The Gift of Loving What You Do
by Lori La Bey, Founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks
Have you ever asked yourself,
“What Do I love to do?”
Have you ever found figuring out what you love to do is difficult?
You may be asking what does this have to do with dementia or caregiving? Please read to the end and you will see how the dots connected for me.
Most of us have asked our self the question, but few taken the risk to follow their path of passion. As a society we have not been taught to value what we love to do, but rather what we are perceived as being “good at doing.” Typically this is led by the money stream:
- How will you support yourself?
- How will you keep up with the Jones?
- How will you provide for your family?
- How will you take that vacation or save for retirement?
- How will you… and the list goes on.
Taking the risk to do what you love is
by no means without challenges
I know as I decided to take the road of passion with the work I do. The difference I’ve found in those challenges that come before me is simple. They are mine, by choices I have made.
They are not coming from a talking head at corporate that doesn’t understand my job and sometimes is so far removed from serving the customer, they no longer see or feel the true needs of the client. Most corporate structures follow the bottom line… the money trail; which I totally understand and respect. But in addition to the money trail, most organizations also are afraid of failure at any level within their company. This in my opinion is a huge mistake. One which stifles creativity, production, connection with their client base and others within the organization.
The fun and exciting part of doing what one loves,
is the fear of failure melts away.
It is replaced with an even stronger fear!
It is replaced with an even stronger fear, one of not trying to improve a situation. It also allows one to have the authority to decide and to take responsibility for outcomes. This is how we build leaders, not followers.
When challenges hit, you have three choices:
- Ignore it and pretend it isn’t there – Denial
- Acknowledge the challenge, but do nothing – Doormat Syndrome
- Recognize the challenge and try to improve the situation – Do Something!
For those that follow their passion,
I’ve found they inherently chose the later.
I have found those doing what they love have highly defined and refined instincts. They are so zoned into to what they love to do, they see and feel things in different ways and on different levels. Most can see the big picture, yet can intimately see and meet individual needs in unique ways. They step out of the typical box we are taught “how things are supposed to be done,” and they get creative knowing if things were so great there wouldn’t be a need to change!
The truth is so many companies’ get comfortable thinking they have things figured out. They forget that life and consumer needs are fluid and change constantly. In order to consistently meet consumer needs we must constantly be looking for:
- New trends
- New needs
- New or expanded consumer base
- New ways to improve successful systems
- New ways reduce costs
- New ways to improve customer satisfaction
These are the things that define successful brands
So what is holding you back from doing what you love? Is it money? Is it peer pressure? Is it the perception of not being who everyone thinks you are? Or who you think you are supposed to be? I’ve found the reasons people stay put are long and varied and most have multiple reasons to stay put.
Change is not easy for most
Change is not easy for most of us. Yet, I have found change very satisfying. I’ve also found my priorities in life have change immensely. What was once a priority is no longer important. Life is simpler and more satisfying. I’m not saying making this type of change is for everyone, but I would love you to think about it.
Think of a world where people actually loved their work
Think of a world where people actually loved their work. A world where people showed up because they wanted to be there and wanted to help make a positive difference; verse just to get a paycheck and health insurance. What would that world feel like? How much kinder would the world be as a whole?
I feel I have been give one of the most precious gifts in the world. One that came to me through the back door. One I never would have wished for. One I could not have imagined.
My world changed due to my Mothers dementia. Her 30 year journey showed me the need for individuals, organizations and the world as a whole to be better. To do better. Have more compassionate hearts and more creative minds. Less Judgment and more grace. More awareness of others needs and our own impact on others.
Don’t Let “Nay Sayers” Kill Your Dreams
If I would have listened to all the “Nay Sayers,” I never would have been able to do what I’ve done with Alzheimer’s Speaks. Baby steps and exploring options to meet needs in new ways has been my driving force. Believing we are all capable of great things. Being able to make decision without going through all the politics of a large company or organization has been a blessing. Alzheimer’s Speaks is a one woman show, me. Check out our collaborative efforts that haven’t cost a lot of money or taken a lot of time. Working on a shoe string has its gifts. It forces one to get creative or give up.
What might you do if you embraced
what you love to do?
What might you embrace if you did what you loved to do? Surrounding yourself with liked minded people who are filled with passion for what they love to do is an extraordinary experience. Your passions don’t even have to align.
It is peoples belief systems that connect us
on a deeper level. One which:
- Lifts your spirits when down
- Helps you brainstorm when navigating new territory
- Celebrates your accomplishments without a hidden agenda
- Encourages you to be and do the best you can
Investigate the Possibility of who you can be.
Thank you Mom for sharing your life with me through all the twists and turns; and especially the thirty year journey with dementia. You taught me more than I ever thought possible. I promise I will continue to share the knowledge and love you shared with me to help others.