• Benjamin Gear

The Choice is Yours

Sooooo, not many things evoke more empathy from me than a person that believes where they are is where they have to stay, especially when that place doesn’t bring them joy. Nothing makes my little heart happier than to see people pursuing their passions in an attempt maximize their joy. The pursuit itself is a success because there’s growth in the attempt but even better when that attempt is fruitful because therein lies progress...and growth and progress are kinda why we do the whole existence thing. We don’t exist to survive, we exist to thrive! Choosing to adopt and accept that “I’m getting by”, “it pays the bills” mentality is like keeping that partner you can’t stand but don’t leave because the is sex good. Really, it’s a commitment to maintain lower standards for yourself. It’s an investment in mediocrity as well as temporal, and sporadic joys. We were given personalities, talents, opinions, thoughts, and feelings to shape and empower our passions. At the center of our passion is the path (the how) to the consummation of our purpose. We’re left with a choice, pursue irrelevance through mediocrity or relevance through purpose.

I believe purpose is twofold, one part of that being fulfillment. When we are acting in alignment with our purpose we feel alive. We feel challenged and motivated; not only by the challenge but within the challenge. Our successes and failures are the highest of highs and lowest of lows. We stress, over think, and second guess the already over thought decision (because we actually really care) before we make any moves. Fulfillment is authentic joy. Not the satisfaction or happiness we feel because our ego-based needs are met (the job we have or money we make, the type of person we date, where we live, how we look...etc) but the peace that accompanies knowing we are right where we’re supposed be, doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing.

The other component and unquestionable bottom line is service. Whatever it is that brings us fulfillment can be channeled towards putting value back into humanity. The universe is reciprocal, what we put out, we get. Having any gift (talent/knowledge) and keeping it to ourselves puts a very low ceiling on potential blessings. If singing is your passion but you only share it with your car and shower, your peak is you knowing you totally slayed that new Beyonce (or whomever) song. What’s missed is that person who might’ve needed to hear your song as a pick me up because they were having a crappy day. Or the guy who is looking for a lead singer for the band he’s trying to put together. Or your friend letting you know that you got the lyric wrong so you can slay the song get my point. The more we give, the more everyone gains and the more everyone gains, the more everyone can grow.

Have you found your passion? Have you found a purpose for your passion? Are you living in it?

My good friend Jennifer Ellis, proprietor of Arete: Float Tank & Personal Optimization Center just opened her doors for business on Saturday, February 3. It was cool to hear about it as an idea but super awesome to see it come to fruition. I was completely unaware that floating, for rejuvenating (among other) purposes was even a thing so I asked how this became an actionable passion and she said:

“Wellll, after I broke my ankle, it was the only thing that completely relieved sciatica pain that was due to being in a boot and on crutches for so long, throwing my body out of whack. I always knew I wanted to own my own biz and after I came out of my 1st float I knew I wanted to bring this to Carrboro. I knew it could help so many people on so many levels. It also feels better “selling” a service (and ultimately products) that serve a higher purpose than just future landfill...aka junk no one really needs.”

Fulfillment (owning her own business) + Service (healing) = Purpose (Arete)

If you want to love what you do, do what you love! I guess the point here is just to encourage you guys to pursue passion because you deserve to feel fulfilled not just sustained. And we the people you will encounter in your passion pursuit need what you have to offer. Whether it’s a product, service, or skill, offer it and we all win. On the other side of that, support local business, creative arts, and just anyone you come across who is doing their own thing and strengthen the culture of passion pursuers.

I am SO blessed to live in a community that is full of these people and with that being said, I wanted to shout out a few of these dream chasers and goal diggers. If they have a product, service, or purpose you need, can use, or can get on board with (or know someone who could) please reach out to them and support those serving within their purpose:

We Are Legend (WAL) apparel: These guys produce really fly apparel with purpose. They are active in their community and promote everything this post is about.

Sara McNamara Forever Ro & Co.: I didn’t even know she knitted, crocheted, or whatevs but she makes some really dope stuff...and her tagline is money: Live Simple, Stay Cozy

Shannon Kelly Photography: She’s a super cool, no, like super cool young lady with an amazing eye, totally worth having a look see.

Danielle Olcott Design & Event Coordination: I worked with her for several years and she was doing this well before I knew her. The experience is there and so is the talent.

Ryan Maxey Graphic Design (and other web shit): This dude whipped out a new logo for PI in like no time. The guy is unreasonably talented and his love for his work is kinda how we should all feel about what we do.

Tiffany Carver Custom Designs: Small business at it's finest. Tiffany does all the work herself and is super creative. She can pretty much put ANYTHING on ANYTHING so whatever you can conjure, let her make it for you.

Elizabeth Morris Living Hope: Easily one of the most amazing souls I know. This is a website selling nothing. It is simply intended to inspire hope through a community of people who've endured traumas and triumphed. It should be called Live IN Hope. Living Hope has laid out step-by-step practices to guide you through your pain rather than get-over-it. I strongly urge giving this site a look through and pass it along. (Oh and my super sexy mug is on the home page!)

Charlotte Baxter Hair and Massage: I don’t really have the words to do justice to the amount of amazing badass she actually is. She owns the shop, and is insanely phenomenal at what she does. I don’t know the intricacies of hair shit but I’ve seen her do stuff that looks like Khaleesi (from Game of Thrones who I may or may not wanna make dragon babies with). Oh and she can kick 9 out 10 humans ass while looking like a goddess.

That’s just a few. I don’t know what everyone’s process was to get them to full on commit to what they do; what I do know is that when each of them are actively doing their respective ‘jobs’, they feel alive...and if you didn’t notice, they’re also putting value back into the universe. If their individual endeavors flourish no more than where they are right now, they will be happy with the work they do because they love what they do. Now if the universe grants them growth and more time and effort is now an obligation, more work is exciting, welcomed, and appreciated. When was the last time you found out you had to do more work and were excited about it?

I guess I’ll close with this: You only have the one life (that we can prove at least), do you wanna have survived or thrived?

The choice is yours.

Thanks for reading.


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