The Great Sacrifice: Do What You Have To or Do What You Love?

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

An Illusion Rooted in Fear


From an early age, we’re taught to choose a life path based on what we should do -- what society expects of us or perhaps what our parents have in mind for us. We follow the path of those before us, those around us, and those who have ‘succeeded’. We may even pave a road filled with accomplishments, titles, awards, and monetary success, in spite of someone or something we overcame in our life. Does going to college, graduating college, getting a good job, keeping a good job, getting married, buying a home, having two children, climbing the ladder, and then retiring, qualify as a successful life? It certainly sounds like a conventional standard.



What about the CEO we all envy -- you know the entrepreneurial nomad who owns a yacht, several homes, travels around the world frequently, and runs his business from a laptop on the beach... Do you think he is happy and fulfilled?


Ask yourself what your definition of success is. Is it doing what you have to or doing what you love? Is it making more money or creating more freedom? Is it going to a high-pressure job to bring home a paycheck or is it working from home and having more time for your kids and family? Is it going on vacation once a year or is it traveling when you please because you can? Is it helping someone else’s bottom line or is it increasing your own by making a difference in the world? Is it selling products to make money or is it offering services to help others? The list goes on and on, yet many of us still feel trapped, held to the daily grind, enslaved by mounting bills and responsibilities, and just getting by on a capped salary.


Whether you’re in a dead-end job, hate your boss, or just feeling stagnant and uninspired in your current position, you know the feeling. The question inevitably comes, “How will I ever break free of this and when will I have the time, energy, and resources to create the kind of freedom and sense of purpose I am truly seeking?”.


Forget the How & When


Get focused on the Why. Forget the How & When


If we wait until we see a clear path to take steps towards fulfilling our dreams, we may be waiting forever, and that’s a fact. The reality is that the path illuminates as we step towards and into what we want and who we want to become.



So, what if you don’t know what your bliss is? Perhaps, you just know THIS (right here and now) isn’t it. Well, good. That’s a start. Knowing what you don’t want is the first step to defining what you do want. Chances are, even if you don’t know what your true calling or purpose is, you probably have a pretty good idea of why you want to change the current conditions. Allow the why to be the motivation. It might sound something like:

“Because I want more freedom. Because I want to spend more time with my spouse and kids. Because I want to see the world. Because I want to do something more meaningful. Because something greater is calling to me. Because I must have come here for a reason. Because I am creative and have more to offer. Because I have talents and gifts to share. Because I want to do what I want to do instead of what everyone else wants me to do.”

You see how this works? Here’s the thing… When we focus on how the things we want are going to show up or when they will come, we stifle the energy and put all sorts of crap in the way, like doubt, fear, impossibility, and so on. Or maybe we set out to do that thing we’ve always wanted to do but get discouraged when it doesn’t show up right away or in the time frame we expected. Either way, focusing on the how and when will leave you feeling stuck. It will not create the outcome you’re desiring; it will instead get you caught up and attached to all the little details, so that what you desire cannot flow into your experience.


On the contrary, when we focus on why we want some thing or some improved condition, and then take steps towards it, we begin to create it in our reality.


A False Sense of Security


Before we can get to those steps, I must help you understand one key principle: You must rid yourself of the fear-based beliefs stopping you from creating a better life and doing what you’ve always wanted to do.


Most of us believe if we took the path towards our dreams or passions we’d end up homeless or destitute. Why? Because we are holding onto a false sense of security. We don’t believe or trust that we can build the kind of security we crave within ourselves, so we lean on a job, a paycheck, or another person for that sense of security. These things become crutches that we believe will never let us down. Think about what an illusion that is. Did the employee who got laid off after 25 years have real security? Did the jilted housewife who caught her husband cheating have real security? Ask yourself, if the rug got pulled out from underneath you at this very moment, how would you handle it and what tools would you need to stay strong and flourish?


Change is inevitable; nothing stays the same forever, and this is how we grow. Either we decide we want to take action towards our growth, or the universe will push us there, even when we think we aren’t ready, even if it comes in the disguise of a complete upheaval or unearthing.


