even when we do not see or feel Him there. I am on my final semester now to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. This is after years of nursing, management, going back to college when it wasn’t easy or even stylish, being a foreign missionary in radio and developing a radio program for Caribbean women, helping my husband build his radio business (he is a dreamer too), supporting my two sons to follow their dreams and avoiding the insanity of worry about them when they decided that flying airplanes was their dream. When I started thinking about going to college AGAIN at the age of 59 and realizing I would be 63 when I finished (this year) I hesitated. Am I too old? After all, one of my colleagues before my last promotion said to me, “Judi, at your age, I’m surprised you are still marketable!” Whoa! Just thinking about that inspired me yet again! I jumped into the fray. I think one should always dream. That way, if the opportunity comes, and the door opens, you are ready to walk through, instead of seeing it as an obstacle and avoiding it. Go for it! Always, if you want to, go for it!

  11. Karen Says:

    For me, it’s definitely is a lack of confidence that holds me back. Plain and simple. I fear that I will not succeed and that I will let my family down financially. Having grown up in a poor family, that is my worst fear. So I stay at a totally unfulfilling, eternally frustrating, mediocre-salary job, essentially so I can pay the bills. I believe I do know what God wants me to do, and I want to believe that he will provide. But I just can’t seem to make myself take that leap of faith.

  12. Kevin Says:

    I am dead inside, no passion for anything. My dreams have long since been buried, forgotten and covered by successes and staying in the realm of “doing” instead of “being”. I know God is using this time for a purpose. I am choosing to trust Him and remain in His will. As Jesus said, “come to Him for life, and with Him we will have life in abundance.”

  13. Kiki Says:

    I guess one reason I’m not “living my passion” is that it’s never really happened for me. My passion was to be a wife and a mother, but I’m 38 and it looks like that’s just not going to happen for me. I recently left the corporate world to be what I’ll call a “free lance attorney” contracted with one firm. It’s great to be away from the structure. Being an attorney has never been my passion, but I do know what to expect. I took this job to be able to have enough free time to figure out what my second choice passion is and go do it.

    The other reason I’m not “living my passion” is that some of the areas in which I believe I’ve had the most impact on others have come from going through things I didn’t really like. I had some trauma when I was younger, and I have used that experience to do effective ministry with teen girls in similar situations. Choosing to go to law school and take over the family law practice allowed me to minister to my attorney father as he was dying. Not everything in life is about me. Maybe my passion is to minister to people others can’t reach and to be willing to go through whatever is necessary to make that possible.

  14. Matt M Says:

    Hi Dan,

    I’ve been receiving your newsletter for a while and this article sort of summed up where I am at. I’ve had a vision for many years to create a religious community in a suburban/urban setting, combining church and communal living. I was a missionary when I was young and got married and overwhelmed with the responsibilities of raising a family, but I never let go. I pastored part time while I worked. There have been a lot of ups and downs. Several years go through working with one troubled young man God resurrected the vision with a twist- to create a healing house for young people suffering from soul pain. I was excited about it but also intimidated because I never saw myself as a professional counselor – but I am a really good Spiritual director and pastor, especially for those in pain. The problem is that I feel I am often stuck and seem to lack motivation, I’m 46 now and have gone through the wringer a few times. I feel like I have a lawnmower engine in my porsche.

  15. Steve L Says:

    Yes, way too much of my music is still in me…literally!! My passion is songwriting and singing.

    Professionally, I’m a computer programmer in the aerospace industry, which isn’t all that bad when the project is interesting. And I’ve been truly blessed with a string cool projects. However, due to experience and political reshuffling, I’ve been “awarded” a new role that removes me further from the tasks that actually were fulfilling for me. I find that I’m more a craftsman than a foreman, and it drives me nuts to spend my time *talking* about work rather than *making* things work! I come home most days frustrated, exhausted and discouraged.

    In the last year, my wife was able to leave work to babysit our 13-month-old granddaughter full time. We live fairly modestly and don’t have too many areas left where we could cut back. I don’t want my wife to have to go back to work, at least until the baby is in school (but preferably never).

    I feel the most alive when I’m singing or making music, which I do nearly every day when I’m at home. In the past I’ve been involved in my church’s praise bands on bass and/or vocals for Sunday worship and men’s ministry, but my work schedule/travel and fatigue have limited my involvement there recently. I’ve had the chance to share several original songs with the men or in a church setting, and people have always been encouraged and edified by them.

    Musically, but I’m not a sufficiently accomplished instrumentalist on guitar or piano to be a self-accompanied “singer/songwriter”. I need a band in order to communicate the song as I hear it in my head. I can “get by” on one instrument at a time, so I use my gifts and equipment to write and record song demos in my home office / music room / recording studio. I think I’m past the “recording artist wannabe” stage unless God revives that…doesn’t seem to fit too well with my new Grandpa role! I just want to share the music that’s been given to me to encourage, exhort, challenge others, and generally glorify God.

    So basically, I feel stuck, and don’t see any way in the near future to resolve my current reality with my passions. My love for music will never fade, but any dreams of it being part of my vocation seem to have long since evaporated. I feel like if I change jobs for a more fulfilling position, then the new learning curve will eat up any time I have now to serve my family and others or being involved anywhere musically.

    What next?

  16. Curtis Says:

    Friday is my last day with the company I have been working for. It is a nice secure job, with benefits, a nice salary and a car. I have started a consulting business in my line of work that is somewhat specific. I have a paid for house, car and no debit. I have over a years worth of expenses in the bank and all my required tools and equipment paid for. Also the support of my wife of 18 years.This is the third time I have done this with , shall I say learning opportunities, on the first two. While the job I now have is a “Good” job, I do not wake up in the monings ready to spring out of bed. I cant wait for next Monday! I read a bunch and was turned on to you by Dave Ramsey’s radio program. I read No More Mondays and decided at 51, to again take the plunge. After my wife blessed the idea! Am I afraid? No. In one year I will be 52. If I stay at my job, I will be 52 with a good job. Going this way I will still be 52 BUT doing something I am not just good at, but doing something I love. Thanks for the inspiration, now it is up to me to apply the prespiration

  17. Travis Says:

    I have no clue how to find a way to integrate my passions & talents and live where I want to live. I’m hurting myself emotionally every day that I stay at my decent paying job and I just barely am getting my bills paid down, which I have to do in order to have the freedom to change paths. It will take me 30 months to get out of debt, some days I dont know if I have what it takes to get to that goal.

  18. Laura Says:

    I’ve never had one passion that drives me–back in high school the aptitude tests showed I was a “generalist.” Eventually, though, years of work channel you in one direction, like it or not. After many years at a large struggling corporation I realized my particular channel was drying up (literally–my group has gone from 22 people to 5) and I knew I had to get out.

    I’ve spent the last 6 months convincing management that my VP job had disappeared, and have just now been informed they will be eliminating my position with severance. So now I truly face “what’s next?” At age 48, it could very well be my last big career change. I will certainly be trying to marry any passions to my next endeavor because “excellence and fulfillment” are the two things I desperately want going forward. It just seems a little late to be unearthing passions.

    Wish me luck as I fill out the various exercises in the career books and please send me one of your “Is Your Music Still in You?” magnets. I need all the help and motivation I can get!

  19. David Says:

    I have always been a dreamer, an artist at heart . With a job that pays good, and a wife and four kids that have become accustomed to eating,I just never could justify the chance of walking away from it. I look back now and 20 years have gone by and I have done little else . Overtime required less effort than landing and completing murals. Like water , we tend to the path of least resistance . A good friend of mine has a saying, ” Nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream.” So True.

  20. LW Says:

    I have been working in ministry full time since I graduated college. For these past eight years, I have been struggling with making the will of God what I want my will to be. I have learned that you can not tell God what His will is. Having said that, I am ready to pursue something else.

    However, I have no other skill sets, and my wife and I are about to have our first child. Life is comfortable now, and it routine. We make enough money to squeeze by. I have full intentions of waking up each morning and chasing after a dream, but I have no idea what the dream is.

    I want to start a subscription based website offering things for other pastors and ministers, but I haven’t the foggiest idea as to how to start up a subscription based site. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  21. Johnny K Says:

    Though I’ve let a few notes emanate from my heart here and there in the past, my music remains entombed within me. Why? That’s something I’ve wrestled with, perhaps more than I should – but perhaps not. Crafting faith-based fiction that challenges and inspires people is a great God-given passion of my heart. But, Mr. Miller, I am honestly not sure why I’m not letting my music pour forth from my heart. I go back and forth between two camps of thought, though. First, I have simply let the attrition of life keep emptying my heart of its zeal. Sometimes, it feels like I have bound and gagged the voice inside me that says, “Woe is me if I do not craft fiction!” Now, the source of that voice has been kicked to the curb, maimed and broken. But I don’t know if this is the case, because not even reading great fiction or working on my own fiction seems to rekindle the spark, which it usually does. So, could it be the second camp of thought, which is that I am simply in a wilderness experience where God wants me to simply wait on Him until He lifts His restraining hand? Knowing that so many figures of faith in the past experienced wilderness times – sometimes of their own doing, sometimes at God’s obvious direction – I know this is a possibility. Yet, even as I write that, I hear the voice of passion again, wounded though it be. I feel as schizophrenic as the apostle Paul seems in Romans 7! No matter what, I will not stop trusting God and believing that He has put this music in my heart. Just maybe writing these thoughts out is what I needed to jump-start my heart … because once you know what to do, it’s time to do, not keep pondering the “ifs and buts.” Thanks for all you do to challenge and inspire people to live out their passion!

