Posts tagged ‘life’

I think I found it (the joy that is) at a bar in Montclair, NJ called Just Jakes.  My wife and I had gone to see a friend and his band, Hyperactive, play the other night and had an incredible time.  Not only was the diversity of music (that ranged from funk to rock to swing to ska) fantastic, but I saw something that night that I hadn’t seen in a really long time.  The guys on stage were doing something that they loved. They were performing not because they HAD to, but for the pure joy that they got out of it.  Everyone in the band has a day job; but they have found an outlet for the passion of music.  Watching these guys got me thinking about the fact that our lives are so focused around work and the daily grind. We tend to lose sight of the fact that it IS possible to have fun.  Unfortunately, too many of us spend time working and doing things because we HAVE to and not because we really WANT to.  For most of us, our jobs are avenues to make money in order to pay bills as opposed to passions to live and abide by.

Joe with two of his passions, music & wine.

Joe with two of his passions, music & wine.

As I gazed in amazement at the band, my attention turned to my friend Joe,  the lead vocalist.  When he is not playing gigs, he spends his days as the wine director of a shop in Bernardsville, NJ called 56 Degree Wine.  My immediate thought was, what a lucky bastard.  He gets to travel the world to drink wine, which he then writes about on his blog, Le Monstre Du Vin (this means The Wine Monster – I had to look it up) during the week and then plays music at clubs/bars on the weekends.  The more I thought about it, I realized that it wasn’t luck at all. He designed his lifestyle to accomodate these two worlds.  Joe found a way to take one of his passions and make a living from it, while still having fun with his passion for music.  My sentiments then went from jealousy to admiration.  Here is a guy that is so passionate about wine and music that instead of pushing these passions aside to maintain his life, he embraced them and decided to make a living from them.

The lesson I think we can all learn from Joe and others like him is that we don’t all HAVE to do things that make us unhappy.  The key strategy is to identify your passions, and then have the courage to chase them down.  Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that everyone immediately quit their jobs so that they can have fun all day.  It’s not always that easy.  I think in many cases, it is MORE work to pursue your passions than to just make a living.  What I recommend is that everyone try to find something that they enjoy doing… and then spend more time doing it.  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more of us spent time feeling satisfaction and joy from our day vs just going through the motions to “get by?”