Trusting ourselves, self-reliance, and the belief that we can do or create anything, even from nothing, is where true security is at. Once you find this from within yourself, you will never go back to the illusion. Moreover, you will have the courage to break away from the false sense of security you’ve been gripping hold of.


Baby Steps


Now, I would urge you in whatever changes you are desiring to make, to choose the path of least resistance with each step. This means, don’t wake up and quit your job if you have a mound of debt, no savings, and have not begun working on a new stream of revenue. That would make things very difficult for you. This is where most people trip up. They don’t realize that the change they want to create, they can start creating in baby steps from where they stand right now.



Here’s a guideline to those Baby Steps:


Discover what you love doing.

Explore your passions. Give yourself permission to play with your hobbies, learn new skills, enroll in a class, expand your talents, and get back to the things you love doing. If nothing else, this will break up the monotony of your routine and give you something to look forward to outside of your current job. Plus, doing anything that inspires you will recharge your batteries, so you can show up revitalized in all areas of your life. Which brings us to the next step…


Stop compartmentalizing.

When we feel like we need to be one way at home or around our families, then another way at work, it causes us to put on different hats for different situations and in many instances, hide away the best pieces of ourselves. This makes it incredibly difficult to remain authentic. You are one soul. When you try to fragment or constrict yourself to “fit in” to the role or environment you are in, you lose touch with yourself. No wonder why we feel drained and contained; we're hiding who we truly are. It takes a lot of energy to hold back.


It may very well be that you’re going to turn the hobby or passion you discovered above into a new business or venture, so in the meantime, try not to look at this as a see-saw… One minute you feel high doing what you love, the next minute you feel drained doing what you hate. Understand that giving yourself time to play, explore, be creative, athletic, or do anything meditative works hand in hand with assisting your attitude when you can’t be doing those things. Let your passions fuel a positive outlook so you can keep doing what you “have to” with new energy and enthusiasm. This will also enable you to take the pressure off the everyday tasks and ease through your day with less stress. When you find pleasure in doing the things you love outside of work, it will help you relax and take life a little less seriously, which in effect can actually help your work performance.


Bring your authentic self (all of you) to your current role. Let’s say you like to bake and you’re even considering starting a cupcake business. Well, make cupcakes and bring them to the break room in your office. Not only will you share your passion, but you’ll probably become rather popular at work and even make a few new friends. They'll say, "I didn't know you could bake like that. Those cupcakes are out of this world. Thank you." Maybe you’re dabbling with oracle cards? Bring them to work, pick a card for inspiration and put it on your desk or bulletin board, and don’t be ashamed to let your co-workers see it; I guarantee somebody will ask you about it and either want a reading or want to know what it’s all about. Perhaps you are an artist or photographer? Print out some of your work on inexpensive postcards and put them on the desks of your boss and co-workers to brighten their day. They will appreciate it, and it will help you practice sharing your gifts and talents with others, instead of concealing or tucking away that huge piece of who you are.


Practice, practice, practice.

Learn to crawl before you walk. Practice your services on friends and family members for free or at a discounted rate. Give a gift of something you've created. Be of service and share your talents without asking for anything in return. Why is this helpful? Because you will gain confidence, praise, applause, and constructive feedback that will help you define what works and what doesn't. Over the course of time, you'll go from novice or hobbyist to expert. Practicing will help you define your format and services and will give you invaluable experience to prep you for going pro!


Chip away.

When most of us think about making a change in our path, we view it as a HUGE shift, an insurmountable, need-to-figure-it-out, worry-causing, life-altering leap. The most common misconception is that you have to leap from where you are standing right now. The best way to make that move is not to leap at all, but rather to take baby steps and chip away at what you desire through a process of exploration, integration, and focus. We’ve already talked about exploring what you love and integrating all of who you are in what you do, so now let’s turn our attention to how you focus on something new while still in your current job or circumstance.


Once you have a direction (a.k.a. passion, idea, etc.), show up for it every day. Spend time with it. Focus on it. Take little, teeny, tiny action steps. This is how we co-create. This is how you will beckon the manifestation into life.


