01 January 2007

Time for Passion

If money were not a problem--in other words, if you had enough to deal with your interests and obligations with no worry--what would you do?

While you ponder an answer, here's Mine:

--I'd write more fiction. I love science fiction and fantasy and have had some modest successes in those genres, with a handful of published stories, two of them award-winners. I currently have four science fiction or fantasy series in mind, two other series (SF and mystery) already have multiple stories and there are three unedited novels in My files.

--I'd play more games. I am a game fanatic, preferring strategy and simulations to games of chance. Because I know My capacity for obsessiveness, I avoid playing computer and online games. Ever since My college days, with the incomparable Don Muchow, I have either modified, redesigned or created games, so I'm also interested in game theory and design. There's a lot of parallels between writing fiction and creating games, so doing both would be easy and enormous fun for Me.

--I'd regularly play sports again. I lost that habit after I got married and there was no good reason for that. I may not be as athletic as I once was, but I can certainly get better, become more fit and enjoy the competition. I could even take up golf for that "I'm pretending to be an athlete" feeling.

--I'd go dancing. I love to dance and that too went by the wayside with the "I do." I'd love to take a ballroom dance class and find a place or two where I could indulge in moving to merengue, salsa, plena, rock-and-roll or whatever "oldie" style fills the air. Like sports, I'd need to work My way back to best form, but the sharing and fun go hand in hand with the pleasure of moving to the rhythm.

--That's it. Maybe travel, but only if I find the right person to travel with. Maybe My son when he's older, or someone currently close to Me. I could travel alone, but alone is where I've been a bit too long.

You have your answer and would most likely make a vague list of 3-4 items, like Mine, and then forget it. Now here's the thing: Why not go ahead and do them anyway?

What? You don't have that much money? Neither do I. But here's how I see it: In almost every case, it isn't a matter of money, it's a matter of time. Where you invest it and how you want to use it.

So here's My list with time thrown in to make it all work:

--Write fiction: Find 30 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week. How do I know I can do it? I've been blogging that way for almost three years.

--Play games: With a son and two nephews, playmates are there and have already become enthused with gameplay. Once a week, play a favorite game or introduce a new one. And by cutting back on even the small amount of TV time I have (see below), I can modify or create games for personal pleasure.

--Play sports: I watch 8-12 hours of sports a week (football season, Steelers, you get the picture.) Cut back to watching only Grade-A events (playoffs, Tiger Woods in the final round of a major, Roger Federer in a final) and the time for My sports play (and more) appears is if by magic.

--Dance: My local phone book lists a ballroom dance class just 20 minutes from where I live. Guess who I'm calling tomorrow morning? As for going out, I can look around for good dance places, find a willing partner and just go. I have the time.

Think about your list. The odds are very much that waiting until the money appears to do what your heart desires is dooming you to live a Life of "not" instead of "did." And here's the secret benefit: The better you feel about how you use your time, the better you will be able to generate money. Think that's not true? Ask the most financially successful people you meet if they do their activities with or without passion. For them, passion in work and play is the fuel that powers their engine.

And you can't have passion while living a Life you don't like, doing what you don't want to do and letting your heart's desires remain figments of your imagination.

Now excuse Me, I have some dance steps I want to polish...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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