Earlier this year I had the most amazing experience while going to get my car repaired.
The car shop owner, a person who I know for about eight years, called me in his office to give me the estimate. He is a short fellow, not bad looking, age 39, with a bald spot, very energetic and a little overdressed for the business he is running.
Although I had known him for all this time, we never talked much about each other’s personal life, only cars and bits and pieces about his business.
He used the time it took to open the software to ask me what do I do.
When he asked me that question, he knew that some time ago I had closed my business, a cleaning company, that ate up a lot of my time, energy and was detrimental to my health. He was mainly curious.
So I responded: “I write.”
He stopped what he was doing and looked at me for a few seconds, as if he was shocked by the news. “Are you serious?” he asked me. “Yes, of course. I have written three books so far”, I said.
That’s all it took to open the floodgates.
He started telling me that he had been maintaining the car repair shop in memory of his father, who had passed twenty years back, and that he isn’t happy with the way things are going, that the expenses are increasing exponentially while at the same time prices had to be lowered to cope with the decreasing demand.
But nothing prepared me for what he said next: “My passion is ballet. I love fine arts. I love to organize social events, weddings. But I never got to do those things, I lived my life one compromise after another, and now I’m at a crossroads. If someone would give me the right price for this business, the shop and the house, I would sell them in a heartbeat. I would buy a small cottage in the countryside, and the rest of the money I would deposit in a bank and go live a simple life with my wife and kid. But, for now, I’m struggling to make ends meet, and I don’t have the luxury to live my dreams.”
Like him, I was shocked too.
His confession was too much, and took me completely by surprise. A mechanic/repair shop owner passionate about ballet and social functions.
What are the odds? Actually, the other way around: an artist doing something completely opposite to his passions for the better part of his life.
What a waste of life that is…
Today’s experience opened my eyes to see the true power of compromise. And I didn’t like what I saw.
We see compromising as a tool to be used in our everyday life, a lubricant which keeps things moving, even if they move in a direction opposite to what we want.
Generally, we see compromise as normal, and we use it to keep everyone else, except us, happy. But this perspective doesn’t yield positive results, ever.
It only seems that way to us, it’s what our brain is accustomed to believing. The cruel reality is that nobody is happy after compromising, and that only has one outcome: wasted time in our lives.
Our world is built on supply and demand, so, instead of everyone following their passion and calling, we all end up trying to take advantage of any market gap that opens up.
But IMAGINE: how beautiful would the world be if everyone would follow their calling?
Wouldn’t our soul feel better if an artist would invite us to see a beautiful ballet instead of inviting us to his shop to repair our car?
Wouldn’t we feel better if a writer would offer us a beautiful uplifting book, instead of offering to clean our house?
Wouldn’t the food we eat look and taste better when prepared by someone passionate about cooking, instead of someone who hates cooking?
I am grateful because today for two things: because I learned that NOTHING IS THE WAY IT APPEARS TO BE, and because I was lucky enough to hear someone’s true story and see them exposing their inner beauty to me.
I think it would be a beautiful thing if everyone would just rearrange their lives so that they’d do what they love. What a beautiful world it would be…
And I hope I will be lucky enough to see it happen someday…
Chilling to think there are far too many of us that live day in and day out working against our passions be it out of fear or other circumstances. Myself included. Makes me thankful I have at least started making the steps towards a passionate life of creating, building, writing, playing music and more. Also makes me realize I and still one of those people
I have the utmost consideration for people like you, Kurtis. Your kind is so rare, to have the nerve to look inside and verbalize with an authentic voice what’s there, even if it isn’t pretty. Admitting is the first step to overcoming it. I’m rooting for you! 😉