Too many people in the world are living lives of quiet desperation.
They get up, go to a job they don’t like, come home and watch a few hours of TV, go to bed, and do it all over again the next day. That’s not a life.
Some of us have lives less desperate than this, but still we feel empty and unhappy. Maybe we have times of happiness and fun, but mostly we think about the life we wish we were living. Even though we don’t quite know what that would look like.
When I talk about finding and living your life passion, I mean far more than finding a career you love or a hobby that’s entertaining or volunteer work that is fulfilling. I’m talking about an entire lifestyle that is imbued with passion and powered by a passion source. That passion source may manifest in a career or avocation or something else entirely.
But whatever it is, it colors the entirety of your life for the better.
When I talk about life passion, I’m talking about something big. Something bold. A total mind shift that changes the way you think about yourself and how you operate in the world.
Does that mean you have to give up your job or start over? Not necessarily. But maybe. It depends on you and what is most important and less important and worth sacrificing or pursuing based on your particular desires for a passionate life. Are you confused?
Let’s make it simple. You must decide you want a passionate life because you believe it’s a goal worth pursuing. Once you decide to pursue it, the details are manageable.
But most people don’t get that far. They don’t get past the first gate when they think about life passion and allow their minds to wander a bit toward what it might take them to get there. Then they turn around and scurry back to the status quo.
They don’t see passion as a goal worth pursuing because they aren’t clear on the result. They don’t know what a passionate life looks like. Of course it differs for everyone depending on their specific passions and lives, but there are some general qualities of a passionate life.
It looks like this:
- You have a general sense of enthusiasm and purpose.
- You feel deeply engaged in your passionate pursuit.
- That engagement and the joy it brings spills over into other areas of your life.
- You are forced to simplify your life because you want to spend more time doing what you love.
- Problems and life difficulties diminish because you are happier and have fewer complications.
- You have better relationships because you are more attractive, positive, and interesting.
- You frequently experience the sense of being “in the flow.”
- Even when you aren’t proficient at your passion pursuit, you enjoy the practice of it and the process of learning.
Think about people you know who are living passionate lives. If you can’t think of anyone, take a look at Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Tony Robbins, or at these passionate regular people. Is it worth pursuing a life passion? Only if you want a passionate life — like these people.
But so many people never find their life passion because they sabotage their search before they really get started. Here are some of the most common ways people undermine the most important pursuit they could ever undertake.
1. They don’t believe it’s possible.
Sometimes people begin the process with serious doubts about finding their passion. They just fundamentally believe that life is meant to be difficult and that happiness and fulfillment are out of their control. Or they believe the myths about finding their passion they may have heard or read.
2. They think life passion is silly, unrealistic, or too idealistic.
There are those who believe the entire notion of having a life passion is indulgent at best and a waste of time at worst. Some people are not comfortable creating their life around happiness and purpose. Perhaps they are motivated by money, power, a sense of responsibility, or a general seriousness about life.
3. They don’t give themselves the time.
The journey of finding your life passion takes some time. It involves self-discovery work, research, trial and error, and experimentation. This requires carving an hour or two out of your week to work on it. But many people aren’t proactive about this. They just hope that a life passion will magically appear.
4. They are overwhelmed.
Their lives are so complicated, busy, cluttered, and over-scheduled that the idea of adding one more thing — even if it could create balance, order, and happiness — is too overwhelming. They put a passion search at the bottom of the priority list.
5. They aren’t emotionally healthy.
People who are living with depression, anxiety, anger, and other debilitating emotions don’t have the energy to devote to finding their passion. They might try, but they will quickly lose enthusiasm and interest. The emotions must be treated and the root cause addressed before beginning a passion search.
6. They are stuck in their thoughts.
Thought without action will get you nowhere. You need to think through your options and the possible pros and cons. But eventually, you must take action. People who are stuck in their thoughts are too afraid to do anything for fear it’s the wrong decision. But a wrong decision is better than no decision, and often the wrong decision leads to something better than expected.
7. They underestimate themselves.
Some people just don’t believe they are capable of doing what needs to be done to create their lives around passion. They don’t believe they are smart enough, creative enough, deserving enough, or good enough. They assume that their perceived limitations will get in the way of living their passion even if they find it.
8. They give up too quickly.
Finding a life passion involves trial and error, practice, and patience. Many people view the process of finding a passion to be confusing and arduous so they give up when the going gets hard. But it doesn’t have to be hard. If you view the process the way you would perceive an interesting mystery, it can be fun and engaging. Most of the learning and growth happens in the process of the search.
Are you dealing with any of these roadblocks preventing you from taking the first step toward a passionate life?
Are you trying to figure out . . .
- How to overcome roadblocks on your passion journey.
- How to deal with the fears and limitations holding you back.
- How to decide between your many interests for a passion pursuit.
- How to develop one interest when it feels like you have no passion.
- How to find balance when recreating your life.
- How to determine life priorities and eliminate the unnecessary.
- What skills and aptitudes are most important for you.
- How to enjoy the process of experimentation.
If you need guidance on your life passion journey, grab a copy of my book, The 52-Week Life Passion Project and begin the process of discovering the work you were meant to do.