If I told you that somewhere in the world there is someone who makes a living as a corporate pastoral playwright, would you believe me? You should because for the last two decades that’s exactly what Steven Tomlinson has been doing. He is a co-founder and master teacher at the Acton School of Business, an integrated MBA program that cultivates multi-faceted callings. What this means is that you don’t have to succumb to one purpose or passion for the rest of your life. You can keep them all and make a living this way. Watch his TED talk from Traverse City and be inspired to make your next move.
While most of us, Tomlinson included, think that the way to go is to choose one direction or passion for the majority of our lives, there are those who will urge us not to choose just one. In this day and age, a person’s skills, talents, hobbies, interests, or gifts, are so widely dispersed that pursuing most, if not all, of them will cause us to spread ourselves too thin. However, the key is not in discarding passions of lesser interest but inter-weaving them little by little until you have a career that is made up of most (if you’re lucky, all) of them.
“The more gifts you have, the bigger the challenge is.”
Naturally, the challenge with keeping all of your passions is juggling them at the same time. The more gifts you have, chances are they aren’t necessarily related or connected to each other so integrating them with one another will require you to be smart. You can’t expect your love of football and electronics engineering to magically come together and form robo-ball or some other love child. There is a lot of work involved in meshing and uncovering how your passions can work hand in hand as a career. And because your passions and what you love are probably unique to you, only you can figure this one out. Rest easy in the possibility of this. Tomlinson made corporate pastoral playwright happen.
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“Lead with what you love.”
Consciously choosing to pursue these passions will be difficult but because they are already things that you love or are good at, they will provide you with a natural and almost innate fuel to keep you going. Without expecting them to do the work for you (they never will), allow them to be your guiding lights. Let them interact with one another and see how their byproduct comes into fruition and how you can make a career out of this. It’s a scary process, not knowing if any of this will pay off in the end. But think of what if it did…