  22. Lynn Says:

    I’m torn in so many directions. I used to be quite the go getter in my early years and then I had a traumatic event happen the summer after I graduated from high school. I have never been able to get that passion back and life has knocked me down hard since. My husband and I lost over $100k in an MLM over the course of 13 years. We then went through the dot com bust. We are still recovering financially from all of that and are almost debt free. On a good note, my husband has a great job now but we can’t stand where we live. We live rural and we spend a lot of valuable time on the road going to and from church, the store, kid’s events, etc. Our house is not a home; it’s a motel. Even in this soft market, we are listing our house. I’m scared since the homes near his work are very expensive and I’m not sure if we are going to be able to afford anything that will truly meet our needs. I’m a stay at home mom who is also struggling with diabetes. I exercise like a maniac, am at a healthy weight and most of my days are still lived in a diabetic fog. So far, the dr.’s can’t seem to help me and we have spent thousands on treatment. I am worn out. I have some hopes and dreams of being successful in business, but my family obligations as well as my health have to come first. I feel like I’m always putting off my dreams until I physically feel better, we are settled in a different house, and the kids are grown. I’m still hoping I can get the diabetes under control so I can seize opportunities working from home to be successful. I think this proverb sums up my life well. Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is the tree of life.” I desperately need that tree of life. Even a branch would be nice.

  23. Dawn Says:

    I have taken every test on the internet to find my passion, I have purchased almost every book on find your passion, I don’t know what I want to do, etc., I have yet to find my niche. I agree with the dentist who is “just getting better at what I intend to get out of”.

    I’m not sure if I just haven’t tried enough things to know what really excites me, or if I have played this drum so long I can no longer identify if I have a dream or passion. But time is ticking, and I’m still taking tests and quizzes and reading books to find what I should be doing with my life and getting no where fast.

  24. Bernie Says:

    Hi Dan. I am 52 and was layed off almost 1 year ago from IBM after 29 years. It’s taken awhile to process things and recover; but it was me that had allowed the music to disappear from within me. I only heard the drums of pity. low self esteem and hopelesness. Thanks to ministries like yours – we will not lose hope. And as it is written, in both Matthew & Isaiah, “a bruised reed He will not break, a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.” Let the music play.

  25. Laureen Says:

    Hi Dan!

    I picked up your book 48 Days; read part way through it and started sobbing because I realized I have no dreams and no real passion in my life. I am 38, unemployed, and have an interview coming up that may give me a paycheck but no satisfaction beyond that dollar amount.

    I am beginning to work with a career counselor in hopes of finding out just who I am and what I was made to do in this life besides survive and get through it. As one woman wrote, I too am a generalist and can be good at most anything. Bah! I don’t want just anything, I want something that fits ME!

    So many of these other stories resonates within me because I feel that desolation, loss, fear, and hopelessness also and I don’t know how to escape it or break free of it. I too am reading, learning and talking to others in hopes of finding that one thing/idea to follow and getting no where in record time.

    In the meantime, I keep praying and talking to God, and reminding myself I need to listen for His response and leadership.

    Thank you for writing your books, and giving us encouragement on a regular basis. We sorely need it.

  26. Gregg Says:

    Blessings Dan:
    I doubt anybody has a disagreement with your premise….it’s more a question of application for me. I continue to struggle with identifying how to make money at the thing I have the most passion for….and that’s winning souls. Having to support two households (child support) and two children in college while they live under my roof is challenging. But at the bottom line is another factor I don’t read about. And that’s the importance of a strong SUPPORT group. I lean towards my spouse to be my biggest fan because that’s our culture, I was raised to believe that there is a partnering and an intimacy in that bond. My reality is she isn’t my biggest fan for several reasons that have nothing to do with her personally. I think most men are struggling in this same area. Too many I have met are content to put their wives on the back burner, sometimes for years, and sometimes it burns the man. My wife is very smart and capable, loves God and me. But I am a man and she is not. We are wired differently and thus we see things differently. And as a couple we have not learned that different is beautiful. For us who are both strong leaders, it’s unpleasant and risky to dream out loud. So what advice do you give to a man who is trying to follow his passion, make an above average living and make his wife feel like a queen?

  27. Mike Helton Says:

    My desire is to teach. I want to share everything that I have learned with as many people as possible. I love all subjects, though weak at math. I had a teaching degree in health, but took a high paying job years ago and let it expire. That job is long gone. I tend to be a perfectionist and find adventure and many lessons to convey in teaching a simple game of “kickball” in gym class. People call me Walter Mitty or Clark Griswald because I want great things out of seemingly insignificatnt tasks. I have seen high quality in my high school music program and the U. S. Marine Corps so I know it can be attained. My obstacles are the same as many, money and spousal support. Just lost my “real job” a few months ago so no finances. Wife insists that I get another “real job” and continually steps on my ego and ability to dream by pointing out that real men take better care of their families. I just want to teach health and physical education. Then I want to show the school districts how to make money through low wattage radio, publishing curriculum, internet information dissemination, and becoming self-sufficient, high quality and a model for the nation. See, there I go again. Talk like this really ticks off my wife. My issues; no money, no support from the spouse.

  28. Linda Says:

    I just celebrated by 58th birthday and am glad to say that after 35 years of working in government accounting, I’ve finally found my dream job. I work part time as a secretary in a church that is making a difference in our community and I love it. I can use my creativity and problem-solving skills for more than making numbers add up. I really struggled with what I wanted to do when I retired from state government, but God led me to this job and I truly enjoy coming into work everyday. I believe that’s what happens when you listen to where God is leading and then follow. I now know the difference between working to live and living to work.

  29. Benny Says:

    Hi Dan, I am a baby boomer and so tired of the rat race in todays world,
    Dan, I have tried several online biz opportunities and they all were junk, I
    have been knocked down so many times and I have about given up on everything but still have a small gliter of hope of finding a home based business that will work and pay good so I can get out of the rat race, I know the world and web is changing very fast so what can I do at my age to find a good internet or home base biz ???
    Thanks Benny.

  30. Bonnie Says:

    On this beautiful morning in Alabama, I used a few minutes to check my email. I have two darling children and take care of them full time. They both have connective tissue disorders which require many doctor visits, some that are 6 or more hours drive away. My dream is to own an art gallery. Right now, it isn’t realistic to pursue that dream, since both my babies are under 3. If I could realistically find a way to paint and keep up my own artistic abilities, that would be a start. Also, my brilliant engineering husband doesn’t support me following my dream until I’m 50. I’m 28 right now. So, the things holding me back are no support from spouse and dependent children. Thank you for reminding me to think about my dreams.

  31. N'jeri Says:

    Dan thank you so much for sharing your pearls of wisdom!
    Hello to all who are here!
    I feel so much honesty and desire here in these responses. Full of nearly lost dreams, words and music. My name is N’jeri. I am a 34 year old wife and mother of 3 wonderful children. I am here to declare to all of you that it is never to late. We can and shall let the music play on. Singing has been a desire and dream for me since I was 11 years old. With all that I have accomplished, the music never died. I will not die. It has work to do. Just this year (remember I am 34) I have came up out of my shell to give birth to my songs. I have had 5 jobs, 2 businessess and in between I became a wife and mother. Everyone around me would encourage me, inspire me and scold me for not singing. I too, was afraid and in fear of the “What if?” Well this year, my love and desire for singing took over the fear. It wasn’t until we hit rock bottom that I said “I have everything already in me to get the desires of my heart” We so often look at external things to complete and validate us, thinking it will keep us finacially secure. Nothing in this world or worlds after will do. We all have talents and passions, but until we decide to believe in ourselves will it come to pass. The way I have to do it by pushing through the fear and just do it. Just like the Nike commercial! I It is not easy to change your thinking, but the brain is a muscle that needs exercise too. You have want it bad enough. I know all of you have heard the saying of the dog sitting on the nail. Well when your in enough pain, you will get up and do something about it
    Everyday I have to tell myself to push through the fear. These are some of things I heard in my head: “What will my family think”, “What will people say?”, “Will I forget the words?”, I was scared of success!! My prayer for everyone one of you is, it is never to late. Begin to visualize yourselves doing what you love, and the way will be made. I started off by talking about my dreams, then I wrote them down, then I shared with others I could trust. Then I got fired from work! Can you believe it?? I had all the time I needed. I then started to put my words out there at a wonderful website that Dan himself referred us all to. From there the universe and all its blessings have been raining down on me. To all you…”As a man thinks, so is he”
    Be blessed.

  32. Aliya Says:

    Dan, thank you so much for your pearls of wisdom. I look forward to getting them.
    I feel so much compassion and desire from all of these responses. I too was fearful of what tomorrow would bring. The only thing we can do is to push through the fear. Do something everyday that will bring you closer to your dream. I am a writer, singer, poet and was born to inspire. I am also a 34 year old wife and mother of 3 children. I am here to declare that it is never to late. Dan referred us to a wonderful website called I was able to make dreams a reality by using my poetry and sayings. If I can do it, anyone can. I have 5 jobs, and 2 businessess. The music would never die, so I had to give in to what feels so good to me, I can do it all day and night!

  33. sunnykalsiphotography Says:

    I’m 29, and I finally had the courage to make a go of my 1st business.

    I’ve got a degree in one thing, I’m a qualified this and a practitioner in another thing.

    I have responsibilities, and I had build my business in photography alongside my day job. Even now, I can’t earn enough from photography to leave work. So I run my business in my non working hours. It’s a killer, it’s a drain on my marriage and it’s physically tough.

    But it makes me feel alive, I love photography and it gives me satisfaction. I’m happier, so my marriage works better and the tiredness I don’t worry about so much.

    One day, I’ll be able to reliant on my business alone…..

  34. sunnykalsiphotography Says:

    Sorry should have added, my wife is the key to my success. She’s allowed my blow cast sums in chasing my dream (even though we didn’t have it!), and believed in me. Just the other day, she told me “I’m proud of you”. That’s an incredible feeling, and I do feel blessed!

  35. Rob Says:

    Mike Helton,

    Sounds like you can be a personal trainer. That would help with the finances, because teachers really don’t make all that much (why? I dunno. Too many teachers?).

