INSIGHT OF THE WEEK
“Those who are massively successful are extraordinarily passionate about what they do. In fact, that is probably the most foundational and fundamental factor of their success.” -Kim Ades
Finding Massive Success With Your Passion
Is it realistic that you could be massively successful doing something you’re truly passionate about?
Is it more responsible to stick to a career that is financially sustainable?
Is it too late to switch careers and watch it unfold?
“Passion” and “Work” may not sound like they can go hand in hand. Having a job that you’re passionate about might seem like something from the movies. It might seem unrealistic.
Listen as David Wolf and Kim Ades discuss how to find your passion and make it work in this special episode of Resilience Radio.
In this episode of Resilience Radio, we explore:
Take a Listen!
How to Always Make the Right Decision
David: Welcome to Frame of Mind Essentials, where we teach and explore the essentials of Frame of Mind Coaching™ through real-life journals, stories and experiences. I’m David Wolf here as always with the Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™, Kim Ades. Kim, always good to be with you.
Kim: Hey, David. Before we started recording today, David and I were talking about how we make tough decisions. So before we jump into today’s journals, it’ll be really worthwhile to share our conversation with you.
Kim: So how do you make decisions that are life-affirming or life-fueling, and how do you know that your decisions are good ones? It’s an interesting question because many people encounter this dilemma. They wonder how to make good decisions and what they should base their decisions on.
This particularly applies to how to make decisions related to your career and which direction you should go in. There is a bit of a debate that David and I spoke about. Do you go for what helps you make a living or do you go for what really fuels you and creates passion for you?
David: Those are the two ends of the spectrum. And this is something that I’ve been very transparent with you about in our conversations offline and it’s something that I’ve struggled with.
I had a lot of success during my early career years because I knew what I wanted to be doing − it wasn’t even a question for me. But now that my kids are out of the house and I’m in my mid-50s, the questions I’m asking are different and the decisions are seemingly harder to make for reasons I don’t entirely understand.
Kim: The question is one and the same. We often think about separating our passions from earning a living, but if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you’re only ever going to be earning a living. In other words, it’s never going to be a source of abundance for you, ever. So it’s really critical to be passionate about what you’re doing.
I’ve had a lot of bumps along the road in terms of building my coaching business, but one thing that’s never gone away − and you can hear it loud and clear as I talk about it − is that I’m super passionate about what I do. Passion trumps everything. If you’re not passionate, you’re only making a living.
But once you make a decision, it’s really important to get behind your decision and not doubt it and wonder whether or not you made a good choice. Once you make a decision, throw yourself completely in the direction of the decision. In your case, you’re doing podcasts and you’re very talented in this field. What would it look like if you really got behind this decision?
David: It would look very different. I spent about 25 years writing and scoring music for radio, TV and film. To quote Steven Spielberg, “I wanted it more than breathing.” I had no doubts about doing that work and it came across. I was aligned in a way that I haven’t found since that chapter of my life closed.
So to answer your question, I know intellectually that if I got behind that decision and found all the things that I’m passionate about − whether it’s audio, production, doing it differently than anybody else − it would look a lot different. It would be an exciting, passionate universe that I’ve created for myself. It’s like deciding to decide, right?
Kim: It’s exactly that. Once you decide to get behind it, the view of what you’re doing opens up.
Back to building my coaching business, there are many moving parts. I also have a software company, JournalEngine™, and we license it out. But I’m not a software engineer, nor do I need to be. So in conceptualizing what I want to do, I lift myself above the vision and say, “I don’t have to be the one who does everything. There are endless resources at my disposal that I can use, tap into or partner with to help us all grow.”
Once you make a decision, there are endless opportunities and resources right at your fingertips, but they only appear once you make the decision.
David: So move towards the decision, make the damn decision and really get behind it. Put everything you’ve got into it and align yourself. Then, that world opens up into a million other things; opportunities, revenue streams if it’s a business, creative experiences… it opens up multiple opportunities because you’re in alignment.
Kim: Right. Now, if you listen to this recording, you will hear yourself peek in your passion in the last five minutes of this recording. Notice where your passion rises in your dialog and follow that course.
David: Okay. As an audio and dialog editor, I am going to be listening to this thoroughly. I’m going to hear what you just talked about and I’m going to have to be really objective about it, which is not always so easy, but I’m trained for that.
