Don’t Quite Know What To Do? Develop An Eye for Service

11 April 2012, by A. Cedilla

When you have a dream about making money from following your passion, sometimes the passion can get in the way of realizing the dream. So what more if you don’t know what your true passion is? What do you do?

Everyone daydreams. All of us, at one time or another, entertained vivid mental movies where we get everything we want. Dreams, daydreams, fantasies — or more specifically, visions — are important because they give us the outlines of something we want. They give us something to aspire to. They’re symbols.

They’re like bright fluttery curtains behind which are hidden our true desires and deeply held convictions, and to make our dreams come true, to real-ize our truth, we have to work at pulling back the curtain. Keyword: work.

Now, when you’ve got a number of years under your belt and gained the maturity from those years, hopefully you’ve accepted learned a few things about yourself and your many dreams.

Some dreams you outgrew, some you realized weren’t right for who you were growing into, and some were all flash and no substance — and yet the flash was so, well, flashy and pretty and dazzling and fascinating it’s hard to let the dream go. But looking past that it’s not the dream but what the dream represents, that’s linked to the flash and makes it so irresistible.

Dreams are fuzzy and free. Reality is more demanding. You want something, you can’t wait for it to fall into your lap. I.e, you go for it. You make your moves. You act. You work.

But what if you don’t know your passion? Even more, what if you have your passion, but you want it to stay a passion and not become, eww, work? If you still want to make enough money to keep body and soul together (plus a vacation on the side, a little sumpthin’-sumpthin’ to fall back on, and a few extras), what then?

Develop an eye for service.

The things you want to do? Do them.*
The things you can do? People can pay you to exercise those skills for them. Go out and find these people. **

In the movie “A Dog Year” – Jeff Bridges’ character rented a house on a small farm. The owners were retired and lived in Florida. They had someone local manage their house and properties for them. They paid someone else to manage the rental house. What little thought opened up a whole new world of opportunities from this scenario? When people have too much stuff and they can’t take care of it, they’ll need help.

There are de-cluttering experts. There’s also an industry focused on providing cleaning services, home and property maintenance, security. There’s house-sitting. There are also rental and property managers. There is an entire industry entirely devoted to renting out storage space.

Do you see now? “When people have too much stuff and they can’t take care of it, they’ll need help.”

And that’s just one example.


On the personal level, you may or may not have discovered your own passions, and good for you if you have, but on the public level, you still have to be able to contribute to society as a whole. Anything less would be a waste of your presence. Being a citizen of the world and a member of the human race means you live in a world of relationships, and it’s not enough to take. You must also contribute. Contribute, not just give or relinquish.

Just to clarify between ‘contributing’ and ‘giving’.
Municipal water supply. Electricity. Those things don’t grow on trees. Bus schedules, and vehicle maintenance? Somebody does them. Yes, taxes can be a pain, but they’re part of your responsibility now that you’re an adult. The schools you studied in weren’t built for free. The clean water you used growing up, not free. The well-maintained roads, the street lights, the salaries for public servants — police, government workers, firefighters, etc.– those don’t come up from the ground like mushrooms. Service — on one level — is what lets other people go about their lives a little easier.

And this is just one level of contribution. The other level is when you give of yourself, the skills you’ve been born with and the ones earned through hard work, to people who need those skills, or can appreciate them. That’s a deeper meaning of ‘service’.

“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation.” – Aristotle

* (As long as you know, don’t break any basic laws of human decency and simple respect for other people. And, um, legal laws, too. It’s your life. Make your own choices and be accountable for them.)
** Negotiate. Better yet, study what you’ve got to offer, make a comparison with other people already offering the same service, and decide what makes you so special that you can ask for the rates you’ve settled on. This is called packaging–another word is branding. Which falls under ‘making a living’.

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