Living a Passion Struck Life

Struck Life

Are you happy with your life? In other words, are you living what you would describe as a fulfilling and satisfactory existence?

This is a simple question that often receives an instinctive answer: “Yes!”

But I urge you to dig a little deeper and be honest with yourself.

I lived what I once thought was a great life, and it most certainly was great on the surface. By all societal standards, I had enjoyed an incredibly successful career. I had achieved my professional goals of becoming a multi-industry CEO, making it to the Fortune 500 C-Suite, a practice leader in a Big Four consulting firm, and a decorated Naval officer. I had earned many awards and recognitions that most would die to have on their resume. And yet, something was missing.

As much as it seemed that things were perfect, I was, in fact, living life on autopilot. I was like a pinball and directionless. I didn’t love what I was doing. I felt like I was living someone else’s life instead of the one that God had intended for me.

I had taken the path of what I look back on as a portfolio career, where I was doing multiple things and rising the professional ladder, in jobs that really didn’t inspire me and weren’t my calling. I hid behind the mask of pretense, afraid to confront the stuck points that engulfed my self-identity and restricted my true potential. I was making great money and had all the tangible things life could offer, but I felt lonely, hopeless, bored, indifferent, and lost.

Why? Because I valued the material and vain things of life, which include money, prestige, and recognition that society gravitates towards, above the crucial aspects that genuinely matter: family, relationships, passion, convictions, values, health, love, and legacy. I was contributing to the fulfillment of other people’s goals but wasn’t pursuing my own dreams. For decades, I had gotten so captured in what I believed I had to do that I stopped listening to my heart.

And I am not alone.

As Henry David Thoreau famously said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” He is right. Too many of us are willing to settle instead of intentionally pursuing our dreams.

Do you ever feel like you are not you?

We lose ourselves, ultimately relinquish the joy in our lives, and become unhappy because of the hopelessness brought on by unintentional living. This lack of intentionality causes us to spend so much time faking our lives that we forget who we really are. It leads to burn- out, fatigue, lassitude, and emotional exhaustion—all the things that I was feeling.

We define our self-identity by the vehicle we drive, the size of our house, the weight of our purse, our social circle, the media influencers we follow, and the clothing we wear. This revised materialistic version of the “dream life” is causing many to wear the shroud that I wore. It attempts to mask the reality of who we are and causes us to pursue self-centered ambitions instead of people-centered ones to help others.

Today, fewer people are taking the leap of faith to pursue their dreams. Individuals from the millennial and Generation Z cohorts, who should be leading the charge into a new era of entrepreneurship, are increasingly shunning the idea. The high levels of student and personal debt are often cited as lowering an individual’s propensity to start a business. (Experts have pointed to the spiraling $1.5 trillion student debt in the U.S. alone as a major factor.)

However, I believe that the true underlying issues lie elsewhere: indifference, insecurity, self-doubt, conformity, and entitlement that stem from the systemic exploitation of social norms. Too many of us today are wearing a mask each day and expending significant energy in an attempt to conform to someone else’s expectations of who we should be and what we should strive for. Consequently, our society is increasingly plagued by apathy, complacency, despair, and egotism brought on by the selfish desires for money, comfort, and power.

I purposefully embrace the word “intentional” to convey a pro- found truth. To truly live—to transcend mere existence—demands a deliberate commitment to embracing your authentic self and unearthing your deepest desires. It is this unwavering intentionality that propels you towards the fulfillment of your purpose, infusing your being with the tenacity to pursue it relentlessly. Embrace this resolute path, for within it lies the power to unlock the extraordinary and seize the life that beckons you with unwavering allure.

For many years, psychologists, scientists, and existential philosophers have debated whether we are free to choose the conditions of our existence and discover our true purpose. At the heart of their deliberations lies a fundamental question: Are we bestowed with the freedom to shape the very essence of our existence and unearth our true purpose?

Though certain attributes may be immutable and circumstances may impose limitations, I hold steadfast in my conviction that our intentional pursuits possess the power to bridge the chasm between reality and aspiration. It is through the unwavering intentionality we infuse into our endeavors that we inch ever closer to the realms of our dreams and aspirations. The pursuit of our passions, the unwavering commitment to our goals, serves as the compass guiding us toward the destiny we ardently seek.


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio



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