“Follow your passion.”
“Find your bliss and the money will follow.”
Remember these statements about passion? We’ve all heard them. Ugh! One thing I have learned, what appears to be a simple truth is not simple and not always true. There may be a hint of truth in each of these statements, but only enough to be discouraging for most of us. Reality is far more complicated and such “truths” mislead and offer a false sense of hope. This is especially true in midlife or times of transition when we are letting go of the old to redefine our lives.
Midlife is a time when we don’t seem to even know what we want, let alone if we’re passionate about anything. Life and its demands left little room to reflect to find out what we do really want.
For many years, I kept trying to “find my passion”-–that one BIG thing that would fulfill me and provide absolutely perfect direction and meaning to my life. So far, no luck, after hundreds of books, life coaches and years of experience. I still haven’t found my one BIG passion.
For a few lucky ones……
….there may be the one BIG passion. The clue is when they say, “since I was little, I always wanted to….” and they did it.
I’m not one of those people. Fortunately, I have many interests, enjoyed a successful career, love being a mom of two sons, am in a happy marriage, and have done amazing things throughout my life so far. Just not one passion has defined my life! I’ve talked with hundreds of people who are still looking and haven’t found theirs either. Yet, they also have experienced excitement, love, deep feelings, meaning, and the range of emotions found in a life well lived.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
So what, now what?
We all can find several passions and interests to excite us, bring us more pleasure, or challenge us in new fascinating ways. It doesn’t need to be one, there are as many possible combinations of interests in a variety of facets to create a vibrant life, filled with energy and passion. Here’s my blog on the value of being multi-faceted women.
Don’t wait for passion to show up like a giant road sign or beacon in the sky. Begin with these steps and see what happens. You will be amazed with what you will re-discover for your life.
Find something you enjoy doing, excites you, or you’re interested to learn. This may require some sleuthing around in your childhood, or perhaps recall past experiences you enjoyed. It could be something you remember saying years ago, “I’d love to do _______ if I ever get the time.” If there something you’ve been intrigued with, check it out.
Now is the time. Stop postponing your life.
Make a list–there are probably several interests worth a deeper dive for you to explore.
Pick one (or maybe two or three) things you are drawn to most now and get started. A few years ago, I was drawn to long-distance running. I took the first step, literally out the door. I learned, did more running, participated in racing events, and found a Saturday running group. Running has become one of my passions, challenges me, and has become an important part of my life. (Additionally, other interests I’ve been pursuing include writing and gardening.) My life has become more varied and certainly more interesting.
Answer “yes” when asked to try something new. At least, explore the possibility. I said yes to a friend to attend a non-profit board meeting and was impressed with their work. For four years, I served in various capacities for an organization who’s mission resonated with my core values. I made several meaningful friendships and learned so much, hopefully making a small difference in that community.
Focus, Act, Learn. Repeat.
Focus on something, get started, learn, do more and repeat. Keep moving forward, even if there are challenges along the way. As you learn, you’ll improve and most likely enjoy it. These actions fuel your passion, which in turn keeps you moving and learning more.
If passion is the spice, then commitment is the secret sauce
Passion is what makes all the difference about whether an experience is memorable or ordinary. Passion is the energy we have to take the leap of faith into a relationship or new endeavor. We all remember those early days and nights of relationships filled with passion and possibility. The same is true with projects or new interests. We all love the passionate energy of something new. Equally important, it is commitment and sustained action that will take us to new levels of success and happiness. By introducing something new into your life, you’ll feel a sense of renewed passion and energy.
What interests intrigue you?
Begin with the nudges, they will get you started. With attention and action, you’ll find several more passions and enjoy a more colorful life. One filled with passion and joy.
Here’s a Nine Facets Traits Sheet 2018 which may help nudge you into trying something new with the strengths you have.
So, let’s begin… onward and forward!