How I Quit My Job to Find My Life’s Work. ~ Kevan Gale

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Four years ago, I had a well-paying job in a terrible economy, a mortgage and loans to pay off, and a family of five to support.

So you can see it was the perfect time to sell my house (did I mention the housing market had recently bottomed out?), move my family across the state to a new place where we knew no one, and kick up dust in pursuit of a crazy dream: open my own yoga studio and teach yoga full-time.

I enjoyed my job as a senior manager at a multi-national corporation, but it was just a job—it didn’t light my fire. What did was the one day a week I got to teach yoga. Yoga ignited my passion. It was what I read about, researched, practiced and even dreamt about. Of course, I didn’t talk about it, since doing so would have exposed me to judgment from others and myself. So how did I overcome my fear and find the confidence to turn my dreams into reality?

1. Listen to intuition. There are times when our heart speaks to us and we know what it is that we want to do. Unfortunately, we don’t often listen to that voice or we let fear and doubt creep in. I urge you not to smother your intuition. Follow the path laid out clearly by your heart.

2. Write it down and say it aloud. Once I realized I wanted to turn yoga into a career, I wrote a one-page business plan outlining my career transition over a five-year period. It was only three months after writing my plan that an opportunity presented itself, and within six months I had made my dream a reality. Writing down our goals helps us define a vision and share that vision with others.

3. Be determined. If you give up the first time you experience rejection, you will most likely fail. Passionate people do something because they love it, not because they are seeking the approval of others. Be determined enough that you can keep naysayers out of your way and get to work.

4. Have faith. Have faith in yourself and the seeds you are sowing; they may seem dormant at times, but eventually they will grow.

5. Do it for love. Don’t follow your passions in the pursuit of money or recognition. Fame and fortune are not enough of a motivator to get you through the hardest times, and trust me, there will be many hard times. Follow your passion because it is in your soul; this is your life’s work, not your work life.

6. Be realistic. While our dreams may be limitless, it’s good to be realistic about your passions and set reasonable expectations. Recognize how long it may take to turn your passion into your work, and realize that even tough moments and roadblocks are helping you build a foundation for your future. Resilience gives you the fortitude to carry on, and in time, you will look back and be amazed by how far you have come.

7. Care about others. The truth is, there’s no such thing as “self-made.” Our success depends upon help from others, whether it is the people who have educated us, those who have given us our first break, or those customers who have been buying our products and services. Recognizing the contributions of and caring for others will help us be happier and build our support network.

8. Redefine failure. Successful people view failure as a stepping stone to success. Each time you fall short of achieving your goals, you have an opportunity to learn and evolve so you can be successful the next time around. View failure as a way to find out what doesn’t work so you can discover what does.

9. Think big. A wonderful mentor once advised that while small details would take care of themselves, the Big Picture could only be realized if I gave it my full attention. This is especially true when following our passions. Burgeoning opportunities can divert our attention from our goals. Keep your sights set on what you love and don’t get lost in the weeds.

10. Know your finances. You don’t need as much money to live as you think you do. Pursuing your passion may mean sacrificing your earnings for a few years, but if you’re great at what you do, there’s potential for financial growth. Plan ahead, know your monthly costs, consider part-time work, save up now and consider your financial discipline as an investment in your future.

There will always be reasons to avoid risk and take the path of least resistance, but if you are passionate, you will cultivate the patience, determination and love to follow through.

Follow your passion and make it your work.


Kevan Gale is co-owner of Stil Studio, located in Dedham, MA. His dynamic and vigorous Fluid Yoga classes are an expression of meditative movement. You can practice with Kevan at Stil Studio or online at His goal is to spread happiness far and wide and to inspire students to live their fullest lives.

Like elephant yoga on Facebook.

Ed: Kate Bartolotta



The Elephant Ecosystem

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anonymous Aug 1, 2013 9:22pm

I went to school for nursing. I work in IT. I could easily make 8-10 more dollars an hour, read 16-20k more a year as an RN, but my passion is IT. I volunteer as an RN because deep within that fits better for what nursing is, in my view, than being a floor nurse, and IT has been my passionate hobby since about 10.

Fortunately, my wife was more than supportive and said take the position that makes me happy (as I was offered an ICU job and and IT job at the same time, both out of nursing school).

I truly feel fulfilled in this aspect in my life. Though, as you know, it's not possible without support!

anonymous Aug 1, 2013 1:34pm

Congratulations! So helpful at this time to read your story – I am sure it's something I will reread during this possibly transitional year.

anonymous Jun 19, 2013 11:34pm

I read your article at the perfect time in my life. I am going through a life transition and this just confirmed what I was feeling. this is so encouraging. keep it up. God Bless you. this Blessed me.

Lynsie =)

anonymous Jun 18, 2013 6:28pm

Rock On, Kevan.

Because of your courage, the planet gained an awesome yoga teacher. I love your classes and am very glad you made the move.

anonymous Jun 17, 2013 7:33am

Nice Kevin! Congrats, seriously. We need more stories like this. I like the idea of redefining failure. Fear of failure keeps us from doing so much. Way to show the way (as it were). Thanks!

    anonymous Jun 17, 2013 8:23am

    Thank you Nate, glad you enjoyed it and thanks for commenting.

anonymous Jun 16, 2013 6:55pm

Great story! Nothing like following your heart! Thank you for putting it on paper!

anonymous Jun 16, 2013 6:28pm

I always appreciate a no-nonsense article like this.

anonymous Jun 16, 2013 5:10pm

Thanks so much for sharing this Kevan – I am currently on a similar trajectory!! I firesaled my two buinesses last year and am working part time as I complete my yoga teacher training… has been a very scary but enlightening process. I just love that you said "i didnt talk about it as it would have exposed me to judgment from others" – thats as I have felt but it was so good to see i am not alone!

I will book mark this and read it when the tough times come!! Many thanks …..Namaste

    anonymous Jun 17, 2013 3:31am

    You are definitely not alone. I've found that so many people have dreams they are not pursuing because they are either fearful of failure or judgment. When I finally got up the courage to talk about my dreams, I was amazed at how many friends, co-workers and family said "I wish I could pursue my passion". You are not alone but you are different for taking the leap.

    Good luck with your transition and keep the faith!

anonymous Jun 16, 2013 3:40pm

Thank you!

anonymous Jun 16, 2013 11:48am

Congrats Kevan. Always a pleasure to read stories like thisl.

anonymous Jun 16, 2013 11:17am

Thanks Gerry and I agree 100%, live simple, honest and follow your heart. Thanks for reading.

anonymous Jun 16, 2013 9:11am

Awesome article! Thanks for sharing, and being humble enough to realize that it's not about chasing the money. It's about what is in your heart, following that inner voice, and knowing that your efforts will pay off in the biggest way. Living simply and honestly. What more is there? Great stuff you wrote here.