Don’t Downgrade Your Passion When You Downsize Your Dream

When we were kids, no one talked to us about vision and goal setting. They talked to us about dreams. And this makes total sense.

Dreams are goals, only squishier and more kid friendly.

You know how this goes.  If you’re a parent, you probably do this.  “What do you want to be when you grow up?” the adult says.

“A yellow dragon with a crossbow!”  Clearly this was a boy answering.  Girls generally choose less aggressive career fields.

Regardless, kids go big, and they do it with vigor.  As they get older, dreams of being a dragon or a ninja begin to fade and get replaced with doctor, lawyer, nurse, baseball player and other jobs that society holds up as big-time success.  More time goes by and after experiencing what life has to offer and the feasibility of actually becoming a doctor or a lawyer, or feasibility of not, becomes more real, we begin to downsize.

Doctor becomes pharmaceutical salesman.  Lawyer is replaced with paralegal.  The race car is traded in for a taxi cab.

And there’s nothing wrong with this at all.  It’s just reality.  All of these jobs provided needed services to people who are willing to exchange money for them.  What is wrong though is downgrading your passion when you downgrade your dream.

When you do this, you settle on a job that pays you but sucks your life away.  You end up being okay with working for a manager, not a leader.  You replace ambition with apathy.  Mondays are spent plotting a strategy for getting to Friday in a more expedient manner.  In short, you become mediocre.

Worst of all, you under serve everyone from your manager to your customers to yourself.

Fast forward a few years, or just a few months if you have elite-level downgrade chops, you’re unhappy, maybe miserable.  Your job is now venomous poison permeating through your entire life powered by mediocrity.

Because you’re so deep in, you say things like “It’s just how it is,” “Everyone is like this,” and my fave, “No one likes to work; it’s just not natural.”

Do you think anyone ever became a yellow dragon with this attitude?  Do you think the creator of the device you’re reading this post on right now had this attitude?

Now to be clear, if this is you, I’m not hating on you.  I’m in your court!  And I’m simply saying it doesn’t have to be this way.  You do have a choice to not be mediocre.  The same person who used to go big with passionate dreams is still in there.  That person has just been downgraded for a while.

Has the time come to re-up, as they say in the military?  Is today the day you begin to make changes to rekindle your fire and sit mediocrity aside?

The Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,…” Colossians 3:23 (NIV).

Work at it with all your heart.  I don’t know about you but great parents parent with all their heart.  Couples who celebrate 50 years of marriage to one another do so because they worked at it with all their heart.  And business people, which means if you work you are one, become successful when they work with all their heart.  Mediocrity is not in the equation.

As I said in a related post recently, this stuff isn’t easy.  But, as the verse above says, I believe we were created to work hard for God.  This is why we feel good after being productive or after a hard workout or after volunteering our time somewhere. Working hard, like giving, is what we are meant to do.

After all, Jesus, in whose likeness we were created, was no mediocre man, evidenced in his last words, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” The man worked hard until the very end. And He did it for us. Fight mediocrity!


5 thoughts on “Don’t Downgrade Your Passion When You Downsize Your Dream

  1. Pingback: 5 ways living on purpose benefits your life « Joel Fortner's blog

  2. This is such a great reminder. We can’t settle in on a job that is not alined with our passions and gifts, but we need to be moving toward the direction God is calling us to be in. Great post.

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