What if I told you, it would only take five minutes a day, or a couple of hours per week. After all, you’re already making time for your passions, hobbies, and extracurricular activities. Now, think about taking one of those more seriously. Maybe you’ll sit down and sketch out a logo for your new business or passion project, or you’ll spend some time online looking at website designs for your creative endeavor. Guess what? You just co-created with the universe! Congratulations. Now, keep going….


Maybe tomorrow you’ll write a blog post, frame that art you just painted, or check out what people are selling on Etsy and get inspiration for your own store. Perhaps you’ll sign up for classes to help you with the upstart of a new business or research retreats or workshops to assist you in expanding your gifts and talents. Guess what? You just conspired with the universe AGAIN!


Now, continue doing these things each day... Fifteen minutes here, a half an hour there, time spent totally focused, excited, and inspired. What if I told you that if you keep taking baby steps, in six months or a year’s time, you'll be ready to start that business, open that store, or publish that book… Would you believe me?


Oh, and guess what else? You’ll be happier, more balanced, and a heck of a lot more energetic and enthusiastic in everything you do while you’re working towards your dreams. Plus, you’ll feel more grateful. Gratitude comes when we get happy right where we are. No matter what the present circumstance is, thank it. Thank your dead-end job for the ability it’s giving you to pay your bills and have some money left over to put towards your goals, know that it’s not forever, and keep chipping away at what you want to cultivate. Before you know it, it will be time and you’ll open up the new path easily and effortlessly.


Remember, the universe will rise up to meet you when you take action steps with a purely inspired desire and focused intention. The money will come. The security is within you, and the truth is, there really is no sacrifice at all. Do what you love, feel rich in appreciation, allow the process to unfold, and the abundance will flow towards you as everything falls into place.


Kimberly's VU: In life, I have always been a huge risk taker; I would leap before I looked. I've left jobs, started businesses, moved thousands of miles away, and nothing has ever frightened me. I guess the reason is because I trust in myself, in my ability to always land on my feet and keep myself safe, and I never bought into the notion of a safety net. Believe me when I say, I have been criticized for this. My disapproving father. The in-laws who judged me. The friends who thought I was crazy. I'll be honest, leaping probably wasn't the best course of action in any instance, but with childlike enthusiasm and a bit of naivety, this is how I operated in my earlier years. Through trial and error, in this dance of co-creating with the universe, I have learned what has tripped me up, caused struggle & roadblocks, and what has worked in the process of manifesting. Now I can share these tidbits of wisdom with you...


What has worked:

Not needing a safety net, having the guts to take risks and change course or direction at any time, being adaptable, allowing myself to be guided, building a bridge, and believing in myself.


What hasn't:

Clinging to an ego-based version of the outcome, leaping instead of taking baby steps, choosing the path with a lot of fricken resistance (God, I could have made this easier for myself!), and not trusting in divine timing (forcing, pushing, or willing things to happen).


You have to trust that when things don't work out when you want them to, it's for a reason. It's either not time yet (you have more to learn or experience), or you haven't aligned with that thing you want fully (there's still ego, fear, or resistance in the mix), or it's not for your highest good. The question I get so often, is how do you know? Well, you don't. You must really ask yourself, "Am I blocking this from happening in some way?". Whether you are or not, the best thing to do is to stop trying, stop efforting, and stop griping that it hasn't shown up yet. Understand that setting goals is healthy and necessary, but the universe will work with your higher self to bring everything to life in the perfect timing. So, ditch the self-imposed deadlines. You are not in a race with yourself or anyone else; you're manifesting. It happens when you (your soul) is ready and in full alignment.


If you still can't get past analyzing where you are now versus where you want to be, then create a bridge or look at your current circumstance as a bridge. A bridge is a connector between two places that you travel over for a short time to get to where you want to be; it's a temporary but useful pass-through. Without the bridge, you might not be able to get from point A to point B, and you certainly won't get from A to Z. So adjust your perspective and start bridging.


In the meantime, while you cross the bridge and continue to take baby steps towards what you want, pay attention to what IS illuminating for you. Follow the open doors. That is how everything will line up, and the doors that were once closed will open too, in new and better ways than you ever imagined.


Post by Kimberly Alleyna www.spiritualmaterialgirl.com @spiritualmaterialgirl


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