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Alan Cohen: Finding Your Passion

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Alan Cohen: Finding Your Passion

Alan Cohen, M.A., is the author of 22 popular inspirational books and CD’s, including the best-selling The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, the award-winning A Deep Breath of Life, and the classic Are You as Happy as Your Dog? He is a contributing writer for the New York Times #1 bestselling series Chicken Soup for the Soul, and is also a faculty member of Omega Institute for Holistic Studies.

Alan will be leading several sessions at the upcoming Celebrate Your Life conference in Chicago in June 2010, including Dare to Be Yourself: The Power of Authentic Living and The Coin of Destiny: Making Decisions. This is the fourth of nine author interviews appearing on Care2 as part of the Celebrate Your Life series.

Care2: You have said passion is one of the things most important to you. How does this translate into people’s everyday life? It means their work? Their relationships?

Alan Cohen: Everything. Certainly a lot of people are in passionless work. A lot of people are unhappy at work and so they have accidents at work and they get sick and they get irritable because they choose work that is not aligned with their passion. My experience in working with people for many years is that if people can really tap into what they would love to do, and find a way to put it out there and trust that they deserve to get paid for it, they can actually create a really rewarding career on every level. Not just financially, but emotionally. So I try to shoo people from going to work that they hate everyday and see if they can create a livelihood that they’re bringing some life to.

And it’s relationships. We lose passion in relationships. We settle for relationships without passion. And there are foods we would love to eat but we’re afraid to. There are projects and hobbies we’d like to do but we don’t because we think, ‘I could never do that.’ So it’s really across the board. Once you tap into that passion muscle, if you will, you get to exercise it pretty much all throughout your day.

C2: Do you think that it’s possible for everyone to find work they’re passionate about?

Alan: Yes, I do. No one is here by accident. Each of us has a divine purpose, a divine calling. The word ‘vocation’ comes from the Latin word for ‘voice,’ which means that there’s a voice that will guide you if you’re willing to listen to it. And I don’t think anybody’s left out of the principle that you can have what you want if you’re true to yourself. I’ve worked with thousands and thousands of people over so many years and I haven’t found anyone who does not have an inner voice that if they listen to it will work. The problem is that people don’t listen to it. But if you get still enough, you tell enough truth you can find that inner voice. And I don’t think anybody is relegated to a job of suffering. I just don’t believe that, and the people I’ve worked with have found ways to shift that.

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Read more: Inspiration, Mental Wellness, Spirit, The Celebrate Your Life Series, ,

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Robyn Hessinger

Robyn Hessinger was formerly Care2ís Editor-In-Chief. As a veggie-loving yogini and Reiki Master/Teacher, Robyn is passionate about holistic health and wellness, green living, and animal advocacy. She believes that everyone can make a difference.


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6:38AM PST on Nov 10, 2010

Great article. I take care of my aging parents so I really need to find my passion to keep upbeat during some trying times. Thanks for the inspiring articles.

11:21AM PDT on Sep 18, 2010

love this article, gonna print it off and reread many times

5:24PM PDT on May 3, 2010

Very interesting. I will sign up for his daily thoughts. His advice reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. "Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time."
Mark Twain

Remember to dream and have faith.

1:17PM PDT on Apr 29, 2010

A very inspiring article!

1:23AM PDT on Apr 28, 2010

He is attractive.

10:57AM PDT on Apr 25, 2010

Thank you

10:17AM PDT on Apr 21, 2010

Great Aritcle, very interesting. Thanks!

2:43PM PDT on Apr 17, 2010

thanks for this, learnt something useful

2:11PM PDT on Apr 17, 2010

Great, thanks!

11:03AM PDT on Apr 15, 2010

I really love this statement "Lots of people have grown up in a religion and culture that have a suffering ethic. And I get lots of people in my programs who had drummed into them as children that ‘unless you’re suffering you don’t deserve money."

I grew up in Taiwan, where the ultra-tough education culture is similar to that of Japan, China, South Korea, and Singapore. High school students there study on average more than 12 hours a day, including the infamous "cram schools" that most students go to after school. Good grades and a good university acceptance is how a student is judged by society.. it's a really painful experience.

And all we're ever told is to "suck it up," that pain is gain. but fortunately I've studied for 8 years in Canada and the U.S too, so I've been able to personally experience the benefits of a more open education that emphasizes extracurriculars and community involvement. The simple fact is that pain doesn't equal gain when all you're converting yourself into a test-taking machine all day long in Asia.

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