To achieve success in all aspects of life, it helps to discover your passion.
I always thought great things happened to other people. That you had to be born into something or you had to know the right people to get ahead.
But that is simply not true. It is never too late to find success in life and it all begins with listening to your heart, filtering out the noise and following through with your dreams.
Achieve Success - Discover Your Passion
Updated February 2019
It took us many years to find our passion and at one point in our lives, we didn't think we'd ever find it.
We always said to each other - "I know we could be successful at something, if only we knew what we wanted to do!"
There was a time when I was positive I was going to be stuck in a job I didn't love dreaming of someday.
When we were working in the film industry in Toronto we had good jobs on paper. We had a house, we had two cars and we were putting away monthly for retirement.
We were living a stable middle-class life.
Table of contents to Become Successful and Achieve Your Dreams
Discovering Our Passion
At that time, we didn't have a passion for anything. We were going through the motions of life, paying our bills, going to work and barely keeping our heads above water.
We knew we had passion within ourselves. We had a passion for each other, and when we were younger we had a passion for life. But over time we lost that passion.
Work and bills and expectations of what we should have achieved by now got in the way.
We let “the noise” keep us from finding our true purpose.
Stop Living for Someday
In the back of our minds, we knew that we couldn't go on living day by day.
So we decided to take control of our situation and find our passion.
Believe me, it wasn't easy. We had been stuck in a rut for so long, we didn't even know what we liked to do in our spare time.
Say Yes, and Try New Things
Well, when you don't know what you want, it's easier than you think to find it.
Remember that movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey? He started saying yes to everything and opportunity came his way.
We started watching what friends and colleagues were passionate about in their spare time. And we followed their lead.
We went out and networked in places we had never been to before. It opened our minds to trying to things and helped us meet new and inspiring people.
Surround Yourself with Inspiring People
When you meet inspiring people, they inspire you to do great things too!
It's important to surround yourself with people that that lift you up.
I used to have friends that brought me down and made me feel small. It seemed that no matter what I did, they would judge me.
Dave had friends who didn't dream beyond where they were now. They spent their time complaining about their lives rather than taking control of their lives.
That wasn't helping us become our best selves, so we started to look outside our circle of friends to find people to motivate us.
We made new friends at the rock climbing gym who were committed to being in shape and were experts outdoors. We'd join them at the crag on the weekend and talked about travel and adventure.
We joined a cycling club and met up a couple of times a week for an evening ride. They talked about the cycling trips they took around the world and we wanted to do that too!
They made us excited about life.
Learn from Others
Instead of judging what others do, learn from them.
I am so excited now when I see people trying new things and taking risks. I used to have jealousy if I saw people going for their dreams.
I would judge them and say things like "who do they think they are?" Now I say, "Bravo for knowing what you want!"
Before we knew what we wanted to do with our lives, we went to a talk to listen to a man talk about his climbing expeditions around the world. He was so passionate and inspiring. Afterward, we thought, "We want to do that!"
I had visions of us doing public speaking engagements. But what could we talk about? All we had done was go backpacking a few times in between TV gigs.
But we had traveled a lot so we ed our local adventure gear store to see if we could speak about our travels at one of their presentation nights.
They let us speak and we loved it. That lit a spark in us to make speaking a part of our future.
Focus on your Strengths Not Your Weaknesses
Image by geralt Pixabay
We looked at ourselves as Jack of All Trades and Masters of None. By trying everything, we felt that we had all these mediocre skills but weren't experts at anything.
We didn't see how we could possibly do something extraordinary without being an expert at something.
It was then that we realized that having skills in many things gave us the expertise to be the "go-to" people for advice on how to do adventures when you aren't that uber athlete.
Instead of focusing on what we weren't, we focused on what we were. We had enough skills to do adventures around the world and show people that they can do it too.
We shared our fears and frustrations and shared our training process while we learned about trekking over frozen lakes or learning to whitewater kayak.
This all made us relatable and gave people the courage to try things for themselves.
Our skills in many things ended up being the springboard to us becoming successful travel bloggers.
Write it Down - Make a List
If you don't know where to start, we suggest writing it down. With a pen and paper, the old fashioned way.
Don't know what you are good at? Don't know what you want to do with your life?
Start writing. Write anything. Write down your frustrations, write down your childhood dreams, write down where you want to be in the future.
I'll never forget driving home from hiking in Niagara Falls and stopping at a Denny's in a backwater town for lunch. We were feeling bummed out because it was Sunday and we had to go back to work tomorrow.
So we started writing a life list.
We put down every single thing we have ever dreamed of doing. Nothing was off limits. Every dream we ever had from our childhood came out.
The list was long and it made me realize I really hadn't done much in my life and I wanted to change all that.
Looking back now, I cannot believe we not only completed everything on that first list, but we've also added to it.
Sitting in Denny's, we never thought we'd be able to even conquer a fraction of our dreams, but by putting them down on paper, we committed to making it happen.
And you can too!
What Are You Naturally Good At
Dave always had a knack for photography. It was a hobby of his for years. Little did he know he'd be making a living out of it one day.
Everyone has a talent, they just don't see it or realize it's inside them.
Start thinking about what comes naturally to you in life.
Are you funny? Are you a good cook? Are you a good listener? Do you love giving advice? Are you committed to going to the gym or do you love reading?
Everyone has some kind of talent that appeals to others or that you could turn into a business.
Who would have thought that someone could give make-up tips online and become a millionaire? If I had a passion for make-up when I was a make-up artist in TV, I would have totally started a Youtube channel to give make-up advice.
I love to read, if I didn't' become a travel blogger, I might have become a book reviewer.
The possibilities are endless.
What can you contribute to this world to help people or inspire others?
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Find What You Love
How many times have you heard the saying "If you love what you do, you'll never work another day in your life."