Kim: Okay. So let’s jump in.
David: Do you have journals for today?
How to Always Make the Right Decision
How to Handle a Rollercoaster of Emotions
Kim: I have a few journals and I want to start with one in particular. It’s short and sweet, but it’s about something that many people wonder about themselves:
“You know, I was thinking, I have felt funny lately and Stewart has said for a while that I’m not the same Debbie. And then today, one of my friends mentioned that I’m all over the place emotionally. Anyway, do you think I may have something? People do get MS or other things later in life, so I wonder if my roller coaster of emotions is something I should look into.”
Do you ever feel that way?
David: I internalize it. I don’t tend to express it very much, but yeah.
Kim: Well, you don’t think you’re expressing it, but you are expressing it. Even at the beginning of this call, before we hit Record, I asked, “How’s it going?” and you said, “It’s okay.” That’s expressing it.
David: Yeah. I was inviting you in because I knew that you could talk about it.
Kim: Yeah. You meant that things are not fantastic or terrible, but they’re mediocre, right?
David: Yeah. Right.
Kim: So you are expressing it emotionally even though you’re not saying that things are mediocre. You’re not using that language.
David: Right. It’s the hidden language, or the lack thereof, or the few words that I chose that you really tune into as a coach.
Kim: Right. So this journaler is wondering whether or not they have something seriously wrong with them. I would propose that many people go through roller coasters of emotions internally or externally, obviously or not so obviously. We all go through that and it’s often triggered by events, situations, relationships or conflicts. We go through a roller coaster of emotions.
That roller coaster means that we’re alive, we’re living, we feel, we experience, we respond, we react, we internalize, we profit.
If you feel like your roller coaster is too hard to handle and it’s making you nauseous, then that’s telling you that the way that you interpret the events in your life are not aligned with the direction you’re heading in.
So when you’re feeling that emotional roller coaster and instead of feeling exciting you feel wrong, depressed or angry, ask yourself this critical question: What am I thinking about what’s happening in my world that’s causing me to feel negatively?
Because it’s not the events in your life that cause you to feel negatively, it’s the way you think about the events that cause you to feel negatively.
So again, ask yourself, “How am I thinking about this event that’s causing me to feel negatively, and are my thoughts even true or am I making them up?” Because we make up a lot of stories about what’s happening around us.
Also ask yourself, “If I don’t like what I’m thinking about this particular situation, how can I think about it differently so that I don’t feel such a dramatic high and low about it?”
Before we assume we have a physical disease, we can look at our thinking and how it affects our emotions and start to regulate it and take ownership of it.
David: And certainly, journaling is a wonderful way to have those conversations. I know from my own journaling experience, as you’re writing, you’re seeing your own thoughts on the page and reading them back and reviewing them. You can become the observer of your own thoughts.
Kim: Journaling allows us to see where our thoughts are heading, and it allows us to assess whether or not our thoughts are really consistent and aligned with our goals and desires.
Just this morning, I was rereading an old journal entry of mine in which I wrote, “I’m an idiot. I’m so stupid. I totally messed up.” All that dialog is really inconsistent with me being intelligent, powerful and capable. It totally contradicts what I’m really after.
So I can catch myself and say, “Hey, people make mistakes, it happens. It’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t actually mean I’m an idiot.” But the faster you catch yourself, the faster you course correct, then the faster you put yourself back on the path towards your dreams and desires.
David: Do folks that you coach ever edit their journals before they send them to you? How do you get really raw and just write from the soul as opposed to constructing the writing in your journal?
Kim: Some of the people we coach are a bit guarded at the very beginning. But when you’re journaling with a coach, you get to know each other very quickly. Our coaches are also trained to ask questions that get past their guard. So when someone is guarded initially, it doesn’t faze us and it doesn’t get in the way. It tells us that they may be trying to manage their image.
Usually, when people are guarded, it means that they’re trying to look good. And who doesn’t want to look good? It’s pretty normal. But we can ask them, “How do you want other people to see you and what are you afraid that they will actually see?” That provides us with great information.
So our coaching relationships are very intimate and personal, and we’re in contact every day. Also, David, if I share with you, are you going to be more or less guarded with me?
