Follow Your Passion, Live Your Dreams

This article by Shuly Cawood, Director of Communication and Career Development, appeared in the Fall issue of Orange County Women’s Center Newsletter.

Take a chance! All life is a chance. The [woman] who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. – Dale Carnegie
Barnsley Brown knows there’s no such thing as an overnight success. Currently, she is fulfilling her own dream of owning a business – Spirited Solutions™ – that helps people not only balance their personal and professional lives but also achieve success. But Barnsley is the first to admit it’s not easy to discover your passion.

“I believe anyone who has success has had to work at it. It takes persistence, planning and support from your loved ones,” she said. “I spent 4 or 5 years in complete confusion, feeling lost, and knowing I needed to get out of academia but not knowing what to do.”
So what does it take to follow your passion? Barnsley says first, it has to be a passion. You can sometimes think you have a passion, but you need to be 100% committed to it to make it happen. She also advises the following:


  • You have to be willing to put in all the energy and love and resources that are available to you to make your dream happen.
  • You have to be willing to work every day – maybe not eight hours a day, but to give it some amount of time each day.
  • You need dogged determination.

How do you identify your passion?

“One of the things is to listen to signs that are being sent to you,” said Barnsley. “Listen to what’s coming to you in your life.” She said that maybe you will get a phone call, or an opportunity, or you see a job posting or a course that attracts you. Pay attention, she urged, then follow up on these signals – people often don’t enroll in that class, don’t do the research, don’t take the next step.

“When you get a gentle nudge from the universe, take action. When we don’t take action, we feel disempowered,” Barnsley said. When she was working on her PhD, she was also taking business courses, researching, doing informational interviews, and learning. It took her years to achieve her dream and vision, but she has.

If you are interested in achieving your dream and need some guidance, plan to attend Barnsley’s workshop.

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