“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.” ~Angela Monet
Editor's Note: This is part one of a two part series of interviews with amazing bloggers living out their passions.
In one week, I launch a new eCourse called Discover Your Passion: A Step-By-Step Course for Creating the Life of Your Dreams. I created the course as a self-study program based on my in-person group coaching workshops. It will be available on Monday, December 6.
The notion of discovering one's passion has plagued and intrigued me for many years. For a long time, I thought I didn't have a passion — at least not the kind of consuming love of something that fills your days with joyful anticipation and meaning. Happily, I ultimately did discover my passion — a passion for writing, blogging, and coaching. I wake up every day excited about my work and eager to live each moment as though it is a priceless gift.
My journey toward finding my own life passions has been the catalyst for the upcoming Discover Your Passion eCourse. As I created this course, I have talked with some amazing people who are living extraordinary lives and doing things they love every single day.
Several of my blogging friends have been kind enough to share their life passions. I asked them what they were passionate about, and how they discovered their passion. Here's what they had to say:
Carolyn Rubenstein, A Beautiful Ripple Effect — author, non-profit founder, psychologist, commentator, blogger
I am passionate about translating knowledge into action and action into change. I love dreaming big, coming up with grand ideas, and then determining how to make them possible.
As a teenager, I discovered this passion after visiting a camp for children with cancer. At this camp, I became close with many of my peers who were battling cancer. During that summer, I learned knowledge that changed me and my perspective on life forever. I yearned to help these children beyond that one experience. And while the odds were against me, I didn’t care – I was going to create change regardless of what others said. I was focused and passionate about creating a program that would begin to improve quality of life for children with life threatening illnesses. Within a year after that visit, I founded a non-profit organization focused on this very goal. And this passion has only grown stronger and more powerful. I am now a graduate student in clinical psychology focusing on research that stems from this very early experience.
Simply stated, I discovered my passion by trusting myself wholeheartedly, even when it felt foolhardy and “impossible.” There is a great Dr. Seuss quote that I heard when I was younger and still read to this day, as a reminder to remain open to discoveries and the possibilities within our everyday moments.
“You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own and you know what you know
And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.”
Jules Clancy, Stone Soup — author, food scientist, photographer, runner, minimalist, and blogger
Good food. I've always been excited by cooking and eating. Actually the older I get, I'm becoming more passionate about simple food and have recently pledged to only cook recipes with 5 ingredients or less for the rest of my life. And I've just planted a vegetable garden – can't wait for my first tomatoes!
I went to boarding school at age 11 and had to eat the miserable meals prepared by the nuns. I couldn't believe how soul destroying this food was compared to the lovingly prepared meals my mum always served. I realized that food was more than just fuel – there was a magic to it. Although I didn't know where it would lead me, I decided back then to always seek out good food. Actually most of my life decisions have been food related, and I wouldn't change a thing.
Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity — world traveler, philanthropist, author, entrepreneur, runner, and blogger
I have a lot of different passions and don't like to choose just one. Among others, I like travel, writing, entrepreneurship, running, coffee… and the list goes on. The goal of my work is to help people live unconventional, remarkable lives. I try to tie in a number of topics and passions related to that mission, broadly speaking.
I learned to stop putting arbitrary limits on myself. Once I managed to overcome the expectation to conform to a typical life plan and started doing what I wanted, things got a lot easier. When you start thinking about passion for the first time, it's always good to start by asking questions of yourself to uncover childhood dreams and so on. But I also think you have to go beyond that and ask things like, “What bothers you about the world?” That kind of thinking — and then looking to create solutions — brings you closer to a real life purpose, I think.
Annabel Candy, Get In The Hot Spot — internet marketer, entrepreneur, author, speaker, and blogger
People, writing and travel. I have a lot of passions, but those three things are the root of all of them. For example, I'm totally passionate about helping people succeed online because it combines my two passions for people and writing. The Internet is for people, and I see it is a huge equalizer which allows small business owners to compete equally with major corporations. That really excites me. I love web design and web copy writing, because I always focus 100% on the people who will be using the site or reading it. The technological side of the Internet and social media holds no interest for me. It's all about the people who use it, and that's what excites me.
As a child I knew I wanted to be a writer and live by the seaside. For me the problem was having the confidence to pursue my passions, because often our closest friends and family discourage us. For example, my parents told me not to become a writer because it was “too hard.” They could never have anticipated the Internet though. These days writers are in demand, and writing is a key skill in any area. I recommend writing as a way for people to uncover their passions. I've always kept a journal and during tough times journaling has helped me understand that I was unhappy because I wasn't following my passions. For people who haven't discovered their passion, I'd recommend writing and trying new things all the time so you can see what sets your world on fire.
Katie Tallo, Momentum Gathering — writer, director, mother extraordinaire, blogger
Writing is my true passion, something I have resisted, turned into a chore, and been lazy with at various times in my life. And yet, I know it’s where I’m most passionate. When I write from my heart, I feel such an intense feeling of joy and inspiration. I know that I’m alive and on this earth for a reason. I know that somehow, some way, through words I am meant to share, serve and honor that gift. I want to use words to inspire change, to insight goodness, to comfort, help and reach people who need words of encouragement and inspiration most.
I was encouraged by teachers and my parents when I wrote well as a child. That gave me the belief, true or not, that I could write. So, I never doubted it. I just wrote. I loved words and studied grammar. I read slowly, absorbing words and sentences. I was always inventing elaborate and dramatic stories. In high school, I was better at English than math, so again, I was told what I was good at and followed that. I received some writing awards in school, wrote screenplays in my twenties and had them made into films, but it took me until my forties to embrace myself fully as a writer. Up until only very recently, I was writing as a means to an end – to direct and make films. I lost my voice somewhere in that craziness. Then one day, I began daily journal writing and found my voice again. I began a blog and discovered that my passion was writing from my heart as a means to serve others. Yes, I’d heard the “follow your heart” advice many times, but I’d never felt quite like I deserved to, or could afford to, or knew how to. When I let go what I thought the world wanted me to be and turned what I had always been good at into a heartfelt venture – I discovered my passion.
Leo Babauta, Zen Habits —author, entrepreneur, minimalist, runner, father of six, blogger
I'm passionate about simplicity. It has made my life better in countless ways.
I was inspired by the writings and lives of others — Thoreau, Elaine St. James, Gandhi, and others who I can't recall but who inspired me nonetheless.
Jeff Nickles, My Super-Charged Life — corporate IT director, consultant, world traveler, adventure lover, blogger
My passion in life is the pursuit of excellence. It doesn't matter whether I'm writing about good habits on my blog, parenting my kids, managing my personal finances or fulfilling my role as an IT Director. I want to do my absolute best at it and I want to help others to do the same. This passion in life propels me forward every day. It drives me to learn, grow and keep life exciting.
As Michelangelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” I firmly believe that inside all of us is a masterpiece waiting to be seen. For me, I think my passion has always been there, but I didn't always recognize it. I think this was mainly because I looked at it all wrong. I always thought my passion needed to be something more specific, but now I embrace my passion for what it is because it helps me excel no matter what I'm trying to do.
Editor's Note: In my next post, you will hear from five other remarkable people who are living extraordinary lives. Please check back on Thursday to read more stories of passion.
If you are interested in discovering you own passion and would like a copy of my eCourse, Discover Your Passion: A Step-By-Step Course for Creating the Life of Your Dreams, please visit again on Monday, December 6, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern when the course will be available for a special Holiday Price.