No One Said It Would Be Easy
"It's not in the dreaming, it's in the doing." — Mark Cuban
I never thought I would be quoting controversial billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, but you must admire his work ethic. His success can directly be traced to his “go-getter” attitude, which began in high school. In fact, he didn’t even finish high school – he skipped his junior year and jumped right into college.
We live in an era of “instant.” Instant satisfaction, instant music, instant connections. Even, it seems, instant fame. It all seems effortless, and even random.
But the truth of the matter is long-lasting success that brings deep satisfaction requires hard work. And that is something we don’t necessarily want to hear. Nor are we familiar with the concept. Let’s face it. Many of us get by skating through high school, somehow making it through college and settling for a decent-paying job that pays the bills, but doesn’t feed the soul.
And then we wake up one day feeling bored, angry, empty … and stuck. I've been there. Only two years out of a very successful college career pursuing my passion, print journalism, I realized I did not want to be a newspaper journalist. I had to totally reinvent myself. It took a series of jobs and some tough lessons to realize my true passion: I wanted to be a medical writer and a professor.
One of the key steps in getting unstuck and pursuing your passion is to be prepared to work hard for it. It took me 4-1/2 years taking two night classes a semester while working full time in my new career of corporate public relations to earn my MBA at 29. I then took the leap and started my own business, working seven days a week for years and years to become a successful medical writer. And in my 40s, as a single mom, I served as a full-time professor, ran my medical writing business and spent five years earning my doctorate – all while taking care of my elderly father.
How did I do it?
When hard work is fueled by passion, it feels effortless. When you are engaged in something you love to do, all of the work associated with the journey – both menial and meaningful – brings joy and fills your soul. You embrace the long hours, you get through the difficult challenges, you relish the tough times … because you are being true to yourself and following your passion.
As you begin to pursue your personal and professional passions, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and work hard, really hard. If you are truly ready to devote the tremendous time and energy it takes to fulfill your dreams, nothing can hold you back.
Dr. Lori Baker-Schena is the founder and chief executive officer of Baker Schena Communications, a firm dedicated to “Unleashing Your Potential Through the Power of Words.” We offer motivational speaking, leadership consulting and medical writing services. Find us at www.loribakerschena.com