While trawling through the Shorter Oxford Dictionary (all 2 volumes of it) recently, I came upon the definition of ‘passion.’ The SOD tells us that it is “a strong enthusiasm for a specified thing; an aim or object pursued with strong enthusiasm.”
So, with this definition in mind rather than the pictures of red roses, risky underwear, and hot-blooded, muscular individuals, I set out to put down a few steps to lead us towards finding what exactly it is we can get enthusiastic about; what pushes our buttons and moves us from lethargy into overdrive and how to keep the momentum alive.
Down the escape tunnel
Many people feel trapped. They have boundless energy simply waiting to be released but they are confined in ways of living that they wish could be different. They probably feel instinctively that there is something else that they should be doing but have no idea what and perhaps they have walled themselves in with one kind of commitment or other. I think it’s worth taking a peek into the escape tunnel and see how we can bring our passion into our lives in some way, shape or form.
You may or may not find your true passion with this little guide but it will have opened your mind to some new ways of thinking about your life and once you open the door a little, you give the Universe a chance to push it open wide for you. So why not give it a try?
The search starts here
Getting to grips with your passion can be demanding but even harder is finding it in the first place.
I consider myself fortunate in that I make my living doing what I love. Once you find yourself in that situation, work no longer feels like work. It’s not that hard to get out of bed in a morning with a smile on your face, looking forward to the day ahead.
1. What are you good at? Take your time with this. Allocate yourself 30 minutes. Take yourself back to your earliest memories. What did you just love to do as a child, a teenager? Were you good at sport, drawing, building things, sewing, knitting, or creating fantastic Lego objects? Think about your life now. Are you a supreme organiser, book-keeper, a good friend to someone. Is your garden the envy of the neighbourhood? Make a list
2. What excites you? Never underestimate the job that you consider so boring and tedious. Take another 15-30 minutes and think about the details of your working day. Is there some little part of it that you actually rather enjoy? If so, what is it? If you can’t find anything at all, start to look outside work. Do you have a hobby or a second job? Are you a volunteer or charity worker? Add to your original list
3. What do you read? When you go into a bookshop, where do you head for? Which sections of the newspaper are your favourites? Do you buy magazines regularly? If so, what topics do they cover? Add all this information to your list.
4. What are your top-secret dreams? These are the hush-hush dreams that you never tell anybody in case they laugh at you. Laugh away! I have always loved music and dance and I recently joined a ballet class for “mature ladies.” I can’t get enough of it.
5. Never stop learning. OK so now you should have quite a list of activities and it is time to pick one – your first contender. Study up on it, ask other people about it. Make a list of what you might need to learn to improve your skills.
6. Experiment. Actually doing the activity practically rather than just thinking about it, you understand very quickly whether this is really for you or not. Try it alone at home, join a group. Is it something you really look forward to? Do you want to tell everyone about it? How do you feel after doing it?
7. Fine-tune your list. If you have lots of things on the list that you made in steps 1-4, narrow things down a bit. Maybe by now you have tried one or two of them. Ask yourself, which ones light your fire. Is there anything there that you can see yourself doing in the years to come? Is there anything that people might pay you to do? Then you need to work on the next three steps. Drive out any fears, find time and look at whether you could make it into a career for yourself or at the very least a paying interest.
8. Driving out fears. This could be the hardest as we all live with a huge amount of fear inside us. We doubt ourselves, we fear failure, criticism and rejection. Ask yourself the all-important question “What is the worst that could happen?” Forget about what might (or might not) happen and take some small steps towards making your dream a reality.
9. Finding the time. If I had a pound for every time a client has told me “I don’t have the time.” I’d be rich. If something is important enough for you, you will find the time. Rearrange your life, stop doing things that you don’t really enjoy, get up earlier, go to bed later, shorten your lunch break. Do what you have to do.
10. Making a living. This may not happen in the blink of an eye but enjoying the experience is really what it is all about. It’s about the journey not the destination. Finding people who are interested in what you do is vital. But then you may find yourself doing consulting work, writing a blog, producing e-reports or e-books on your subject. Go with the flow. If it leads you to make your passion into your job, great.
I hope this helps you start searching out your passion. We all have something that we are here to do and to enjoy. Rooting it out takes time, self-questioning and awareness but it is so worth doing.
If you would like more information on how to find your passion, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org