Did you know the simple definition of passion is ‘any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling’…hmm. I can be just as passionate about chocolate ice cream and my dogs as I am about tax reform. Awesome, it’s up to me! Ever heard of clock time? This refers to what we all run by each day, the clock. The 9-5 day we manage our lives by. Are you living your clock time to the fullest?
Are you one of the lucky few that actually makes a living utilizing your passion? Even if you tell me you don’t have a passion, I challenge you. We all have passions. Mine are in constant evolution, but I have a few staples. I’m passionate about dogs, travel, public relations, social media, spirituality and food. How do you find out what you’re passionate about? Well, sit quietly and think, so far in your life, what have you found powerful and compelling? Don’t be afraid to visit your childhood. It helps me to think in terms of what topic I could find myself sitting around talking about for hours.
Sit quietly, meditate if you can, and think of all the things in life that truly bring you joy. A quick plug on meditation, I know it’s not for everyone, especially in today’s fast paced society. It takes practice. For me, the first twenty minutes of meditation is mind racing madness. Then it clears up. Give it a go. Think of what makes you happy. I have also found meditation in writing and hiking/walking. Although I’m usually hiking or walking with my dogs so I’m constantly yelling “don’t eat that” – thus, writing has become my meditation. I practice something called the Morning Pages, I highly recommend.
When you’re ready, make a list of things that make you happy. Yes, you can be passionate about more than one thing (and hopefully you are). Try not to let “faux passions” slip in. These are passions you may have convinced yourself you’re passionate about simply because it makes the family happy or you can make boat loads of money at it. Only you know the truth. My list would consist of: writing, dogs, PR, food, humor, yoga, educating, meditation, social media, appetizers, travel, hiking, beach, nature, sobriety, cooking, etc. Take the list as far as you can go.
Once you have the list:
- Circle the things you do on a consistent basis.
- Rate them on a scale from 1 (least passion) to 10 (most passion). Be patient with yourself, don’t get frustrated…this isn’t the only time you can do this exercise.
- Once you complete your scaled list, take a look at the top three.
- Can any of them be combined? For example, let’s say you’re truly passionate about dogs and exercise. Perhaps becoming a dog trainer who focuses on fitness is your path. Don’t rule anything out – this early stage is all about brainstorming.
I’m going to take a wild guess that one of your top three items is a passion area of yours that could change your life, if you allow it to.
Many of you may find your passion in your current line of work, which is great. Ideally one can make money with their passion, but it’s not always possible (sorry all you aspiring mimes, it’s a tough market). If you can’t make money at your passion, does this mean you can’t live a happy and fulfilling life? No way! Of course you can, anyone can choose happiness. There, I said it, channeling my inner Deepak Chopra. Life isn’t nearly as hard as we sometimes make it out to be.
Keep it simple. Asking for help, both physically and spiritually, has been a game changer for me. Do you have what it takes to be truly happy? What is happiness to you? Can you feel it, touch it, smell it, taste it…live it? Any “Field of Dreams” fans out there? Remember, if you build it…they will come. If you’re asking, build what? It’s OK, just be patient with yourself. Buy a small notebook and place it by your bed and begin journaling your dreams for the next few weeks. I don’t know if dream journals work, but it sounds like you may need something to do.
I shall leave you with a few quotes I find inspiring…
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
– Nelson Mandela
“Nothing is so intolerable to man as being fully at rest, without a passion, without business, without entertainment, without care.”
– Blaise Pascal
“My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery – always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What’s this passion for?”
– Virginia Woolf