    Our issue is the mortgage payment, debt, and the fact that I like whatever it is I’m doing, but my significant other has no idea what she wants to do. We’re working on those first two items, but that third one will probably be a showstopper for the rest of 2008.

  36. Brian Says:

    The music is still in me, but it’s just not realistic to make a living at it right now. I’ve been a musician since the age of 4 (I’m 48 now). Any music related career information that I see I’m drawn to it like a magnet. But right now I have too many financial responsibilities to go hook line and sinker into a new career. But I do keep my fingers and toes wet by playing in a classic rock band with a bunch of guys around my age. I say if Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones can do it, then I still consider myself to be in the boy band era and there’s still a chance to realize my passion beyond just an occasional gig at the local bar!

  37. Jim Morgan Says:

    Dan, I think I have finally had enough! No…I am sure I have had enough!! For decades I have allowed low self-esteem, fear, anger, and other excuses to nudge me just enough off track to stop forward momentum. Laying in the ditch (so to speak) provided my excuse for not puting the necessary demands on my talents and giftings – my passions.
    It’s my fault and I pray now each day that it’s not too late to achieve the dreams I have had in my heart since I was a teenager.

    I am 56 years of age and now one year away from a major heart attack that nearly took me home. I am well educated (possibly beyond my intelligence) and have worked in sales for decades making just enough to be miserable most every day.

    As a result of this heart stopping, near-death, defibulating experience I think I have finally been “shocked” into a new reality.

    My passions are music, writing and teaching. I have a CD project sitting unfinished, a book that has been “nearly finished” for 3 years and a file cabinet full of unused, unpublised materials and articles. I have come to the place where I am certain my passions are Gods passions for me. I don’t want to stand before Him with my unused talents and gifts and say “sorry Lord”.

    Consequently, I am now up each morning at 5:00am writing my pages (3-5 a day) and organizing my book for completion. I have started playing guitar and singing again…for free (tips & food) at a local restruaunt in preparation to finish the CD. Starting in the fall I will be teaching a bible study at our church and possibly teaching your DVD series 48 Days To The Work You Love. I just couldn’t sit here till I died…literally.

    I have a super supportive wife and family. I am the one with the git-r-done issues.

    Now, If I can just find something to do with this sales J.O.B. (Job of Boredom)

  38. Elaine Says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for your ministry. I’m 29 (going on 30 in 12 days!) and on my bad days can’t stand what I’m doing, even though I’m pursuing my old dream and don’t want to give up after nearly seven years in graduate school without the end degree. I guess it’s tolerable, but it’s not my innermost dream. The trouble is, I’ve pursued various dreams a few times before, both times with disastrous results that crushed my spirit. I suppose I have a fear of failure and don’t cope very well with it. Right now I’m still pursuing my doctorate part-time, despite failing my oral exam after three years of hard work on a project I hated. So I’m trying again on a somewhat better topic (last chance!) and am afraid I’ll fail again.

    I know there is music in me, and it’s practically screaming to get out. However, there are so many different tunes playing that I have yet to figure out which is the loudest or the best to follow. Will it be as an artist? Or a college professor? Or perhaps as a science outreach director? When I start to get excited, dreaming about one of these careers, I then start to wonder if that’s even doing my best to serve God or if it’s all for selfish reasons. So I just keep doing what I’m doing, chasing after an old dream that will give me good credentials while working a tolerable part-time job to make ends meet, with the promise to myself that I’ll take a painting class when I’m finished. My dream is there; I just hope I have enough time on earth to figure it out and catch it!

  39. Camilla Says:

    The “music” has recently returned. I am 28, but I feel older. After almost eight years of marriage and 2 children. I feel worn out. The one thing that I know that I can do well and even better when led by the Lord is sing. I don’t want my passion for singing to die. At one time I had lost any passion that I had for singing, but God thru His grace allowed it to return. Event though He has reawakened the desires in my heart I struggle to give singing emphasis in my life. I feel led to make a cd, but I have limited resources. I know there is a way for it to happen. I just don’t see it yet. The music is still here, I just have to find a way to let it out and keep it flowing. Literally!

  40. marley howards Says:

    hi! I’m still young and having a hard time finding my passion as it is. My problem is that I know what I want to get into its just the opportunity and the ability to start on the path is proving to be difficult. i just am not sure how to start and if this continuous on I may just lose the fire to even want to start.

  41. Karmell Says:

    I am passionate about wine, everything green/eco (skin/body care, herbs, gardening, holistic and alternative health) but these retail type jobs don’t pay enough for me to live. I wish I could start my own business in one of these areas! Like a natural/green website with many items that are AFFORDABLE. This green movement has gotten “trendy” so everything recycled and green is expensive. In order to make the biggest difference for earth and humans, it has to be available to all incomes. Thanks for your newsletter and radio show!

  42. Valerie Says:

    At one time, in my younger years I thought I was living my dream of being a nurse and helping people. I did that and loved it. Then came childeren, and I loved being a mom. I went back to nursing when the kids got older, but it did not have the ooomph for me that it used to. Hidden under all that was a passion to rescue dogs. I had done some volunteer work when I was in my 20’s, then adopted 2 dogs. It took the death of my beloved pet to wake that passion in me up again. Although my passion is not earning me a living, it gives me such joy to volunteer and contribute to saving a life. So passion to me is not about money or career, but about true contentment and purpose. I feel this is where God has led me–at least for now. Your life is not a means to an end, but a journey.

  43. Joseph May Says:

    After 20 years service in the Marines, I went into the private sector, working in a field for over 20 years now for which I have no passion, wish I could depart from, but stay in because it provides an excellent income. I drag myself to work every day because I can never find what it is I have a passion for. Depressing, isn’t it?

  44. Alicia Says:

    I’m not sure but I think it’s “what I think other people think of me” are the reasons for me not living in my passion. I recently had a baby and I am now a stay at home mom. My husband wanted me to stay home. I wanted to stay home. It still took me months to decide and even longer to tell people my decision. Most people I know did not support my decision and it was hard to go against their feelings.

    I am only 26 years young. Over a 4 year period I started classes at 5 different colleges with different majors and still don’t have a degree in anything. I’ve volunteered in different areas. I’ve started writing books only to delete all my work. I’ve got business plans all over my notebooks and computer. I can do anything. I took a job at a quick lube when I had NEVER opened the hood of a car in my life. In less than 2 years I was manager of my own store. But I left that behind along with my college and many business plans. Why? Because none of them are my passion. Staying at home is not my only passion either. My baby will eventually grow and I know I can do something more while staying home with her. I’m afraid that if I do find my passion I might not try it because i’m too worried about what other people think.

    But i’m still searching. Hopefully i’ll figure it out and God will give me the courage to move forward.

  45. Debbie Says:

    What are my reasons for not living my passions? First and foremost – I don’t know what they are anymore. I was a single parent for 12 years – and my primary responsibility was raising my kids, putting food on the table and paying the bills – didn’t dare take time for dreaming there, I was just trying to keep all the plates spinning! I have been blessed with a well paying (and very demanding) career – that unfortunately sucks the life out of me. My kids are just about grown now (last one graduating HS this year), I recently remarried and have started down the path of trying to find my talent/gifting/passions. Working 60+ hours a week at a job I don’t enjoy is getting really, really old.

    I have spent a lot of years being responsible and taking care of everybody else (both kids and career) – and really struggle with even knowing HOW to dream. The negative thoughts pop-in there before the dream is even fully formed in my brain (does that make sense?). In a weird way, I kinda think it is a defense mechanism – i.e. if I don’t have dreams or passions, I won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t work out. But, in the spirit of “fake it ’til you make it”, here are the actions I am currently taking to try and jump start my dreams:
    1) Sabbath day – no more 7 day work weeks.
    2) Bible study on “Discovering God’s will in your life”
    3) Financial Peace (Dave Ramsey) class
    4) Reading 48 Days to the Work you love

    Thanks for the inspiration and helping me renew my commitment to find my passions.

  46. Bob Says:

    I’m probably one of the few here that love my job, my coworkers and my boss. The company I work for was once one of the best companies for which to work, but over the last 15 years it has sadly gone downhill and is average at best.

    That said, I can’t explain it, but even with the worsening work environment, I’m still passionate about my work and my customers every day. My role is being the “go to guy” – to address risk of failure or urgent critical needs and get them fixed quickly – sort of a troubleshooter. I’m not the guy who gets the big headlines, but I’m the guy behind the scenes that makes things work.

    The hardest thing for me is planning and taking time to rest – the workload is heavy and much is schedule dependent and I get exhausted. So taking time off is very much necessary, just to rejuvenate. I think a lot of people lose their passion because they are bored and exhausted, so resting and doing something else for a while is a good remedy.

    One of my passions is humor, singing and acting – I’m not a great actor or singer, but you’d be surprised at the many opportunities to sing, act and joke around the workplace to loosen up tension, defuse stress, lighten up the mood, raise morale and encourage creativity. Someday I may qualify for my doctorate of silliness.

    I’m happy and passionate for now, but nothing is forever – I’ve been looking at options for the future and have some fascinating ideas.

    I think the future is as bright as you make it.

    Good luck to y’all.

  47. Dave Peterson Says:

    I’m almost 54 years old and have about 12 years to retirement. I kind of stumbled sideways into a career in call-center management and stayed because the money was good. Now I feel obligated to stay because I need to prepare financially to retire. I have a very low bass voice and am a good gospel quartet singer but I don’t feel its fair to my wife to give up a good paying job with good benefits to try something that I’d love to do.

    What about responsibility?

  48. William Harpole, Troy, MO Says:

    It is good to stir-up the gift of passion in others. As you know my wife has written a cookbook and she is so full of passion about it that at her book signings she stops people going by and before long, they have bought a book or two and are excited to get home and begin cooking Italian.

    My question to you is how do I slow her down. She is writing another book, ‘Rosalie Serving Country’ and I can’t get any rest with all the things she has for me to do.

