"Have you ever met someone who loves what they do for a living?" This was the question that the author of a small passage I read recently on following our hearts, used as a hook to catch and maintain the interest of her readers. It's an interesting question because it gently draws a distinction between the act of labor and the motivations that drive our labor. Indeed, most people work for a living. To provide for ourselves and for our loved ones we sell our labor. Some of us are in a position to sell our labor to the highest bidder, but most are lucky to find anyone who will bid on their labor with a job offer and so we don't even question the value of our work. Instead we allow the bidder to determine and settle the fee for us which we graciously accept with the appearance of being delighted though we subconsciously calculate the financial struggles that may persist despite our salaries. This is the experience for many of us. Yet there is an entire class of people in our society whose work is motivated by more than money. By class I do not draw a distinction between this group and those of us who labor primarily for pay on the basis of socioeconomic status, but this group of individuals consists of people from all economic backgrounds who do what they do because there's some force deep within them that directs their actions. They follow their heart's desires and in the process they provide for themselves both spiritually and financially.
Sure they don't all live comfortable lives and certainly their success does not come easily, but when it comes between the 22 year old college graduate who earns just enough to get by as he starts a hip-hop band with his friends and the 45 year old secretary who still dreams of being a dancer while she makes enough to pay bills and buy groceries for her kids, I'm beginning to think that the secretary is the real struggling artist. Only someone with great artistic capability can paint on a smile every day before he or she goes off to the job they secretly loathe as they constantly ask themselves what if--what if I had the courage 20 years ago to follow my desires?
If "de" means of and "sire" means father or lord, wouldn't it make sense that our desire is the spiritual light that can direct our journey to discovering true joy in our work? Perhaps this is the reason why we all desire to do different things and to be different people. It's the universe trying to tell us how to get to our respective places in the world. If you know just where you should be, why are you not there?