I have a dear, dear friend whose mother passed away, unexpectedly and recently. My friend shared with me how her perspective has been shifting as she moves through her grief. She no longer believes that things will happen the way she plans them.
This is changing the way she approaches her work. Because she knows in her bones that her long-term plans may never come to fruition, now she works because regardless of what may or may not come of it, she believes the work itself is meaningful.
My fiance has been telling me the same thing for years. I say, "But what if I do all this work, and put in all this effort into my dream, and it never pays off? What if this never turns into a financially sustainable career for me?" our dialogue goes something like this:
Him: But Sarah, why do you really want to be an actor? Me: Well...because I want to share myself authentically and fully, encouraging and supporting others to do the same. Him: Are you doing that now? Me: Yes... Him: Then focus on that. I think you’ll be much happier.
He’s right, of course. The process matters more than any grand scheme. No matter how well I plan or how long I persevere, my financial dreams may never be realized. The real value lies in the work I do daily.