    God Bless you and your family,
    Pastor Wm. Harpole

  49. 48days Says:

    Pastor Harpole,
    Don’t slow Rosalie down! She’s a fireball. When she came here to Franklin, TN and cooked for 76 of our coaches, we were all blown away. Just hire an assistant with a wheelbarrow to haul the new cookbooks around — and count your blessings.

  50. Sonya Says:

    Hey Dan,

    I am a 38… make that 39 in a few days woman that will be graduating from Engineering with a Master’s. In this Engineering program, your book was listed as one of the books to read. Basically, this program stresses finding and making your dream happen. I must say I am have been beating my head on a brick wall everyday since being in the program and listening to your book. I have listed everything that I am remotely knowledgeable to stuff I am lukewarm about doing. The list didn’t spark a thing. Why am I not living my passion? I HAVE NO IDEA ON WHAT IT IS!!! I know what my passion is not… NOT WORKING!! (being financially able to retire at age 40 would be GREAT!) Now how to get there is beyond me!!! The job that I am doing presently is to provide a paycheck. SO I basically know everything that I DON’T WANT TO DO! Right now I just started selling makeup to see if it would spark some interest. Have a few hobbies (ballroom dance, playing the trumpet) that keep me busy also so we’ll see how these goes…

  51. bullishmoves Says:

    I guess its really tough to decide once you need some good cash when a great job that fulfills is the one that pays the least. I have been jumping from one job to another only to find myself getting paid a little bit more than the other, or less but i end up really exhausted and i tend to not last in it at all. I know what my passion is but it is just sometimes hard to rely solely on that. Yes this is a problem. Starting to become larger than life.

  52. John McDonald Says:

    My passion is to be a radio show host and motivational speaker about finance. I have always being fearful but today is the last day. My fear is gone

  53. bluedogjeep Says:


    I have taken your advice in the past and would like to get your thoughts again. I started a business repairing and modifying Jeeps. Like the neighbor you write about in your book, No More Mondays, but with Jeeps not Volvos. I am very interested in more information on how he went from a barn on his property to over one million gross revenue. I too work out of my barn and have been for a few months now. People have brought Jeeps to me from as far away as North Carolina and Canada. I just need help getting to the next level where I can quit my day job and focus on Jeeps.

    Thanks for you help.


  54. Bruce Noll Says:

    Thanks for the work you are doing! My story is similar to many of the 50’s+ men here. In my 40’s I left a successful position that I worked my butt of to get because I was motivated to try something new while I still had the energy and a few resources. I learned much through that failure and I lost everything in the process, and I do mean everything. It’s taken me a while to recover but I’m back, at least emotionally. The problem is not the aptitude or motivation but of optimism. My question is how do you regain an optimistic outlook after failure to the degree it results again in action, for without action, all the other stuff is just fluff! C’mon Dan, I need something to create momentum!!! Where do you start when all you have is you, literally? Then how do you keep it going?
    Blessings to you and to your organization.

  55. steve tarde Says:

    Even motivational speakers search for motivation.

    I have found some comfort in your blog.

    After many years of an exceptional lifestyle, I am working my way up from the bottom after divorce.

    My expertise is visualization.

    My ability to see the future as I would like to live it and then make it my reality is now the challenge of my lifetime.

    I will make it happen.

    Coming across major positive thinkers like yourself and your writing, helps pave the way.

    Thank you and keep doing what you do.

    We are all watching.

    Steve Tarde

  56. Wayne Brown Says:

    I read the entries thus far and it saddens me to know that so many are in the same situation that I find myself, not fulfilled. I am 58 years old, married 3 times and in the throws of a third divorce; in a job that pays the bills but kills the soul; financially broken; spiritually bent; diplaced from the home of my heart, Tennessee.

    As I aged and experienced life, I kept thinking that surely something would come along that would perfectly fit me. What I found was that life passed along and soon became a blur of days, nights, days. I recently came across a quote that I wrote down years ago: “Luck is when opportunity meets preparedness” and I reflected back on my life. It appears that opportunity and preparedness were never in sync for me. If blame is to be had, it is mine. I was too interested in things of little value but having high visbility, such as appearing the proper way (many thought I was wealthy when I was living check-to-check).

    I listened to a Nightingale-Conant tape to lift my spirits and heard the words that success is the pursuit of a worthy goal. It helped me understand that just trying to find that dream and produce a little music is cause for celebration and can be deemed success in itself.

    On a last note, Matthew 6:33 states, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV) As we search for that dream and to make our music, we should keep in mind that if we are seeking his kingdom and his righteousness, we are pursuing a worthy goal and that is success in itself.

  57. Kate Says:

    Hi Dan,

    I am enjoying reading these replies and comments more than anything in a long time. I wonder if you could comment (or point me in the right direction) on the issue of being able to afford good health care and stay focused on your dream. As I posted earlier on this blog, that is what keeps me from my dream of writing fulltime. I can’t get health insurance easily as I have “pre-existing” conditions – and I desperately need my insurance as well. I take meds for my condition that I can’t afford without my insurance. I know there has to be a way out of this but how?? Thanks so much!!!!

  58. 48days Says:

    Kate asked about insurance for the self-employed. I know this is a major concern for lots of people — and rightfully so. I would never recommend that anyone be without insurance. Here is a link to some information I’ve put together on this issue:

    Joanne has some health issues as well but I recently got us on a Health Savings Account (HSA). I have a high deductible but have a Blue Cross program in place for any major need. We pay $258 a month and have the added benefit that anything extra I put in our HSA that we do not use grows tax deferred.

  59. Sue Steele Says:

    I have had many of the same concerns and challenges I just read in all the above posts…
    I hope sharing this helps….
    I started using an Audio program that rewires the brain connecting left
    and right brain to help you get clear. Right brain is where your
    creativity juices come from and its not fully developed in most of us. This
    has made incredible transformations for me that Im actually finding out
    my next steps naturally and it greatly raises your stress threshold to deal with
    your current challenges. You get 100% of your money back and they have never had to refund. I love this program so much I wish I lived in Oregon to work there.
    Thank god for this audio program while we all finding a way to make our
    best life happen!. ( Its a form of meditation using science to enhance
    neural activity). They offer support and help to clarify values, for instance, which I think goes very well with Dans Books and materials. They also offer phone support and email support ( free with the audio program). For me it raised my seratonin levels it seems. Im getting clear again and making changes I would not have otherwise made. I cant help but be so inspired what it has done to pass on the info. Love Dans works especially the podcasts!
    I think this is a great partner to Dans materials which Ive benefitted. You can find more information on this audio neural program at the link below.

    Raise your stress threshold, increase creativity and intelligence, find out who you really are.
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  60. Tim Says:

    Is Your Music Still in You? Here is a story that illustrates many of Dan’s principles. It’s a 3-parter from the old Honeymooners tv show callled
    “Young Man with a Horn”. I showed it to my “Aspects of Work” class at the university I work at in Finland during our job search segment as a way to wrap up the course in an interesting way.

  61. 48days Says:

    Tim — Oh my gosh! That is a great clip from The Honeymooners. Ralph decides to improve himself to get a new job. Then he doesn’t get the job but his wife tells him how much she like the “new Ralph.” We can all learn from Ralph about being our best selves all the time — not just when we want to impress a new boss. Those around us are the most worthy of our being the best we can be.

    Thanks so much for passing this along!

  62. Jim Hipp Says:

    I’m 54 and recently became a truck driver because I don’t have a clue as to what I am supposed to do with my life. I never dream anymore. I’ve made some terrible financial, career and moral choices. I’m recently divorced and have nothing but a mountain of debt. I really would like to have passion…it’s something I would like to have. I have a some ideas but no way to finance them. I don’t want to be in a large organization and don’t really want to supervise whiners and thumbsuckers. I have vnearly 30 years of management experience going to waste. I’m afraid to try anymore. Appreciated the article.

  63. Kathy Bilz Says:

    I am 50 years old, I was dismissed from my job at the end of January. I have been looking for something in my career as an accountant. It’s a tight market, as I am in a rural area. But, last week, I was inspired to create a children’s book. This covers 3 passions I have and I know it is a gift from God. I am doing the illustrations, writing a story that will influence children in a positive direction, which I love. I completed this on Saturday, read it in my Sunday School Class (over 15 children) ages 3 to 12, they liked it and it prompted discussions. I am encouraged to move on and have more stories in my head with illustrations. I just need to gain knowledge on how to get it out on the internet, our income is very limited as I am not employed. Can you help? You have been encouraging and so positive. Thank you.

  64. 48days Says:

    Kathy — I love the fact that you have taken action on a clear passion. I am going to send you some additional materials to help launch your idea. By taking just this simple action you have already put yourself into a very small category of people. Congratulations!

  65. June Says:

    I am not living my dream because I don’t really know how to do it without money. I have the dream, I know exactly want it is but I do not know how to get it. What I need right now is the artwork, but don’t know anyone that will draw it for me without charging a price that is out of my budget, which does not inclued anything but free at this moment.

    I don’t live my dream because I am afraid, and because I just don’t know how to go about getting it done. So I just exist. I am 61 and have no family and no money for retirement and I am scared.

  66. Brandon Says:

    I guess I’m not living my dream, because I’m afraid that it’s a silly dream. I’m afraid to even tell anyone what it is, cause I’m afraid people will chuckle at me and dismiss it as unrealistic. It involves turning an amateur passion into a professional career. It would involve saving up some money so that I could take some time off of work (that I hate with unbridled passion anyway) to train more. When I’m at work, I daydream about doing this, and how I could make it happen, and when I’m off work I go do it for fun. I’m pretty sure that on paper I could pull it off, but it still seems unrealistic to try.

