May 28th, 2014
On My Mind

Do What You Love

Elle

A few weeks ago, a commencement speaker advised a graduating class to not follow their passions, she reasoned that doing so may not necessarily lead to success. This took me aback. I’m a huge proponent of doing what you love, and it’s a big part of how I define success.

Street-style-star Taylor Tomasi Hill, recently creative director of Moda Operandi, with earlier stints at W and Marie Claire, has found her calling as a florist. With the help of YouTube tutorials Tomasi Hill honed her floral style. And after posting her arrangements on Instagram, she was in business.

I know first hand how difficult it can be to shift careers, especially when at the top of your field. But in my book, doing what you love is a success unto itself.

Elle

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  • Wow! What an aha moment. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to love doing it. Congratulations Taylor for having the courage to take the risk for what you love.

    TanishaMay 28th, 2014  9:17 AM

     
  • I’m with you!

    LFRMay 28th, 2014  9:21 AM

     
  • I was a florist in UK with a shop like this…and I sell those old photographers developing trays on chezzoe.net

    divine story, lovely pics

    thank you

    ZoeMay 28th, 2014  9:29 AM

     
  • What a wonderful feature, thank you Preston!
    This is the kind of message and story I always try to pass on to my girls: don’t think you have to know your path now, just follow your heart and have confidence in your passions because that’s where your talents lie.

    SueMMay 28th, 2014  9:41 AM

     
  • Love of what you are doing is it’s own reward. Sometimes that reality is frustrating. But I truly believe you make your own success (and luck) in this life, and getting up every day to do something you see value in is most important. The rest will follow.

    AprilMay 28th, 2014  10:22 AM

     
  • I’m surrounded by graduates this month and I can’t imagine telling them to not follow their dreams and passions. Success is defined uniquely for everyone and I’m a huge believer that happiness has a major role. What a boring world it would be if everyone just pursued success and left their passions behind. And just like Tomasi Hill…sometimes doing what you love opens up a new door and takes you down a path you hadn’t predicted.

    A Note On StyleMay 28th, 2014  11:33 AM

     
  • I read that article and was surprised that she changed her job…but, like you, I thought it was wonderful! What kind of a message was that speaker telling those new graduates? Unfortunately, often, real life will force you to do something other than follow your dream, but if you are lucky, that won’t happen. Why tell those young people NOT to follow their passion at the very beginning? That’s the time for them to do it!

    bisbeeMay 28th, 2014  12:56 PM

     
  • I have a feeling the speaker telling grads not to follow their passions has been taken out of context and there must have been some meaning beyond that point. Just because you are passionate about something doesn’t mean you will like it as a job. I read an article recently on this very topic and found it quite enlightening.

    http://www.theminimalists.com/cal/

    BabsMay 28th, 2014  1:20 PM

     
  • A wonderful story.

    KathyMay 28th, 2014  1:21 PM

     
  • Here’s a different perspective: my daughter is 50, works in the arts/theater. She does what she loves.
    She just makes enough to pay her expenses, saves nothing. No retirement, no medical insurance.
    Neither parent is wealthy; she will not inherit anything.
    What will become of her? When she is my age, she will get a small Social Security payment.

    GWMay 28th, 2014  2:30 PM

     
  • I loved her story. She is such an amazing talent and it shows in everything she does– her arrangements are breathtaking. I also think the speech you mentioned was probably intended to inject a dose of reality into “following your dreams…” Stories like Taylor’s are very inspiring, but not every new florist will find success posting floral arrangements on Instagram…she already had a network of connections in place from her hard work in her previous job and that probably helped tremendously. Although, I agree, graduations are not the best places to give a downer speech…kids are hopefully getting good advice before and after the graduation ceremony! 🙂

    NedaMay 28th, 2014  2:42 PM

     
  • Great story about a fellow Dallasite! I am mid-fifties now, but my passion was music and piano. I wanted to get a music degree and teach piano but my Dad talked me in to studying Nursing. It was NOT my passion, but that is what I did. Being a nurse has allowed me to have the most unimaginable experiences both with patients, their families, and my fellow nurses and doctors. I also met my future husband because I was working as a nurse at the right place and time. I am a very good nurse but music and piano are still my passion, and I enjoy them both as such. Dad was right, ha! Passion is great, but doesn’t always offer you a good way to support yourself, lol!

