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.