  67. TC Says:

    My wife and I married very early in life and were parents at almost the same time. I quit school and went to work immediately…blink…14 years later I was still at the same “job”. I was successful at it but abhorred it. I kept it because we have a family (4 children now). My wife and I have overcome so much but in Feb I left my job. We were fortunate to have saved up quite a bit of money but money runs fast when you are unemployed. I hated my job so much that it bled into all other aspects of my life and I felt the best thing to do was walk away. I prayed for God’s direction for years. God has not responded as of yet so I have dedicated the first full hour of every day (5am – 6am) to seek Him. I have so many big dreams but I am terribly frustrated to the point where I cannot be sure if I have any passion left in me.

  68. Tim Says:

    With the NFL Draft going on, there are a couple stories about past players which illustrate finding our niche and using our God-given abilities.

    One is about Raymond Berry, a receiver for the Baltimore Colts who I followed growing up. He was known for his almost insane preperation.
    Here is one excerpt:

    “After the first four years of being in the league,” Raymond says, “I asked myself, Where does this drive come from? I began to realize that I was doing this so differently from everybody else. I began to get very curious about the source of this drive. It was a powerful thing. I began to realize it was a tremendous gift. It had everything to do with how I was playing, and it just did not get deterred by obstacles. I finally realized God gave me that drive. It was just as much a part of me as speed, jumping ability, strength, weight. The desire and the drive were more important than all of them. They made me.”

    Like those of any pioneer, Raymond’s obsessions redefined his field. It just happened that his had goalposts at either end.”


    This is an article by Mark Bowden about the “Greatest Game Ever Played”, between the Colts and New York Giants. It’s an amazing story, with Berry as the focus.

    In addition, ESPN has a story about Ryan Leaf, a quarterback drafted 2nd in the first round who failed in the NFL. Author Matt Mosley notes,

    “But unlike some athletes with dubious pasts, Leaf seems to embrace his place in history. He acknowledges the pain of having failed as an NFL quarterback in such spectacular fashion, but refuses to let it define him.”

    Leaf is now pursuing his passion as a coach, working for a small college in Texas.

    Leaf says,
    “When playing football became a job, it lost its luster for me,” he said. “I kind of got out of the spotlight and life’s never been this good.”


    What is the lesson from the stories of Raymond Berry and Ryan Leaf? Using our God-given talents and pursuing our dreams, even after failure, lead to fulfillment and happiness.

  69. therollingriver Says:

    thank you for your continued words of inspiration

  70. Noelle Says:


    I’m a single mom of three boys! My husband left when I was 7 months pregnant with my third son. We had planned for me to go back to nursing school when the boys reached school age. Since he left leaving me with the boys and moved to another state it put me in a position of breadwinner for a growing family! I finished a degree in accounting, something someone else suggested and now I’m STUCK. With the debt, financial responsibility of supporting a family and fatigue it seems nearly impossible to tackle the training I need to do what I love! From a young age I wanted to be a nurse, I have all the pre-requisites for the last two years of nursing school. And now as time passes I begin to doubt my dream, wonder if it is what God really wants for me or if it is what I want for me. Sorting through all this is stressful, tiring and at some times depressing but I will continue to read and learn about myself and hopefully I will find something that will integrate the schooling I already have with a career I don’t DREAD!!! Thank you for your book between you and Dave Ramsey I am beginning to feel more able to move my life in the right direction and hopefully I can do it completely debt free(-:

    Thank you!

  71. Cheap Lawnmower Parts Says:

    Cheap Lawnmower Parts…

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you….

  72. Char Says:

    Dan, this really hit the nail on the head for me. Not only do I not have a clue what my passion would be, but I’m close to retiring (five more years and counting) and wonder if I even have the energy to pursue my passion…when I retire I want to retire! But at the same time I know having some extra income coming in will enable my husband and I to do the things we want to do without worrying about making ends meet!

  73. Sharon Young Says:

    I would like more information about your book. I am 45 years old and I would like to be in the very center of God’s will for I know that is where He can use me to further his gospel.

  74. chris Says:

    Work just strangles me. I am a creative person with no way out the Engineering Department. My passion is for doing animation, video, sound etc.., & I was almost there, but the Engineering Department sucked me back in like a gapping black hole. The dream is still inside me, but it is daily dashed & smashed against the rocks of life until I just completely do not give crap; that my friend is where the music goes. However, I cling to God everyday praying that is will change, & I believe it will; although, the waiting is enough to make you lose your passion. I am strangled by those around me, & it there is no worse death.

  75. Autumn Says:

    One thing in these posts jumps out at me. I’ts like different renditions of the same song:people at midlife–late 40-early 50–coming to a place in their lives where either their “dreams” have died or they no longer hear “the music” and are disappointed with themselves and with life. I am there and I have a suspicion that this is a syndrome or a landing in the whole midlife journey…the “service engine soon” light that used to flicker, now gone solid. There needs to be a discussion about exactly what this place is–fully “be in it”, understand it and find out what happens next.

  76. Dawn Says:

    I am a 39 year old wife and mother of a wonderful three year old boy who just started living her dream and fulfilling her passion yesterday! When I was in high school, I chose a college major because I felt college was expected of me. In truth, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I chose journalism, then switched to pre-veterinary, only to switch to music education halfway through my freshman year. After college, I worked for a bank, a camp for at risk teens, a day care center, and at various churches doing music and youth ministry. Finally, at the age of 39, thanks to the kind encouragement of my best friends, I’ve realized that ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a passion for emergency medicine. I was fascinated by the paramedics I watched on TV as a child, and used to pretend I was them. As I got older, that passion began to get pushed aside, either self viewed as something women didn’t do, or something I couldn’t do. Through it all the interest was still there as I signed first aid books out of the library to read for fun…even in college. Now, at 39, and not even close to the physical shape I was in when I was younger, I’ve started EMT-Basic training. There are many in my class who are aged 16-25, but the 45 year old, the 60 year old, and myself are all testaments to the fact that its possible to achieve your dream at any age! I know God is calling me to this profession, and that knowledge alone will get me through when I start wondering if I’m crazy and feel like giving up. It’s my prayer that by refusing to die with my music still inside me, I can help others live long enough to attain the same goals and fulfill the passions stirring in their souls!

  77. Charlene Says:

    I am only partially living in my passion. The reason it is only partially is because I have a health issue that wipes me out after accomplishing 3 big things a day (such as finishing a work task, doctor’s visit, or even major weather – snow storm, tornado warning or severe t-storms). Much of the time I was working in what could be called a brain fog.

    Currently I”m working in a position that allows me to work as much as I can. I am an independent contractor doing back-end web development. I have one client who is basically operating as Manager and Marketer. He has other people working for him doing other pieces of web design. Although there is more work than I have been able to do and my client would be much better off if I could get the work done, for some reason he thinks I’m doing great.

    I fell into this position because I hadn’t been able to upgrade my technical skills with actual work experience in 2001. There was no longer any need for my expertise and I couldn’t get myself in the door because of my extensive technical experience. I happened to be part of a chat forum for people with cats. The person in charge of the site learned that I knew Microsoft Access and asked for help for a project she needed done. My current client got concerned that she might be dealing with a fraud, and spoke with me. I started doing work for him in Microsoft Access, while studying various new technologies. Then one day he asked me if I could install a web application for a client of his. After installing it he decided it was too complicated for the users of the website and had me dumb it down. Now besides installing various open-source applications for his clients I also do some development of customized applications.

    Even with this work, and besides the health issues, especially the brain fog, I sometimes doubt myself. I doubt that at almost 50 years old I can really learn latest ways of doing web development. I try to keep up with reading technical books online, but trying to limit myself to just a few instead of all 300+ I’m interested in… I also get frustrated easily (part of the health issues).

    There is one area I’ve been thinking about getting into, and this is where I’m the least sure of being able to do it at my age. Again the brain fog hasn’t helped because there is a lot of technical things I need to know without having to look it up (like I depend on with programming if I haven’t done something in a while).

    But, just the other day some one at church prayed over me that my mind would clear up. And the prayer is working. My mind is clearer than its been in a long time. I’m hoping that now my energy level will catch up.

    I’m looking forward to what will happen in the future. I really anticipate continuing my work into retirement because I really do enjoy getting to the finished product.

  78. Aimee Says:

    Since my separation from an abusive marriage 3 years ago I have been working in retail to try and pay my bills. I was a nurse for 10 years prior to having my triplet boys 5 years ago. I was and am very burned out on nursingand feel God is calling me to use my education as a nurse to teach s chool. He has give me such a passion for our children since I had mine. When I left my abusive husband I took no money because I never believed anything we had was mine to take. My divorce has been tied up in court for 3 years and after offering me 7% of all we had saved ( I gave my hospital paycheck every 2 weeks to him in trust having no benefits and not even sure how much I was making) and invested, he took me to court for full custody of our children and all our assets stating that I owed him a large sum of money for leaving him though I have no assets and my mom has been supporting me because she believes in me. I allowed him to mistreat my mom all the years of our marraige evn asking her to appologize to him when she had done nothing wrong. I just wanted to ease his anger at everyone. I made him my God and he demanded to be worshipped. I have been forgiven for this now but the cost has been so high. I could just cry every day. I am a believer and have been trying to tithe. I know it is blaspheme to say but I feel like God has forgotten me. I have been through years of counceling and Bible study to learn to believe in the me God made. I believe He is calling me to teach High School Science but have no money to even pay the fees to start this dream. I miss my children so badly. They are part of what keeps me going when I just want to give up, but because of my past mistakes he has been able to make my seeing them or being an active part of thier lives almost none. He promised me if I tried to leave he would make sure I was only 5% thier mom actively. It is money and them that he has used to still try to control me. I prayed over attempting to reconcile my marraige but he has made it clear he doesn’t love or want me. He is still active in our old church but in anger has even cut off relations with several members including the Elder who was assigned to shepard him because this couple questioned his decisions and in love tried to councel him. He will not speak to his mother’s family at all though his Grandmother has tried repeatedly to get him to at least see his dying Grandfather. He will have nothing to do with them and they have not seen our cildren in 1 1/2 years. I feel there is so much more than retail I am supposed to be doing but you can see how my financial situation seems to block me. I feel tempted to be hopeless again which led me to make an attempt to go home to Jesus a few years back when I was still trapped in my marriage to him(one the biggest mistakes he has used against me). I know that is not what my Father in heaven has for me. But I cannot even buy groceries to feed my boys when they’re with me right now. I pay my husband nearly $800/month in child support. He is a mechanical engineer for a very large company and makes a very good salary. I don’t know what advice you would have for me except to continue to pray. I don’t even know why I felt motivated to share this with you, a total stranger. Please say a prayer for me and my children and for my husbands salvation. If I allow bitterness for him to fill my heart I would be no better. Jesus said what better are we than the world if we only love those who love us. I must keep the faith Thank you for listening. At my retail job I share my faith on a daily basis. I know God is using me there for now but I long to move out of this place into what I believe is the dream He has given me. What can you see in my situation that I am missing? Thank you again for your time.