David: I’m going to be less guarded because we have an open and shared transparency.
Kim: Exactly. So the relationship between the coach and the client is what transports the client to a new place.
Kim: It’s that magical connection that exists between the two that creates a really special outcome.
David: So being less guarded as a coach makes the client less guarded and it propels the relationship and the experience of the coaching forward.
Kim: Exactly. Clients make major leaps forward because they’re able to really strip down.
David: Wow, good stuff.
Kim: Let’s do another journal. Are you up for that?
How to Handle a Rollercoaster of Emotions
Spontaneity vs. Structure
Kim: This journal kind of makes me laugh. I really, really enjoyed reading it so I’m going to share it with you.
“I would love to have more moments of spontaneity and joy. I’ve had a taste of it, usually on vacation. To have that in regular life would be amazing. What would it look like to toss the schedule and do whatever I feel like doing whenever I feel like doing it, being caught up in the moment, savoring the taste, sound, scent, sight or feeling?
Yesterday, I decided to go to the mountains this upcoming weekend. For me, this qualifies as spontaneous, even though I planned it five days in advance. I will not have an agenda or prearrange my meals, I’m just going to roll with it. Last week, I bought an espresso machine on a whim. Woohoo! On Friday, I called my neighbor and asked if she wanted to grab a coffee. We had a great time.
I also want more joy and spontaneity when it comes to intimacy with my husband. I just need to relax and invite it in. I really love just being with him and the kids on vacation without anything planned or having any responsibilities. I want more of that. Should I get all formal with this and start tracking my moments of spontaneity on the spreadsheet?”
David: Haha, wow. That’s so cute.
Kim: It’s hilarious because for all her great intentions of wanting to be spontaneous, she has this anchor that brings her back into organization and structure.
David: Right. She needs to have it grounded in order to feel secure.
Kim: And to create a spreadsheet. As a coach, I see that over and over again. People want one thing, but their tendency or their habitual nature takes them somewhere completely different. So does creating a spreadsheet increase her spontaneity? Like, what does that do for her?
David: No, it just documents the spontaneity that she hopes to achieve.
Kim: Right. And creating the spreadsheet actually isn’t all that spontaneous, is it?
Kim: It’s more rigorous. It’s structured. It’s the opposite of spontaneity.
Kim: So we need to pay attention to when our behavior completely contradicts with our deepest desires and to ask ourselves, “Why do I do that? Where does that take me? Is there any benefit to doing that?” And you said it really well, David, when you said it creates security. It gives her some grounding. It makes her feel safer. And often we do the very thing we don’t want to do for the purpose of safety and security.
Spontaneity vs. Structure
How Your Passion Can Equal Success
David: This sort of relates back to my situation that we were talking about before we rolled tape today. You called it the decision-making rebound, which means swatting at flies to try to solve a problem when that really isn’t helping. You’re just trying to figure out how to make a living versus figuring out what your passion is and moving towards it so that everything else happens effortlessly.
Kim: Exactly. And if we go back to the issue that we were discussing, a lot of people choose safe and secure over passionate. Why? Because they have a belief that passion doesn’t lead to financial abundance. They think that having a career you’re passionate about is a pipe dream, it’s something from the movies, it’s not possible or tangible or realistic. Realistic is the key word. They think it’s not realistic for them to be massively successful doing what they’re passionate about.
But those who are massively successful are extraordinarily passionate about what they do. In fact, that is probably the most foundational and fundamental factor of their success.
David: So my job is to figure out what’s getting in the way of X.
Kim: Right. Said another way, what beliefs do you have that are preventing you from massive success? What beliefs do you have that are preventing you from pursuing your passion? What beliefs do you have that are preventing you from even claiming your passion?
I’ve seen so many people who are afraid to claim their passion because they think they are too old, that they don’t deserve it, that there’s not enough time to see it unfold because they have to be realistic and responsible and blah, blah, blah.
David: I can remember telling people, “I’m going to be a jingle writer,” (which is what they used to call it), and they’d say, “It’s so competitive.” But I was just charging. It was just beautiful.
Kim: So are you a good jingle writer?
David: Yeah, I’ll send you my stuff. I’ve got three reels that I’m pretty proud of. I mean, the stuff is 20 years old, but yeah.
