I blame Steve Jobs.
The late Apple CEO and creative genius, who passed away on Oct. 5, left us with more than just a few gadgets we can’t seem to live without. He left us with his lasting advice, published and repeated and blogged about since his passing.
The most frequently cited quotes come from his commencement address at Stanford University in 2005, where he urged the graduates to “trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future,” that “your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” to not “let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
Then he added, “And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
I’ve talked to so many people — teachers, techies, at-home moms, even retirees — who say these words really affected them. They’re rethinking their careers, quitting their jobs (or thinking about it), deciding to follow their passions.
But that’s a dangerous thing.
Jobs was lucky. And he had a lot of capital, let’s be honest. He found what he wanted early in life — and he was smart and savvy enough to grasp it.
And his timing was impeccable.
But what he said really hit home to me. I know exactly what I love to do — write, eat, travel — and I seem to fill my days doing everything but. (Trust me, I know you may think I eat a lot. But I could certainly eat — and that means cooking and baking, too — more.)
And I definitely don’t write as much as I’d like to.
As I was pondering my life, I came across this very cool blog called CakeSpy, written by baker/illustrator/write Jessie Oleson (@cakespy).
The Seattle native graduated from college and started working as a designer at stationery companies. Then, in 2007, she wanted to do something different. “I sat down and I came up with this: ‘What I really love is writing, illustration, and cake. So, how can I put those together?'” she said in an interview with CHOW. “I started, based on requests, selling prints and postcards from artwork featured on the site, and that has become my bread and butter. After six months, I was able cut down to part time at my job, and after about nine months, I was able to quit entirely. Then a year ago, I took over a retail space. It’s a gift shop, focused on food-based art.”
Doesn’t that sound so appealing?
All she did was make a list of the things she likes to do — and she’s doing it.
I want her life.
So what’s stopping us? Why are we so gripped with fear of following our passions that we stay stuck in dead-end jobs, hating our lives and counting the days until retirement? I mean, if Jessie can do it, why can’t we?