  79. Ron Taimuty-Loomis Says:

    Hi Dan,

    Previously, I wrestled with trying to define what my passion was. I lived in constant dissatisfaction and was always looking to the next “out”, staking my hope on the vocation that would “save” me from my miserable work life.

    While it is important to pursue understanding of one’s own passions, the first step before pursuing that passion is to discern who owns it. The rich young ruler was passionate about his posessions, so much so that he went away sad when Jesus told him that to enter the kingdom, he had to sell them all and give it all to the poor.

    Passion is not necessarily the guide to fulfillment. If it is our passion, we ought first to consider whether it is “OUR” passion or God’s passion . . . whether we are looking to build OUR kingdom or God’s kingdom. If it is OUR passion, we are then faced with the paradox of the Gospel: we either lose our lives by seeking to fulfill that passion, or we gain our lives by sacrificing OUR passion and self-serving authority over our pursuit of it for the sake of Christ.

    The Porsche ought to consider whether perhaps God’s plan is for him to have a lawnmower engine, and get in the way of traffic, and not fulfill everyone else’s expectations, given what it APPEARS to everyone else he should be. The same designer that gave us the Porsche also gave us the VW beetle. I’ve always preferred the little bug; it was my first car, and the only car I’ve ever been passionate about. A Porsche (of the kind you speak about) would NEVER do!!!

    It is God’s passion that truly fulfills us; never our own.

  80. Marguerite Says:

    Help!!! I am stuck in a deadend town and I want to find a passion within me and pursue it. I know we all need to have a dream. I want to do God’s will for my life. I may only live 20 to 30 more years and I want to live them happily, not depressed about money or jobs. I have a wonderful daughter and I can’t seem to find work. I know God has a job for me and I put my trust in him.

  81. Layne Nelson Says:

    I’m a 49 year old paraplegic, recovering from multiple pressure sores, drug and alcohol addiction as well as being fired from my last job of 11 years with the Gov’t. I belong to a very good church. I have raced wheelchair in over 50 marathons, I garden, co-founded a wonderful non-profit but I have been removed from the board of directors. I have spoke to over 10 thousand students about drinknig and driving, received achievement awards for my purchasing skills working for the State. I received Community Service award for my volunteerism, bu despite it all I have no idea what I should do once I am healed and need to go back out into the job market. I am scared and even though I believe in God’s will for me I do not know what to do. I like firearms, but can’t have them as a result of a felony charge. I like cars, but can’t do much with them do to my disability. I am burdened by debt as a result of not working as well as medical and legal charges. For the first time in my life I am concerned with my future and am completely paralyzed (no pun intended) with how to more forward. I need help finding my passion.
    Peace to you. Layne

  82. Kate Says:

    I have two dreams. They coincide with each other. I have had these dreams for many years and they have gone through long metamorphosis over that time. One is to own a General Store, like the ones in the Old West. You know, the ones that used to have an old pot-bellied stove right in the middle with chairs sitting around it. It was the place the women came to get a bolt of fabric to make a dress, or the men came to get seed to plant or just sit around and talk, especially in the winter when the pot-bellied stove was emanating enormous amounts of heat and the coffee in the pot on top of it was full of hot strong coffee. It was the center of most towns and provided people with the necessities of life they couldn’t grow or make for themselves. It offered a place to visit with your neighbors you only saw maybe once a month, if you were lucky. It was a place to get sustenance if you were traveling through. Now that I’ve set he stage this is what I want to do. I want to have a place where people can come and shop for unique items they can’t find just anywhere. ( Oh, I know they can probably find it online but they can’t touch it, or smell it, or taste it, or see the real size before they order it. Then if they don’t like it they have to send it back, at their own expense. Personally, I hate that!) But that is not the real purpose of the store. It’s purpose is to bring people together. A place to create interaction between people who don’t know each other. There would be live music by local Christian artists, arts and crafts for sale by local folks, which is where the second part of my dream comes in. I love to paint and work in all mediums of art, Voila! I have my own store. Now for the Heart of the whole dream. It must all be centered around Chist. The people who work there must know Him personally, everything sold there will reflect Him and His word, The music played, the food served, skits or plays put on, must have an ultimate purpose to serve Him. It needs to be a place people want to come back to because they found something there they can’t make or grow for themselves. From the moment they step through the door they will know they have never been in a place like this before.
    Ahhhh!, you say, that sounds like a very lofty dream and you would be right. A place like that would truly be a dream business. To serve my Lord and make a living too, how awesome! But like most of the other folks who have put in their comments the reality is I don’t have the money to start a business, nor do I have the courage and confidence it takes to step in to the realm of Faith that God will be there providing, directing, guiding. In truth I don’t even know if this is His plan or mine? I just know when I think about it I get excited like never before. I begin to think of what I would have to do to make it happen. It would take stepping outside the box and trusting God for everything.
    I think my biggest fear is not having anyone to stand beside me and encourage me. Especially some one who’s already had a business and is willing to stand up to me and say “I think you are doing this wrong. How about doing it this way” and then being willing to discuss it.
    Well, that’s my dream, as corny as it may sound. For now I must keep the job I have because I need the insurance. But come November I will be eligible for Medicare, if such a thing still exists. And then we’ll see…………….
    Thanks for the article, Dan. It was very encouraging.

  83. Karen Says:

    I haven’t a clue what my passion is…! Do you have some suggestions where to start? Currently, I’m a PreK teacher for More At Four (state supported program for disadvantaged kids), but the older I get, the less patience I have for these 4 year olds! I keep wondering what else I could do?


  84. Alexa Says:

    I’m 28 years old. I am from Germany and I now I am working in Mexico City. I like my job, I am a teacher. I love kids and to work with other people but my real dream is to work in the ministry for the Lord. I know that this is really a God-thing to give me the green light for it. Sometimes I feel frustrated because there is a lot of work to do in my current job and I often feel like just waisting my time. Although the job blesses me richly in many ways, I know that my heart is not crying out for it. During my “student life” I have prepared for ministry in all the ways I could and all the ways that the Lord has shown me but now after school I feel like having fallen into a black whole.

  85. Kristiana Says:

    Dear Dan,
    I am 25 years old and already loosing my passion to this life. It is not that I start commiting suicide or so but life turns out to be boredom to me. I life my day struggling to hold on my faith and making beliefe in my head that someday I will see the light. I read my bibble everyday, but I feel that God is so far away from me. I am married 3 months ago, my husband adore me so far that I know but still his love cannot lit any fire in me. I life as long that I did not disturb anyone, I have learnt to adapt myself in the office that I start losing my uniqueness. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. The worst thing is that I am a sunday school teacher and youth fellowship chief. Don’t misunderstand me, deep down I still got very tiny hope that I will once again life my life with zest. but the hope is so small, wonder if you could help me to hold it so it will not fade away….
    Thanks for reading this share

  86. Kristen Hernandez Says:

    I am so embarrassed to submit this comment. This is a confession. My passion is in ministry. Evangelism. I believe God has wired me to do missions. Yet, my Church doesn’t agree. When a woman can no longer do what she desires, what is left of her? I’m at a lost how to proceed. So hard to live somebody else’s idea for me. May God have mercy on me.

  87. Joni Says:

    This has been very interesting. I was just laid off my job on 6/6/08. My job searches have brought me to this website. All of the stories touch my heart. What ever happened to my first love and the most important thing ever to touch my life? God has been good to us. He has allowed us to try at dreams that we had, but because of nothing else than our own faults, those dreams just disappeared. 24 years walking in faith, building a life, to only bring us back to the beginning again. What now? Thank you all for sharing and pouring your hearts out. I am a fellow dreamer. I will never stop dreaming, but more important than dreams is the reality that we will stand face to face with our true maker and Messiah, that should be your biggest Dream!! God Bless

  88. Aaron Krott Says:

    I consider my current career (although successful) a consequence of not seeking out what God would want me to do at an early age. God has given me so much to offer and I am passionate about many things, but because I chose to ignore those gifts/passions and what God wanted them for when I was choosing careers, I now find myself (12) years into a unfulfilling yet successful career where I go to work everyday and leave those gifts/passions at home! Outside of my career, I work with the youth at our church and spend as much time as I can trying to convince all of them to heavily consider what God wants them to do before heading off to college. Don’t wait until you have a wife, two kids, mortgage, car payments, etc. to try to figure it out and make a change.

  89. Nancy Says:

    Wow– I have just made a life change to follow my passion! What deja-vu to stumble on this blog! I was working a full-time job in order to have health insurance, while also working a 1/2 time job as a church music director, while also teaching private music students! I was allowed to take a pay cut at church so that money could be used to provide health insurance. I am now adding music students, focusing on my church job, and working on my passions – church music, teaching, and composing music! I am struggling financially but now have the energies to follow my passions. I would love to have one of your special “Is the music still in you” magnets.

