It’s seems that over the last decade or so the mantras of, “Find your passion!” or, “Live your passion!” have become very popular.
The logic is that once you find and live your passion (or passions) your life will have more meaning and become a joy rather than a pain. And this sounds great because who doesn’t want to live a fulfilling and wonderful life? But there’s a problem, as there usually is. The confusion is that everyone has a different definition of what a passion is and where they come from. And if you’re struggling with the definition, you’re going to have a very difficult time trying to find it.
This is the same problem that I see people have when they are trying to define goals for themselves. It sounds good until you sit down and really try to think about what you truly want. Your mind usually interferes and tells you everything you can’t do and can’t have instead of telling you that your goals are really possible. Your mind does this for a reason and it’s something that everyone needs to recognize and work on.
But this post is about defining your passions and if you can’t do that it’s almost like trying to hammer a nail into the wall in a pitch-black room. You might get lucky but you’ll usually just end up with a lot of holes in the wall. And that’s not what we want.
So let me share this with you. The Game doesn’t deal with luck – The Game deals with design. This is one of the reasons a true understanding of The Game is so powerful.
Let’s go to our faithful dictionary and define the word passion. After all, this is the word that’s being thrown around so we should at least know what it means, am I right?
Passion is defined as:
(1) any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
(2) strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.
(3) strong sexual desire; lust.
(4) a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.
So from this definition we can pull out a few things. Basically anything you have a strong feeling (emotion), enthusiasm or desire for can be a passion. This can include people, places and things – such as a passion for music as an example.
And we also see the word love mentioned. The word love has many definitions within itself and can mean different things to different people. But to keep things simple if you have a love towards something that can also be defined as a passion.
Now that we have that information under our belt, we can now take that information and use it to define our personal passions.
A question some of you may have is why is even taking the time to define passions important? A very valid question. The importance lies in what I call natural attractions; things that you are naturally drawn to and find interest in. Things you were NOT told you should like, but things deep within yourself that you actually like. The real you, not the “you” some of us have become to think we are (or pretend to be).
So if you can see the importance in that, then grab a piece of paper and something to write with and let’s get into some work – inner work.
(1) Make a list of at least 5 things you think and feel you’re passionate about.
(2) Now ask yourself the following questions about each one of those passions you wrote down. Take your time and think about these questions and write down your answers. There’s no need to rush. Keep things very real and honest with yourself. This only you dealing with yourself. No one else needs to read this but you.
(3) First set of questions: Do you often think about this passion? Is this something that you think about often, day-in and day-out? Does it occupy a large portion of your thinking? Do you get excited when you think about it?
(4) Second set of questions: Do you lose track of time when you’re engaged in your passion? Is it something that you can literally do and not feel bored? Is this passion something you can do and not feel like you’re forcing yourself to continue? Do you get energized while you’re engaged with your passion?
(5) Third set of questions: Do you feel stronger, more joyful or even empowered when you’re doing what you enjoy? Does engaging in this passion give you a sense of freedom? Does working with this passion make you feel better or put you in a greater mood? Do other people notice how involved you become when you’re doing what you enjoy?
Go through each of your 5 passions, ask yourself these questions, seriously think about your answers and write them down.
Now, here’s the kicker. If you answered ANY of the questions negatively – if any of your answers included doubts, hesitations, worries, fears, shame, embarrassment, maybes, or "ifs" then guess what? That particular passion you wrote down IS NOT a true inner passion for you – it’s not something you’re naturally attracted to. It’s something you only "think" you’re attracted to. And that thinking came from somewhere or someone else.
Here’s another Perspective on it. If all you could do for the rest of your life was only the passions you wrote down, could you do them and only them? Would you be content with that? Would doing them and only them make you happy? Would they give you joy, a sense of purpose and accomplishment and make you feel empowered?
Many people find that maybe only 1 or 2 passions they wrote down actually pass this test. Others will find that none of what they wrote down "makes-the-grade", so to speak.
And you know what? Whatever you end up with is perfectly acceptable. Because now you have a basis to work with – you can continue to search for and define real, true passions for yourself so you can start dedicating more time and energy to them while cutting down on all the other dis-empowering distractions.
If you’ve ever felt like life was living you instead of you living life then a big portion of that (not all) is because you don’t live with any passion in your life. You don’t do things that naturally please you and empower you. And without that, what meaning does life have anyway?
Keep it moving. Until next time…
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