    SherryMay 28th, 2014  5:29 PM

     
  • Also, not everyone has a passion. You’re lucky if you do because it can give a direction. Are the one’s who don’t have a passion defective? I hope not! It’s tricky times for younger people that live in an expensive world and want to have a decent life.

    AlexandraMay 28th, 2014  5:42 PM

     
  • Wow! Read all of those comments and all were valid but different perspectives. I had a choice of going into the science or arts and picked the arts but decided on applied arts interior design and have a degree from a university – it can work – I have had a successful career in commercial ID for years and recently switched to residential to scale it back / to the woman whose daughter is an artist and in her 50’s don’t worry she has survived up until now she will be fine because she is creative and will work it out!

    Sue TothMay 28th, 2014  10:04 PM

     
  • I’m with Sherry. Passion is great, but sometimes you need a roof over your head to enjoy it.
    I say find something to do that you can enjoy and gives you a feeling of mastery and satisfaction.

    GingerRMay 28th, 2014  10:38 PM

     
  • My husband’s passion was to be a bass guitarist in a rock band. My passion was baking. After numerous gigs, long hours, and eating pizza, he went to law school. After a stint as a litigator, he reinvented his practice into real estate and transitional law and has made his mark in his field. Not to mention, supported a wife and two children and paid for their educations, allowing them to both graduate without debt and our family not being a burden on society in any way.
    After a short, unpleasant stint teaching, I worked a few forgettable jobs and then became a full time mother and realized that was my passion. I realized my first passion wasn’t my passion. He realized being in a rock band is pie in the sky unless you are Mick Jagger or equally marketable. We couldn’t be happier! The reality sandwich that young adults need to eat is . . . you can’t always get what you want, at least at first, but if you try real hard, you can get what you need . . . and you end up with an incredibly satisfying life and pride in being self sufficient. That’s not nothing.
    Too many new grads are told they can do whatever they want and should settle for nothing less. I say nonsense! Get out there and get a job, even if it is grunt work. Learn how to show up and get along with people. Earn some money of your own. Many kids pursuing their ‘passions’ are doing it on their parent’s dime. Once you have some work experience, you have the luxury to think about doing what you like. Work is work. It is possible to love your work, but much of that is a willingness to be realistic about your abilities, your resources, and balancing what you want with what your loved ones need. We live in an incredibly narcissistic society–everyone feels entitled to be fulfilled at all times, do what they like, not work at anything boring. Then they want their neighbors to pay for their birth control pills. I think the graduation speech was likely from an adult who knows nothing comes easy and that it is possible to find great satisfaction in all kinds of careers.

    PaulaMay 29th, 2014  1:37 AM

     
  • I think in all aspects of life one needs to be honest, without pretension, fearless and relentless. You only live once, remember? So taking life by the horns and just going for it, in my opinion, is the way to go. And if u take this road, there will be successes, failures and numerous incarnations of your life depending on how you evolve. The secret is: Esse qualm videri: Be instead of seeming.

    In Taylor’s case she has garnered a fond place in most of our hearts during the last few years because of her quirky style which we could all feel was an honest extension of herself. Charming us with it’s sincerity just as much as a Jennifer Lawrence smile in all it’s honesty, mostly does. After all Taylor is the girl who is single handedly responsible for the popularity of powder pink clutches, mixing prints trend and bias cut shirts and tops (and so much more I’m sure). Therefore we all want her to succeed. We all sympathize with her. And we all want her to win. But I don’t think floristry is the way to go for her. I feel it’s more of a rebound hobby. And honestly I don’t think her flowers are anything to write home about.

    GolehMay 29th, 2014  3:19 AM

     
  • Doing what you love will not always lead to success unfortunately but if you never try, then you will certainly be so much more miserable then having tried and failed… http://madelienerose.com/

    Madeliene RoseMay 29th, 2014  7:42 AM

     
  • Interesting answers from different perspectives, and I agree with just about all of them! It is very true that following your passion may not be practical…in that case, it is important to do something that can pay the bills while you pursue your dream as an avocation rather than a profession. However, as others have written, one can find great satisfaction in the profession they choose, even if it is not their original passion, by being open-minded and creative in that profession.

    I don’t think Taylor Tomasi Hill would be so free to follow her newly-found love of being a florist without first having been very sucessful in her previous career…and without the support of her husband.

    bisbeeMay 29th, 2014  9:44 AM

     
  • I have loved reading these responses. What a wonderful discussion! Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

    PaulaMay 30th, 2014  2:18 AM

     

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