  90. Rena Says:

    For Kristen–
    We should never be embarrassed to say that God has gifted us in a particular way. How wonderful that God has given you the gift of evangelism. My daughter was a missionary in Honduras for 2 1/2 years and is very passionate about the role of women in ministry. If your church is not supportive, ask God to help you find a place that will support the gifts that God has given you. Maybe you can start by using your gifts to talk to your friends and those you meet about your experiences with God and how they have been a blessing to you. Sharing your own personal story is a wonderful way to evangelize. Blessings to you–be joyful in your gift.

  91. Gene Says:

    I’m not interested in the magnet – I just want to share ‘my music” and our passion. My wife and I are both semi-retired and we’ve found our passion in working with a peer ministry that works with couples in troubled marriages who still want to save the marriage.
    We’ve been involved in this for the past 10 years and “our music” is turned on when we work with these couples.

    More if you’re interested.

    Gene Foley
    Pittsburgh, PA USA

  92. Ang Says:

    I believe that looking for your “passion” and always thinking there’s something more out there in life for you are two very dangerous areas to be dwelling on. Christians have gone off into false teaching and following false prophets because they were looking for “something more,” or “new revelation,” or were just plain dissatisfied with God’s Word and their walk with Christ–which are totally sufficient and are everything we need in this life, ever! We are created to love, worship, and serve the Almighty God. Jesus Christ is to be our passion, our focus in life, and the One we do everything for, no matter how mundane in human terms and no matter what job or ministry He has given us. We are to keep our eyes focused on Him and what HE wants–on His will–NOT ours! We’re to follow His example. These are God’s words, not mine: “So therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every impediment, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you be weary and discouraged in your souls” (Heb. 12:1-3).
    That rather says it all, don’t you think?!

  93. Kareema Says:

    Dan, Dan, Dan, …. 26 years on the same job… I kept getting better at it. Left the department to pursue a dream…. after 2 years in the new department I hated it… ok why not take the layoff and work full time in ministry….I love people … I love kids… this is going to be a blessing….well here I am …4 years into this … $100,000 (retirement gone)… $50,000 in debt… asking God…. Lawn Mower or Porsche.. where is my passion… ??? I know God is not through with me yet… God Bless you for listening…

  94. Jay Clever Says:

    I am a 48 yr.-old career changer who has fallen flat on his face financially after leaving my first career as a CAD operator to pursue my passion of teaching Bible. I’ve invested too much into getting a master’s degree to turn back, so I feel like vocationally I’m back at square one, just starting out. I’ve come to see that seeking after our “dream job” more often than not leads to disappointment and despair–especially as we age and feel we are running out of time. We should rather learn to recognize the value in what we are already doing, and find our contentment in being good at it. Remember, work is part of the curse incurred by Adam’s sin–we are not promised fulfillment in it. God blesses each of us as He sees fit–some with great marriages, for instance, others with good health, and still others with rewarding careers. Though we make our plans, ultimately it is He who directs our steps and determines our path.

  95. Rob Says:

    This is a spin off the article also from Jay Clever’s response. I have just recently stepped away from a Hospice Chaplain position (ten years). I know through the promptings from the Lord along with my wife that I was suppose to do this. Has it been disappointing? Yes, discouraging, Yes…the list can go on & on, but it also has been rewarding in new ways for me – my perspective has changed. I now have quality time with my wife, son & daughter. I am laughing more, enjoying life (for a change) and I have never been so relaxed. I believe God was stirring me to step out of the boat and onto the water – scary, yes; but also exciting to see as Jay as stated, “He directs our steps and determines our path”. I am serving in a small church that I know is not my final destination but in the meanwhile, I will serve and love the people He has giving me to care for and enjoy LIFE until my passions and work meet. Working with Hospice I have learned that we are not guaranteed a tomorrow no matter how close we walk with the Lord, so we have to make the best of today, living for Him and loving others no matter where we find ourselves. The difference between an adventure an a ordeal is our attitude. Blessings!! Rob Gal. 2:20

  96. Lauren Orchard Says:

    Greetings Dan:

    Thank you for your encouragement in so many ways…particularly in motivation to work from your passion …and your dreams. I believe you are right and I’ve stated many of the same ideas in the past. However…

    I stepped out of pastoral ministry in 2000 due to physical illness that nearly resulted in my death. I worked with the doctors for several years and have had my health restored. During that time I also completed a D. Min. in church management and leadership which I had started before I took my “sabbatical” in 2000 of which I find myself in still today…2008 and age 51. I had pastored for 20+ years, have multiple degrees, am ordained, and hungry to re-enter the pastoral ministry but… since my graduation in 2006 I’ve been unable to get back to pastoral ministry. The longer it goes…the more I feel the rejection and a sense of being “placed on the shelf” and not wanted…even by God. It has affected me in many different capacities and though I continue to search and believe, and try to do all the “proper” things to return to ministry…I feel discarded or abandoned. In that condition…the passion and dreams feel like fantasy…and the reality becomes numbing. How does one break out when there is no place to break back in? How does one re-encounter their dreams and passions when rejection becomes the mantra one hears repeatedly?

  97. aaron Says:

    There are all kinds of passion. I sometimes think we confuse passion for “overdoingit”. I know this sounds crazy, but I can sit on my John Deere riding mower ( ), put in the ears plugs, drive around and in less than an hour see a result that makes me feel good. I get that feeling of accomplishment. I’m trying to say that the little “passions” along the way can keep us fueled for the big times when big passion is needed.

  98. Perry M Says:

    Boy I feel just like the guy in the article. For years I was a successful entreprenuer and then I had a set back due to Cancer. Now I’m trying to get my life back on track, and the passion and the dreams just don’t seem to be there. I pray daily for some guidance or to be led by the lord in some direction that will awaken me and put my life back in a happy and productive balanced life.

  99. Cathy Malay Says:

    I have always had a passion for being a missionary or a nurse when I was a young girl. As I grew older and expressed my passion to my parents they were not supportative and made suggestions to alternative things I could turn my passion too. I did not follow their advice nor my true passion. I was led astray by young men, got married had a baby, divorced seven years later remarrried another wrong man, moved out of my home state. Now live a hundred miles away from my family, son and grandchild. My current husband left me six months ago. I am going to be 50 I work full time but I barely make enough to support myself. I had burried my passions way deep down inside to where I almost lost them. Recently I have been praying to God to reveal to me what it is he would like me to do with my life. I have decided to begin looking into nursing schools. My problem now is finding the money and time to get there. I am very determined and pray nothing comes in my way this time of pursing my passion, because I know my time is running out. I have also had some major medical problems ten years ago I had a transplant myself. I really want to do this and with God on my side who could be against me!! God Bless you all and I hope you will do some serious soul searching you will truely find your passion and want to pursue at any cost.

  100. Gilda Jernigan Says:

    I am working in my passion. It took me awhile to find out exactly what it was, but God found a way to make it work.

    About 10 months after my husband died (12-25-03), I moved in with my mom and my step-dad to help take care of my step-dad. He had brain cancer. I found that I liked working with “seniors”, because alot of times there own children will not help.

    I now work with “seniors” who need help like assisted living but can still live at home because of what God does for them through me (6-09 to present 1-10). It is very satisfying to work with them and see them light up when you show up. Alot of times they just want someone to talk to. Alot of times you hear the same story everytime, according to their memory. Then there are others who can carry a conversation but have physical issues.

    I did have to take a cut in pay, but it is well worth it. I know that God has me where He wants me at this time. I find it so rewarding that the little things that I do for them means so much to them.

  101. Joan Says:

    I have been in the insurance business for 15 years. I just happen to fall into this career or what ever it may be called. In 2006 I bought the insurance agency. It was wonderful in the beginning. I lacked planning, a business portfolio and so on. Here I am now with business slow and a mound of debt both professionally and personally. I plug away every day praying GOD will see me through this. There is a very big part of me that wants to be successful, but I also often ask myself “Where is my passion?” It always was dancing!!!!!!!!! To own my own studio. I am 51 and physically I do not know if this is the point in my life where I should take this on. I continue to pray and Have faith the GOD will direct me to my life long passion. Joan

  102. Jill Says:

    The last line that stated ‘Or will the realities of life have him push that down as “unrealistic” as he goes off to his cubicle each day?’ That for sure got to me, as an artist I feel like I am stuck in a box, literally a cubicle and have been trying to get out for a while. I know God’s timing is different then mine and He may have me here for a very specific reason, maybe to live out as a light in a dark place but as I am not living as the best witness and full-time minister in the workplace, I long to move on to just do my photography. I am trying to pay off my debt and to save. I need that paycheck and benefits and believe it would be unwise to leave my office job. But how long do you keep saying that? I feel I have been getting busier with my own photography business but it is slower than I would like. But I am praying for a change, to not get sucked in but to live out my dreams and passions!

  103. Deborah Says:

    I know what my passions are, and I have known them for years. I volunteer and do them. But my current job has nothing to do with them. I have wanted to advance myself in my areas of passion but my finances have not allowed me to. Right now, I am frustrated, bored and just at a point of just thinking I should just get up and leave my job. Just take a plunge and hope for the best. What do you think? Do you think that is wise?

  104. Phyllis Mincey Says:

    Dan – I am 57 years old, and yep, I feel like the music has not gotten out i a lot of years. When I was in college I loved singing in a small group on our campus that toured to churches and schools in the area. I also loved working with college students in a ministry setting. Those two things have been my passion for a long time. My passion does not necessarily include being in a church choir. That just does not ring the same bells that being in an ensemble of say 7 or 8 people. But I’m doing neither at the present time. I am doing something I never did nor did I think I could do, which is sketching. I have also had to jump start that in the past couple of months. My dad died almost 2 years ago, and I had no passion for sketching for over a year. It’s kicking back in – slowly. All I can say is pray and HELP!