I never sang my own stuff other than the occasional demo here or there. A lot of my stuff was scoring and sound design, a little more abstract but it was certainly invoked during the period I was working. Some of it was songwriting, some of it was cover tunes.
Kim: So wait, do you sing?
David: No. I mean, I put myself in a few sessions, but I never sang as a solo guy. I did some voice work, of course. You know I do that.
Kim: Yeah. We can hear it.
David: I was mostly behind the glass producing others.
Kim: I see.
David: I even played drums on my own sessions. I was originally a drummer and then became a keyboard player.
Kim: You should come to our house! We have a music room in our basement.
David: Yes. You’re in Toronto, right?
Kim: Yes. We have a small music room, and it’s supposed to be soundproof, but it really isn’t. But there are a lot of jamming sessions that go on down there. It’s a place of real joy and passion for those who use the room.
So going back, what I want to really emphasize is for everyone to pay attention to the moments when their behavior completely contradicts their deepest desires. And it could be something like they really want to be close and intimate with their wife, but they’re so mad at her that they sleep on the couch. Or they really want to be fit and thin, but then they eat three pieces of cheesecake.
David: Yeah. It’s like you know that you shouldn’t do it, but you go do it anyway because there’s an urge that you can’t control.
Kim: Or you know that you should do something, but you can’t get yourself to do it. And so the question becomes, what beliefs do you have that are preventing you from having what you want, which is intimacy or wellbeing or a great career?
David: Right. Whatever it is. Fill in the blank. The passionate blank.
Kim: Exactly. So I have one more journal. Can we do one more?
David: Yeah, let’s do it.
How Your Passion Can Equal Success
How to Stick to Your Daily Work Goals
Kim: Here’s the last journal. It’s also a short one.
“I noticed yesterday that it’s hard to keep myself accountable to my promises or goals for the day, especially if I don’t write them down. I was supposed to work on a project for my team this week and I found myself getting trapped in conversations with people at the office that were completely unrelated to my project. I allowed myself to get distracted and told myself that these conversations were important. Now, I feel bad that I have not made any substantial progress with my work. I think a part of me just isn’t motivated to get it done and I have just been avoiding it.”
Sound familiar? How many times do people find other things to do instead of doing what they need to do or what they think they should be doing? And how many conversations have I had with clients about their lack of motivation and feeling like they can’t get stuff done even though there’s a list a mile long of things that they should be doing? It’s an old story.
But why do people experience procrastination? Why do they avoid things? Fundamentally, people procrastinate because of the way they think, because of their beliefs. Many people think they’re just lazy or they are not motivated or they are not driven or they’re not wired to get things done. They’re just not that person. But that’s probably the furthest thing from the truth.
When you don’t feel motivated, it’s really a reflection of a set of beliefs that say, “I don’t want to do this. I can’t do this. I’m not equipped to do this. This is too hard. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have enough education. I don’t really know what I’m doing. I feel stuck,” etc. That voice may be hidden, but it comes out in the form of procrastination or a lack of motivation.
So when you’re avoiding something, ask yourself, “What am I avoiding and what are the beliefs that I have that are causing me to avoid this?” At the end of the day, this is the same conversation over and over and over again. The beliefs you have dominate your life and may take over and translate into your behaviors. So when you’re not doing things you want to be doing, or when you’re behaving in ways that are completely contradictory to where it is that you want to be going, ask yourself, “What do I believe to be true here?”
David: And as many times as we’ve talked about those fundamental questions which are ubiquitous to just about every situation, we still forget oftentimes to go back to that place; what are my beliefs that are affecting my behaviors?
Kim: At the end of the day, when you want to make massive change but your beliefs don’t change along with you, your change is not sustainable. In order to make massive change, you must address the beliefs that cause you to behave in ways that don’t lead you to your goals. And you must shift those beliefs. That’s crucial. That means you have to challenge your beliefs. And in order to challenge your beliefs, you have to figure out what they are first.
David: That’s beautiful. We covered a tremendous amount of ground. Thanks, Kim Ades.
Kim: If anyone’s interested in learning more about coaching, reach out! We’re always happy to talk.
David: Absolutely. All right, Kim, thanks as always. Thanks for listening, all of you guys, and we’ll see you next time.