“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted… unbidden… it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us… passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments.
The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we’d know some kind of peace… but we would be hollow… Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we’d be truly dead.” Joss Whedon
It seems that as I get older, the years tend to go by quicker. I have to remind myself that it is not that time is speeding up, it is that I have so many more interests that I am pursuing. And since I have started blogging, time is going by even more quickly.
Many people spend the best years of their lives deferring their dreams and spending their time on things that they are not interested in. Yes, the mundane errands of life like going to the bank, grocery shopping and filling the car up with gas are necessary, but what other things that are not so necessary are you doing?
Are you in a job or relationship that leaves you unfulfilled? And if so, what are you doing about it? As one author (whose name escapes me) said, “Most people die at twenty and are buried at eighty.”
To find your passion you must ask yourself what you really want in life. People struggle with answering this question because they are unsure about what they want. They haven’t spent the introspective time necessary to allow the answer to be revealed.
And while they are procrastinating time continues to tick by. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. And eventually, they look back and wonder what happened to all of the time. Don’t let this happen to you.
Here are a couple of tips that can help you discover your passions now.
Avoid the naysayers
Many times we listen to the messages of others and allow them to run our lives. For example, a parent might say “We come from a family of lawyers, so my son must also be a lawyer.”
Although a parent who makes a statement like this may have good intentions for their child, they are unconsciously blocking the true expression of their child’s real self, leaving the child unable to discover his or her passion at that time.
We also allow our friends and critics dim the light of our authentic self by discouraging us and pointing out the impossibility of our dreams. In these instances we must evaluate the accomplishments of our friends and critics—not to judge them, but to gauge how to we will use their feedback. Did they achieve theirs dreams? Do they dream big at all?
Even if they did not achieve their dreams or don’t dream big, it is still your destiny that is on the line, not theirs, and the final decision should be made by you. Avoid allowing these naysayers to steal your dreams.
Listen to your heart
The answer to what you want in life cannot be found in your mind, it is in your heart. Oftentimes, we are ruled by logic. We live by what we think we should be doing or by what other’s think we should be doing. Many of us allow outside influences to dictate who we marry, when we get married and even whether or not we get married at all; And what about having children?
I can’t count the number of times I have heard a mother say to her daughter “when are you going to give me some grandchildren?” But are these your desires? Is this what you want for your life?
To discover what your passion is, you must journey alone deep into your heart and listen for the answer. Your heart will guide you to the work, relationships and hobbies that will make your soul sing. You will know what is true and right for you because it will feel right. It will feel right to the depths of your soul.
The gentle nudges that urge you to act and follow a certain path; the whispering voice that tells you not to go down that dark alley or to question the motives of another is also the same voice that tells us what job, relationship or hobby is right for you. You see, your authentic self is constantly communicating with you through your instincts. Your role is to listen attentively.
To live your best life your mind and your heart need to be in harmony. Use your mind to let you know when you need to look into your heart. As the poet Rumi so eloquently said, “Live completely in the head and you cannot feel the breath and rhythm of life. Live completely in the heart and you may find yourself acting like a love-struck fool with poor judgment and discipline.” It’s about balance – the head and heart must forge a lifetime partnership that gently moves you towards fulfillment.
After you have re-discovered or discovered your passion, plan how you will incorporate it into your life. You may not be able to do it full time at this point, but you may be able to dabble in it in the evenings or on weekends for example. Even dabbling in it will lift your spirits and make you a happier person.
A life without passion is not a full life.
Image by digital sextant
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