I heard that saying many times before and said "yeah right. nobody loves their work." Only a few lucky ones like actors or rock stars truly love what they do.
It seemed like a pipe dream. Or it seemed like something those self-help writers and motivational speakers always say just because it sounds good.
But then I found something that I loved and I understood exactly what that saying meant.
I don't think Dave and I have ever worked harder in our lives, but each day feels like summer camp.
I cannot believe I Am Living My Daydream.
I used to daydream about sipping a coffee and writing words on a computer like a real writer. I always said to myself, wouldn't it be amazing if I could write for a living?
I never thought it would happen, and yet here I am.
Now that Dave and I found our passion, we are not dreaming of someday or retirement. We don't want our career to ever end.
If we have to work for the rest of our lives to pay the bills, we will. Because we love what we do, we'll keep doing it no matter what our lot is in life.
If we have millions of dollars, we'll still work on the blog and on our videos and photography because we love it!
If we have an epic failure and have to start over, it's okay. We have goals and dreams and love the ride.
And that's your goal to do this week. Find Your Daydream.
Think about what it is that you dream about when you are having a quiet moment at work, or when you are doing the dishes at home.
What is your daydream in life?
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
People often spend too much time worrying about what others are doing. I know I did it.
I spent my time comparing my friend's accomplishments to my failures. I was so focused on how other people were doing, I ended up not getting ahead in my life.
It was a friend in college that really made me wake up one day. I was jealous of a classmate that won the role of Fantine in the Toronto Mirvish production of Les Miserables.
My friend Deanna said "Deb, can't you be happy for her and inspired that if it could happen to her, it can happen for you someday? "
I didn't' take her advice then. It was about another decade before it really sunk in and I remembered those words of wisdom.
Once I stopped focusing on what I wasn't getting and instead started focusing on making things happen, my life took a turn.
When I started to feel joy for other people's accomplishments, great things started happening for me too.
Take a Social Media Break
I highly recommend staying off things like Facebook when pursuing your passion. It can be a real drain to be on social media.
You can get sucked into a Vortex.
Not only is it a time suck, but it can also be really tough on your self worth to see what others are doing.
Instead of being on Facebook browsing an endless stream of nonsense, connect with your friends in person.
If you really need to be online, join inspiring groups to chat with like-minded people.
We have some groups that we go to for a pick me up regularly.
They are private groups filled with entrepreneurs, travel lovers and travel influencers. We all support each other and are thrilled for each others success.
Social media may be a big part of our travel blogging careers, but we really aren't on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for kicks. We prefer to meet our peers and friends in person and use social media for promotion.
When we are on social media we are interacting with our peers and supporting one another.
I wanted to share this video because I find it very inspiring.
When Steve Jobs talks about passion and how hard it is every day to achieve success, we can see the emotion on his face as if his entire life of struggle and ultimately success just flashed before his eyes.
Never Give Up
It is a wonderful thing to know your purpose and I am so glad that we never stopped searching.
We always knew something was missing, so we kept on looking for our passion and our reason to get up in the morning.
You are never too old and it is never too late to find your purpose and achieve success.
In fact, having success later in life is the sweetest thing. You appreciate it more and because you know who you are, you are comfortable with the success and being in your own skin.
I think the biggest mistake many people make is assuming it is too late. They think their chance has come and gone and there won't be another one.
I remember wanting to be a singer in my teens and early twenties. When I turned 25 I thought I was a failure because I wasn't Brittany Spears or Christina Aguilera. I thought I was a failure and that my life was over.
I had decided that I was too old to make it now, and I might as well find a job that pays well and get on with being a normal human being.
I did just that. I found a job in the film business as a make-up artist and I spent the next 10 years making a good living while being completely miserable.
I'm glad I woke up and decided to start looking for my passion again.
Every day in life is hard... even for those who are successful
We were all put on this earth with the knowledge that it will all end one day and that is a difficult thing to live with.
I remember reading the Dalai Lama's Art of Happiness and he said 'happiness is a choice.'
You have to choose to be happy and it takes a lot of hard work each day to achieve happiness. (I am paraphrasing, but that is the message that I came away with)
We feel the same way about success.
We have fears and frustrations, insecurities and questionable moments but when we sit down and think about where we want to be and what we want each day of our lives to be like, we wouldn't change a thing.
When you love something, you will keep working on it to make it a success no matter what obstacles stand in your way.
Success is different for everyone.
For some, it could be a mansion in Malibu, for other's it could be raising a loving family.
Other's may want to give back and dedicate their lives to helping others and some may simply want to lead a life of happiness and be doing good while hopefully inspiring a few people along the way to take a chance and live their dreams.
There is room for everyone and everyone's version of success.
I don't know what your goals are and where you want to be in life, but I do know that if you are passionate about something and couldn't dream of living without that in your life, it is the thing that you should pursue.
Business is Pleasure
I have heard many people say that one shouldn't mix their hobbies or what they like to do outside of work, with their careers. We disagree.
I think of all the successful people I have read about who love what they do and have turned that love into a career.
Every interview I see with Slash of Guns n Roses has him holding a guitar.
I am pretty sure that Jeff Bezos loves his work and that is why even though he has all the money in the world, he keeps working on creative and innovative ideas.
Tom Cruise gets a kick out of traveling the world and performing his own stunts all the time pushing the limits of innovation.
And The Rolling Stones will never stop performing because they love being on stage!
Our hobby of travel and adventure is also our career. Does that make us an obsessed workaholic? I don't think so.
Do What You Love
It is easy to work hard and put in the long hours and work through the frustrating moments when you love what you do.
Sure, we have interests outside of travel blogging, but travel was our passion long before we began blogging.
Now we have the joy of not only being able to do something we love every day, but we also get to make a living doing it.
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