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The Difference between Survival Work & Passion Work

Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I’d write poems, short stories, investigative pieces, and more. I just loved writing and knew that that was what I wanted to do. As I grew and did research on the career field, I learned that it took hard work to become a well-known and paid writer. I needed the strength to push boundaries & ask tough questions, the courage to write those uncomfortable pieces, and the drive to keep going when things got rough. I, also, knew that it didn’t pay much, if at all, when you’re first starting out. I accepted that and was willing to work through it. But then I got pregnant and, literally, everything changed.

I, still, wanted to be a writer but things were different. Me, I was okay with eating ramen noodles for days & weeks on end if it meant I would be doing what I love. But my daughter needed formula, diapers, special bottled water, more diapers. Motherhood is expensive and my starting rate as a writer just wasn’t going to cut it. So I joined the military and have been able to provide for my daughter (and son, now) ever since. I did what I had to do to survive and provide for my family.

From the time I was 15 years old, my mom would say, “Jewel, do what you have to do till you can do what you want to do.” And that’s what exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve been working hard, day in and day out, so I can get to a point where I’m doing what I really want to do with my life; my ‘Passion Work’ What I’m doing now is my ‘Survival Work’.

Survival Work is the work or job you do to get by. It’s not necessarily your favorite option but it’s putting food on the table, taking care of the bills, and providing your family.

Passion Work, on the other hand, is what you absolutely love to do. What you’re passionate about! For me, this is my Passion Work. Writing articles & guides, speaking and sharing advice, this is what I love to do. So, while I’m going to my regular 9-5, I’m constantly working on ways to get my passion off the ground. Staying motivated can be difficult but I know it’ll all be worth it because this is what I love and want to do for the rest of my life.

One major thing to remember, that I’ve had to remind myself of, is that your path to your Passion Work may take longer than other people’s paths. Don’t fall into the pit of wondering why people that started after you are taking off before you because, as I’ve learned, comparison can be the thief of joy. If you stay steady on your path and cheer on others as they’re on theirs, you won’t have time or energy to focus on the paths of others.

While welcoming giggles, gurgles, joy, and tons of love, parenthood also brings late nights, stress, and sacrifice. Survival Work is just a piece of the sacrifice. Passion Work is part of the prize and end result that your Survival Work contributed to.

Whatever kind of work you’re doing, stay motivated and driven. Remember why you started, remember how far you’ve come, and never lose sight of your goals.


Author: Jewel Newsome |


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