Coaching Information

Five Steps to Vocational Passion: A Disciplined Plan for Major Mid-life Changes

There's a famous song lyric that asks: "Is that all there is?" Every seven seconds, an American turns 50 years old. So there's a good chance that song is running through some of their heads.

The question captures the ennui that many people feel in mid-life. They look up at the clock, see it ticking, and begin counting in their heads all the mountains not climbed, the poems not written, and the songs not sung.

It's time to stop asking the question idly. I'm offering five initial steps that you can take to evaluate your situation and to begin the transition away from a meaningless grind toward a new life that provides you with energy and fulfillment.

Vocational passion is an alignment of your abilities and interests in a role that gives you unlimited energy and happiness. This is not an overnight process. But it's a process you can begin today.

Step One: Evaluate

Lots of people settle for jobs that pay the bills but leave them feeling empty. If you want to break out of this trap and find another kind of life, you need to evaluate where you'd like to go.

Examine where your passions lie. On a scale of 1-10, where are you when it comes to vocational passion? A "1" is a living drudgery where you force yourself to your desk every morning and dream about the end of the day; a "10" is a perfect alignment between interests and livelihood.

Too many of us are closer to "1" than "10". Anything lower than a "5" suggests your working life may be feeding your family, but at the expense of starving your soul.

Step Two: Envision Your Future

You may have seen the U.S. Navy ad that asks: "If someone wrote a book about your life, would anyone want to read it?"

Here's your chance to write that book - or at least the outline. Sit down and write a short biography that describes who you are five years from now. Describe exactly the life you wish to lead, doing work that you love. You will know you're done with the exercise when your heart races with excitement.

Then imagine and write down your vision of a perfect vocational day. It's difficult to achieve something that you have not clearly envisioned. Make sure your vision has clarity. Then document it and pull it out regularly, to refresh your desire to achieve that vision.

Step Three: Tune Out Negative Feedback

Understand this: The moment you announce plans to make a radical change in your life, many people will find the move threatening and they will not wish you well. They will try to talk you out of it and tell you what a big mistake you're about to make.

Never let the naysayers dictate your life. People who listen to negative voices end up with the status quo.

Step Four: Shore Up Your Support Network

Anyone making a change needs supportive friends, and lots of them.

I suggest a three-tiered model for analyzing your personal support network. The three tiers will include people who are 1) "interested" in your work; 2) "supporters" who are not only interested, but offer creative ideas to move you forward; 3) "believers," which includes your most active supporters.

Make your lists now. Examine whom you have in your support network and rank them according to these tiers. Focus on networking with your tier-one supporters, while trying to move those people in tiers two and three up the ladder.

Step Five: Assess Your Risk

When taking action to follow one's passion, people trying to change their life fall into one of four categories. Each requires a different strategy.

Category One: Plenty of money and plenty of time. People in this category have a high tolerance for risk based on their relatively young age and solid financial means.

Category Two: Plenty of money and little time. Because of failing health and/or advancing age, those in category two have some risk tolerance. But they probably lack a solid support network, since most friends will advise against change because they are "too old" or "too sick."

Category Three: Little time and little money. I define "little money" as having less than six months of cash flow in the bank. Risk tolerance is low in this category, and supporters are probably hard to come by. Most people are in this category.

Category Four: No money and no time. I define "no money" as less then three months cash flow in the bank. Anyone is this position will have a very low risk tolerance. They will find little support to help them move toward doing what they love.

What to do?

Take the calculated risks now.

Make solid but flexible plans
Get aligned around your abilities and interests
Get more education if necessary
Talk to people who do what you want to do!

What's the worst that can happen?

Remember this: You won't die or become homeless if you pursue what you love. You may, however, find that your relationship to your money will change. You'll respect money more, and you'll find that you can manage on less of it.

Also understand that pursuing vocational passion doesn't always mean making less money. But it does mean that money is not the only consideration - or even the most important consideration - in choosing your new vocational path.

If you don't act to pursue your vocational passion, then every seven seconds someone else will come along and ask themselves: "Is that all there is?" Many of them will answer, "No," and will do something about it. You can be one of the doers.

About The Author

Craig Nathanson, The Vocational Coach, is the author of "P Is For Perfect: Your Perfect Vocational Day," by Book Coach Press. He publishes the free monthly e-zine, "Vocational Passion in Mid-life." Craig believes the world works a little better when we do the work we love. He helps those in mid-life carry this out.

Visit his online community at where you can sign up for his next Tele-class coming up November 17.



