Life: Passionately Challenged

Here I am, drinking coffee with a good friend and listening to him excitedly describe his latest business project. He’s certain this is going to be the one that will work out, the idea no one has thought of before and the reason he is going to be a millionaire very soon. While he is very passionate about it, I have the strange feeling I have heard this before – numerous times, in fact, from the same person, yet about different ideas. I can’t help but notice my thoughts trail off – to my chores for today, my stable job with mediocre income and to my kids who most likely will never be raised by a private nanny while I spend my afternoons playing tennis or going to the spa.

Many people dream about getting out of the rat race and making it big, and they may even have exact ideas of how to go about it. The problem is, oftentimes there are just so many ideas that these people have trouble focusing on only one.

It is a known fact that neither indifference, lack of interest nor narrow- mindedness will lead you to success and riches. Unfortunately, the opposite can be true as well. You can think outside the box, feel enthusiastic about all your career plans and be willing to go the extra mile and – I hate to say it – still fail horribly. While all of us, and especially us women, are proud of our multi-tasking skills, multi-tasking doesn’t really exist per se. We just divert our mind to different things in very short time intervals with the effect that nothing gets done properly. Trust me; I’m an expert in this. I have found myself washing the dishes while on a conference call and putting a band-aid on my son’s bleeding toe, all at once. The result: I hung up on the call accidentally with my chin, soaked the floor and ended up with the band-aid around my own thumb.

Similar things can happen when we are too passionate about too many things: We get sidetracked, lose sight of the goal in mind and most likely, we won’t get anywhere. If you are in your 30s, still live in your parents’ basement, or you just arrived in Canada with the single motivation to make it from behind the McDonald’s counter to the steps of your very own mansion with one of your countless, ingenious ideas, let me break it to you: it is most likely not going to happen that way!

Unfortunately, in most cases, people with too many interests, too many strategies and too many plans are usually the ones who are not willing or able to put their minds towards one thing. They may be scared of limiting themselves by committing to decisions, and therefore avoid them altogether. They may dream of delicious jam, but they don’t want to bother about the bread and butter underneath it when it comes to their work ethics, and you know what comes of that – a sweet taste in your mouth but nothing to fill your stomach with, metaphorically speaking.

While my brain has a hard time keeping up with all those incredible ideas my friend has for his career, I can’t help wondering whether he would have the same confusing effect on all his professional contacts, interested clients and potential investors. It is very tiring to hear someone talk about 10 different strategies at the same time, and it makes you think he just doesn’t know what he actually wants. Maybe as a friend I should tell him, but then again, who wants to kill someone else’s passion of the moment, even when he has plenty of them? So instead I smile, nod and say: “Awesome concept, buddy. If I were you I’d really stick with this one, ditch the other 50 projects and go for it with my whole heart, body and mind.” He seems to like the response, unless that pleased look on his face means he is already brewing up the next idea...

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Sabine Ehgoetz
Sabine is a successful correspondent, columnist and news writer as well as editor-in-chief for a parenting magazine. Her biggest and most important job though is raising her currently two year old twins.