Dr. Stephanie Bailey is a lifetime champion of community health excellence. She was Director of Health for
Nashville/Davidson County (1985-2006) and recently served as the Chief for Public Health Practice at CDC (2006-2010). Dr. Bailey has received numerous awards, is a published author, and a sought after speaker. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Clark University; her M.D. from Meharry Medical College; and her M.S.H.S.A. from the College of St. Francis. She currently consults on community health strategies and is an Independent Business Owner, Regional Representative and Certified LifeCoach for COMPASS, a Personal Development Company. Her purpose in life: “To lift people up so that they can soar.” She is an agent for healing and by ‘permission’ is showing up each day to be used.
Q: How do I discover what my passion is?
A: The simple way to discovery is by understanding what passion is. The fourth entry for the word in Webster’s dictionary says it best: ”extreme, compelling emotion, intense emotional drive or excitement”. Further down in the definition there is ‘zeal’: implying intense enthusiasm for an object or cause, usually as displayed in vigorous and untiring activity in its support. Noteworthy is the fact that emotions like rage, anger and fury are also of passion. Passion is simply the opposite extremes of emotions on the scale of all the emotions we may feel. So, ideally both sets of emotions can work to define what is connoted here – career path, life’s work and/or purpose in life.
What do you love to do and would find yourself doing it with joy and coming away feeling fulfilled? If you look at your life history of experiences, jobs or activities – the things you have engaged in – is there a theme? Are you finding that you are pulled towards working with youth, working with the homeless, teaching, mentoring and nurturing, etc; or away from those things? Do you find that you like structure and rigorous disciplines or giving orders or away from those things? Do you find that you rather work alone or in a team or group? No judgment, just emphasizing that you know best who you are. There are some things you can identify as “I don’t like doing that” as readily as you can identify, “I like doing that.” This theme is a clue to your passion. We tend to do what we love. We tend to show up best when we are true to who we are.
Another clue is spending enough reflective time with yourself to know who you are. The two questions that emerge in life and through living are ‘who am I’ and ‘what is my purpose in life.’ Believing that we are designed for a purpose, it is therefore incumbent that we get to know ourselves so that we can live ‘in’ purpose. The answers are within and we spend most of our lives looking outside for the answer to our purpose.
Q: How do I start following my dreams?
A: You can live into your desired future by making choices today.
Each day you step towards it. What you have done in the past does not equal your future. The dream has to be defined and realistic and it is likely that as you stay open on a path to your dream that another emerges that is more worthy. The point is to begin somewhere.
The beginning starts with identifying the dream or the goals. Then, establishing the steps you must take to get there and taking the steps. For example: you want to own your own business. What kind of business? (hopefully, it fits with what you are passionate about – see above) Who is doing this business and is successful? What can I learn from them? Can I be mentored? Am I committed and have the conviction? What resources do I need and how will I amass them?
A lot of people fall short because they have not defined what it is that they want and then not having the courage to go for it. Fear is a powerful inhibitor of people living into their dreams. Fear causes many to settle for the reality that they are in.
Q: How do I know whether my passion is a hobby or could be a career?
The great thing about this question is that your hobby can be your career! Many people have turned their hobby – something they love to do in your spare time, e.g. tinkering with computer, and are current billionaires – into their career. If you can make money at it, whether hobby or not AND you have the passion for doing it, then a career you can make. Belief in product and belief in yourself are two key ingredients.
Generally, however, a hobby is usually considered a spare time thing, something you do just because you love to do it or study it and it is without any stress or timeframes. Career is associated with how you make your money and full of responsibility and work.
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