  105. San Says:

    I once had the music in me…but now its like mostly Rock no roll
    I keep hoping to figure out what God really wants me to do

  106. Chris Beaudoin Says:

    All I can say is-“timing is everything”. I am going to be 40 this coming May. I was in a machine shop for 9 years. I have been in the Construction field for almost 8 years. Now I have been unemployed for 4 months. I am not one to just sit around and wait for things to happen. I have been looking for a new job all along, but every decent job seems to require some kind of degree. I have been a worship leader at my church for many years, but my skill with instruments is very limited. Music is my passion, but I feel so limited and “stuck”. The reason I wrote “timing is everything” is because I just got back from my local college. In my mind I keep thinking–“if I go for music, I won’t be able to get a good paying job, but if i pursue this other avenue (2nd choice) I will probably get a better paying job. The last comment on the devotional was “Is Your Music Still In You?”. I need to just trust the Lord. I think I know what I need to do…thanks.

  107. Kory Cochran Says:


    I think it’s great to find out what one is passionate about but I’m not so sure that I jump on the “find your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life” attitude or not. I have various passions and I am working doing what I love to do. However, there are things about it that I just cannot stand! I really do not believe you can be involved in making a good living from doing your passion without having to do things you loathe until or unless you find someone to pay to do, or volunteer to do it for you. Typically when you are getting started you are the only one who can do it. Find me a way that I can only do what I have passion for in the beginning and not have to do things I hate and I’ll eat my shoe for the fun of it.
    Next, people are just too stinking lazy and whiney nowadays. All I hear is whine, whine, whine. Come on people, either get busy living or get busy dying but make a decision one way or the other. People who have a real dream find a way to make themselves like what they have to do, even though they don’t like it to achieve their dream. If you are having to stay in a job you hate to take care of your family then I can think of no better dream to be living. So quit whining about it! Many of us whom you’d change careers with would give up their career to have a family. People always want what they don’t have. Count your blessing, if you cannot find a plan to work your way out and make the circumstances you want, then find a reason to love your circumstances. If nothing else, it will help you forge a much better attitude and thus, a character. Quality of character is something you should get passionate about.

  108. Tamara Swanson Says:

    While assisting and supporting my husband in achieving his dream of owning his own business and no longer having his destiny controlled by a big corporation; I have completely lost myself. I now find myself at 55 years old, overwhelmed and tired, wondering is it at all possible to change, or am I just in too deep to do anything different…?

    Dan, you do a wonderful job on your weekly article, it is obvious YOU are following what God would have you do. Congratulations, thank you and God Bless.

  109. Faith Says:

    To everyone out there experiencing this”dead inside” feeling while being Christian, I can understand. I found my passion in youth but there was nothing good or God serving in what I was doing. (I was performing in nightclubs). Through a series of family issues that brought on serious depression and aquiring chronic health issues, that line of work went down the tubes. I know now God was saying “Enough is enough” pulling me out of that lifestyle, but now in my 40’s I have no energy, no inspiration, no spark, and I have never felt alive after leaving the old life behind. I also have no formal training and am too old to clean up my stage act literally and pursue legit and clean entertainment.
    Like alot of you that I have read posts from I am the creative type. I have gone back to school but even that is just taking classes toward an unknown and largely unwanted destination. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up at 46 years old and feel truly pathetic. Add to this the health problems that keep me from working regularly so money is a huge problem.
    Maybe when we are dead to the world in Christ it means just that, If anyone has any insight I would sure appreciate it.

  110. Denice Marcinko Says:

    Hi Dan,
    Your phrase about “Is the music still in you?” rings true. My salary for being a Certified Quality Auditor through ASQ (American Society for Quality), is below the National Average. I haven’t really pursued another job for higher pay. Working in quality assurance solving problems and helping people improve in their jobs is what I enjoy. This motto is to remind myself, “It’s not about the money, it’s the people that matter!” It’s about serving others that will bring the true rewards back to you. I’m a passionate Christian and I always feel ‘pulled’ or ‘called’ to help others. I volunteer too much but love it! My church family is my second family and we are there for each other when times are tough. Prayer is powerful!

  111. James Says:

    I don’t know that passages such as “WHATEVER you do, do with all your heart,” or “In this world YOU WILL HAVE TRIBULATION” align with the health/wealth/prosperity [false?] Gospel countless 1000s of [false?] “profits” espouse.

    Consider it all joy, my brothers when you encounter various trials….

    P.S. Revelation 3:14-22
    P.P.S. James 5:1-6

  112. sheila Says:

    About”Is the music still in you?” With alot of people going through rough times with so many people being laid off of work I can see why they might think that the music is gone. But when we focus on how there is someone else out there that is in worse shape we can see that the music is still in us.

  113. Joseph Says:

    Hey Dan,

    Happened to read your article. Interesting indeed. Infact this ” Do you think that fulfilling God’s will always means sacrificing your true passions? “, really caught my attention. Might be because I always think the same way. but I think my problem is that I m not able to figure out my passions yet. and on top of it, wherever I am getting landed and whatever I am doing now, is not at all satisfying me and not giving any sort of excitement at all..

  114. bill Says:


    after 9 years of “provisional” jobs the Lord finally had my attention and told me that i will never be content in a career or vocation until i totally submit to him in trust for everything in my life. I had not trusted God for my next dollar to buy bread with. But in Nov. 09 i submitted to his calling, quit a 3 week career and followed Gods call to go into the ministry. I do not know what that will look like but I realize that God does not lead much further than one step at a time. I also realized (i’m rather slow spiritually) that he also does not pull or push but gently calls and leads those who would follow. I am going to seminary for a masters degree in christian studies and biblical counseling. I also finally swallowed my very big chew of pride and am providing for my family by driving school buses and doing some substitute teaching. And God has confirmed this all by blessing me with his peace that passes all understanding per his promise. I am also working on my magic or as you call it “music” by starting to do some voice over work for radio advertising, audio books and hopefully video game voices. I am confident that I will not die with my music inside me. It feels so good to sing. Especially when I am singing Gods praises for the great things he is doing and going to do in my life.

  115. Tamara Swanson Says:

    Wow, powerful commentary Bill. I hope and pray that my husband will someday finally feel “the gentle push” of God and to the understanding that he cannot do it all by himself. Wishing you all the best in your new career choice…

  116. Lady Girl Says:

    Here I am looking to pursue my passion at 30 years old and here’s why I’m not there yet. I realized (After hitting many bumps in the road) I wasn’t prepared for where I was going. I was arrogant, prideful, and didn’t have a heart for people as I aught. I want to be a doctor go figure. How in the world was I going to pursue an occupation where you have to have a heart for people. Hello! I would be dealing with people all day. God blocked my way until I surrendered to the fact that I could not have what I want until he gets what he wants. That was to have all the aforementioned ugliness released from my attitude. I know other people are allowed to become doctors and are the aformentioned. however God had no plans for me to go out into the world and make him (or rather me) look bad. For a while I gave up the desire because of some many obstacles I ran into and lost my drive for it. But once I surrendered to the fact that God wanted the best me the real possible me he destined me to be. I couldn’t have my dream or desire until I became who he wanted me to be. I now have been able to pursue my interests by studying for all the pre-req courses I need to take to get into medical school. God needs Doctors to talk to people. And he needs those doctors to be the best representation of him. He needs Doctors to have faith that he’s the healer and their not-and not take his glory thinking they healed people. Being the best me and not a second class someone else has opened me up to realizing that a dream can only be had when God develops you into the most confident person he needs you to be.

  117. Lorena Says:

    I’m one of the 50-something adults trying to find their passion. The only thing I considered my balancing activity was to play piano for church. They discontinued the choir and using written music for the worship team, so I was no longer needed. That church closed. The new church we go to doesn’t have a need for my limited music skills. I’m having issues with my neck that are progressing to rapid deterioration of my arm strength and increasing pain in both arms and hands. This limits even playing the piano for fun. I’m looking for a new passion that will fit my new limitations. Your book has given me hope. I’m still searching.

  118. Tamara Swanson Says:

    Lady Girl, All I can say is awesome reply! I think you are going to be a wonderful doctor, we need more that “get-it” as you have. Go for it girl and God bless!

  119. Michelle Says:

    WOW! I have been out of work for 6 months, but began this journey of finding my passion over a year ago!! I still have NO idea where to start. The passion that God has instilled in me feels like a pipe dream. When asked, I forgo giving that answer and am simply left feeling like I don’t really have one. My husband was laid off and so together we have to find jobs that pay, not jobs that we enjoy. Something has to change!!

  120. Michele Schrotter Says:

    The music is in everyone, although it might be hard to hear. What does it mean to “find your passion”? I think it’s not a means to an end, but the entire journey. You can’t expect that you will find your passion, and then everything will be perfect. In my life, there have benn twists and turns and difficult things to deal with, but luckily my husband and family helps me stay focused and find a way to laugh and appreciate everything. And when I feel it is too much, I do what my mother says. I give it to God. It does feel better. Sometimes the passion comes from little things, the little detours take you where you should be. You just have to be aware enough to see them. It’s a process.

  121. Jacque Says:

    Oh yes!!! The music is still in me. Sometimes it crescendoes at other times it’s barely audible, nevertheless it is there. I have passions. I hear the music when I am collaborating with others and cooperating with Holy Spirit in an effort to achieve or overcome an obstacle. I hear the music when I am worshipping and the new song arises. I hear the music when I have been entrusted to deliver the heart of God through written or sung words and I hear the music when I am called into a place of rest. When I don’t understand something, the music is sad yet it is in me. When I am hurt and or disappointed it is still me but barely audible but purpose and passions make me aware that the veil of sadness, hurt and disappointment will lift and I will soon sing a new song.

  122. Mike Says:

    I’m still learning!

  123. PM Keller Says:

    I was really disappointed with this article when I read it on because the title there was “What is your passion?” I thought for sure it would give some ideas on how to find your passion. But NO it just rubbed it in that we should already know that passion and be trying to find a job to use that passion. Well, guess what? I have never had a passion. I do not now have a passion. And I have no idea how to develop/discover a passion. So thanks for nothing.

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