Have you ever wanted something so badly you put the rest of your life on hold, waiting for that something to happen?
Do you find yourself hating your life right now because you aren't living with passion the way you long to?
I noticed this predicament frequently when I was in my twenties, as many young women around me were waiting to meet the man of their dreams. They were just marking time in a job until their wedding day when true happiness would begin.
Maybe you feel this way yourself — you're just ticking days off the calendar until you find your passion and can live a more fulfilling life. Maybe everything that's happening right now is just filler to occupy the space between today and the day you find contentment.
I can relate to this feeling. I've felt the restlessness and emptiness of not knowing my passion.
I know what it's like to wake up with dread and low-level anxiety, wondering what's wrong with me and why I can't find happiness and fulfillment.
The feelings of frustration eventually taint every part of your life, even the parts that are going well.
Those days when nothing is fun, nothing is meaningful, nothing is interesting, are some of the most soul-crushing times of your life.
What's even more depleting is feeling there's nothing you can do to change the situation or your toxic mood.
Even when you finally believe it's possible to find your passion (which provides some relief from despair), you learn pretty quickly that it doesn't happen overnight. It can take months or even years to discover it, refine it, and make it part of your daily life.
So between this moment right now and the time you live your passion, are you destined to live in mediocrity and unhappiness?
Will you just pass the days in quiet desperation, waiting to live with passion?
You don't have to do that — and you mustn't.
Please don't give away one of your precious days on this planet to despair or boredom. You do have options.
There is a way to live happily each and every day and make your life better even as you wait for the best — your life passion. This time “in-between” can be a time of joyful expectation, during which you prepare body, heart and mind for positive change.
Here are 10 ways to live with passion now before you find your passion:
1. In Your Work
Maybe you can't change jobs right now, so what can you do to feel more passionate about your work while you're there?
Begin by getting clear on what you DO like about your job. Write down everything good about your job — the people, the space, some elements of the work, your office chair, etc.
Be honest with yourself to acknowledge that it isn't all bad.
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Then look at the one major problem you have with your job. Are there any small positive actions you can take to make things better? Is there anyone you can talk with who might help you? If so, take the actions right away.
Even small improvements can give you a sense of control and hope.
Finally, try to approach your work with a zen-like attitude. Even if the work itself is not stimulating or challenging, do it mindfully and gratefully.
Release thoughts of resentment, knowing that change will happen eventually. As the poet Kahlil Gibran reminds, “work is love made visible,” even work that isn't your passion.
And what is it to work with love?It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit.
~Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet
2. In Your Relationships
During times of transition and unhappiness, we often take out our negative feelings on the ones we love the most.
We are so self-focused and preoccupied with our concerns that we push our loved ones away — or worse, we lash out at them with misplaced anger. This time of waiting is the perfect time to strengthen your relationships.
It begins with communication, sharing your feelings, worries, and dreams.
By allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open in a safe and loving relationship, you create a comforting space to help you cope, and you foster a deeper connection with your loved one.
Take extra time to enjoy the company of your loved ones, doing fun and relaxing things together.
Make a point of reconnecting rather than isolating yourself in your pain and worry. Savor the passion and fulfillment that positive human interaction provides.
If you have problems in an important relationship, take this time to work on the issues with a counselor. You will need to clear up these problems before you can work on your life passion.
3. In Your Health
Spend time during your day to focus on healthy habits like exercise and good nutrition.
This will boost your self-esteem, your overall energy, and your mood. Pick some form of exercise that is fun and manageable and begin practicing it for just five minutes a day. Slowly increase your time as it begins to feel automatic.
Having a sense of control over your physical well-being provides the emotional strength to make other necessary changes in your life when the time comes.
As you become more proficient at exercise and continue to make good health choices, you may find a healthy lifestyle becomes one of your passions.
4. In Your Life Balance
Use this transition time to reclaim balance in your life.
Cut back on spending time with people who are negative and unsupportive.
If you know you are spending too many hours at work, slowly begin to cut back each day so you can spend more time with loved ones and doing other things you enjoy.
Even physical clutter will make you feel unsettled and overwhelmed. Take a day to let go of material things in your home that you no longer want or need.
5. In Your Finances
Are you spending to fill the void of your unhappiness? Do you have unpaid debt or are you neglecting to save money?
This is a great time to clean up your financial house. Work on paying down debt, and rather than spending on things you don't need, put that money into a savings account.
As you work on finding your life passion, you may discover you need extra money to start a business, take a class, or buy some time away from your job.
Find joy in saving and appreciating all of the material blessings you have.
6. In Your Skills
Use this transition time to improve your skills in an area you enjoy.
Savor the process of learning and gaining proficiency through practice. Practice puts you in a flow state that is deeply satisfying and engaging.
Learn something entirely new that has always interested you. Take a class or begin reading and researching information online. Do this for the fun of the experience, not as a means to an end.
7. In Your Pursuits
This is a great time to start checking things off your bucket list — to explore your hobbies, to travel, to redecorate your home or landscape your yard. If you love to read, allow yourself time every day with an engaging novel.
When worry, restlessness, and self-doubt begin to creep in, go do something fun.
Immerse yourself in the activity the way you did as a child. These relaxing pursuits can relieve stress, enhance creativity, and potentially lead you to a life passion.
8. In Your Personal Growth
A huge leap in personal evolution occurs with the realization that you are responsible for your happiness.
You can choose to spend time dwelling on the ways your life isn't passionate, or you can choose to find happiness where you are right now — as you work toward your life passion.
Being proactive about your personal and emotional development is one of the most valuable and life-altering ways to spend your time.
You can do this by reading books, blogs, and articles that focus on evolutionary change and growth in all areas of your life. You can work with a coach or counselor to develop new and more productive ways of thinking and acting.
As you work on yourself, you will gain skills and insights to help you cope with your life transition, as well as creative new ways to move forward with your goals.
Become passionate about personal growth so you can embrace your life passion with self-awareness and emotional maturity.
9. In Your Attitude
Much of the experience of life is created by our attitude.
When we're feeling passionless and frustrated by our life circumstances, it's easy to remain angry and negative. Nothing seems good. Even the good things don't seem good. A negative attitude can become a negative habit.
As you condition yourself to look on the dark side of things, you lose sight of the truth that there is a bright side.
Sometimes we aren't even aware of our own bad attitude and how it impacts those around us and how they reflect it back to us.
Even if it is an entrenched habit, a bad attitude can be turned around.
You need awareness about your attitude and what you are doing to feed it. Then you need to stop feeding it with negative thoughts and words.
Stop complaining and discussing your frustrations and problems with others.
Replace negative thoughts and words with positive affirmations and comments.
As you practice, your feelings will eventually catch up with your actions. Be passionate about becoming a radiant beacon for yourself and those around you.
10. In Your Passion Search
The search for your life passion takes time and effort. It will involve self-discovery, addressing roadblocks, research, and experimentation.
But the process of finding your passion can be a passionate endeavor itself. This work is leading you to something amazing, to an exciting new life, and you are an explorer seeking out a hidden treasure.
View your passion search as a grand adventure.
Every step of the way, you will encounter small nuggets of information and big new discoveries. You are delving into the character, personality, and motivations of the most fascinating person on the planet — you! So enjoy the journey even as you await the destination.
Don't allow the frustration of not having a life passion overshadow the opportunities to live passionately today, right now.
Life is forever changing, and in-between the changes, we must sit in transition for a while.
See the transition as a beautiful resting place to gather energy, get healthy, save money, learn skills, and become more evolved as a person.
When it's time to meet your passion, you will be happy, healthy, and prepared.