DePaul Basketball: Dave Leitao back in charge of Blue Demons
***UPDATE: According to reports Dave Leitao, who coached DePaul from 2002 to 2005, is set to become the program's new head basketball coach. What follows below is FOX Sports' previous report.***. DePaul figures to land a name coach in its process of ...
Dave Leitao Returns As DePaul Basketball CoachCBS Local
Dave Leitao returns as head coach at
Dave Leitao, DePaul agree to dealESPN -Hartford Courant -Macon Telegraph (blog)
all 50 news articles »

Rocky Top Insider

Tennessee Basketball Coaching Search Update
Rocky Top Insider
Here's a quick update on where things stand with Tennessee's search for a basketball coach. If you missed it, check out our updated coaching hot board. Rick Barnes is officially out at Texas after 17 seasons, 16 NCAA Tournaments, four conference coach ...
Tennessee Coaching Search: What About Rick Barnes?Rocky Top Talk
12 Potential Coaching Candidates to Replace Rick Barnes at
March Madness Coaching VacanciesWildcat Blue Nation
Bleacher Report -Burnt Orange Nation -ESPN
all 371 news articles »


Chris Mullin offered St. John's job
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports St. John's great Chris Mullin is considering becoming the coach of the Red Storm, according to sources. One source told ESPN a deal could be done as soon as Sunday night. Mullin, 51, is one of the greatest players in St. John ...
Chris Mullin offered St. John's Red Storm coaching job, reports
Chris Mullin offered coaching job at St. John'sSan Jose Mercury News
Report: Mullin offered St. John's head coaching jobKCRA Sacramento
New York Daily News
all 23 news articles »

The Tennessean

Vandy's Chris Marve teaches, then turns to coaching
The Tennessean
"It was the same deal," said Marve, now a defensive graduate assistant coach at Vanderbilt. "As a group, they had to solve a problem together in 10 minutes. As a coach, you do (group drills) and watch film and then solve the problem against the offense.

Columbia Daily Herald

Tennessee Vols potential coaching candidates
Columbia Daily Herald
Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino yells out a play in Minneapolis on Sunday, Jan 5, 2014. The Minnesota Gophers defeated the Purdue Boilermakers, 82-79. (Marlin Levison/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT) ...
Tennessee seeking stability after recent coaching
Tennessee AD Dave Hart can't afford to miss on next basketball
Could Gophers' Richard Pitino coach St. John's or Tennessee? Rumors Press

all 34 news articles »

Musselman excited about new Nevada job after coaching in NBA
''I'm not sure how much of an impact I've had on Ron Artest-Metta World Peace,'' Musselman joked about the quirky all-star he coached while at the helm of the Sacramento Kings in 2006-07. ''But I know I can have a big impact on these guys,'' he said ...

and more »

Comcast SportsNet Washington

Jay Gruden sees Matt Cavanaugh as settling force on Redskins coaching staff
Washington Post (blog)
As he reviewed his first season as an NFL head coach, Jay Gruden realized he had underestimated the responsibilities that would fall on his shoulders, and those of offensive coordinator Sean McVay. That prompted Gruden to hire former NFL quarterback ...
Gruden sees Cavanaugh as settling force on Redskins coaching staffFrederick News Post (subscription)

all 6 news articles »

Pensacola News Journal

Willie Spears returning to coaching
Pensacola News Journal
The lure of returning as a football coach near his hometown led Willie Spears to accept a combined role at Vernon High School. The former Escambia High coach, who was fired in September and has worked since February as co-host on the new morning ...

and more »

12 Coaching Candidates to Replace Donnie Tyndall at Tennessee
The coaching turmoil with Tennessee's football and men's basketball continued Friday with the firing if basketball coach Donnie Tyndall after one season. Only months after his arrival at Tennessee, Tyndall faced an NCAA investigation stemming from ...
Report: Tennessee, Chris Holtmann talk about vacant head coaching positionBig East Coast Bias (blog)
Vols talk to Butler basketball coach Chris HoltmannWBIR-TV
Tennessee talks to Butler coach Chris Holtmann, sources sayIndianapolis Star
all 382 news articles »


Marshall might be considering Texas as next coaching opportunity
Wichita State coach Greg Marshall speaks at a news conference before practice at the NCAA college basketball tournament, Thursday, March 19, 2015, in Omaha, Neb. Wichita State plays Indiana in the second round on Friday. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik).
Texas reportedly to make move that could further complicate Alabama's
What they're saying nationally about Alabama coaching vacancy, Gregg
Alabama has competition in coaching
all 132 news articles »

Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved.