This post is an exercise I’ve created for myself – a open brainstorm for me to develop my own passions. I’ve promised to help others and my goal is to share my own development and study with you, who have the same desires to mold your lives around your passions, dreams, and hopes. Please take a pen and paper, a blank document or anything that you can use to follow along for your own introspection and self-study.
“If we resist our passions, it is more through their weakness than from our strength.” – Francois de la Rochefoucauld
If this is true, then there is only one thing that we have to do: strengthen our passions and maintain their integrity. Our first step is to clearly state our passions, in detail with the connection to YOURSELF:
- I am passionate about health, maintaining a fit lifestyle, nourishing my body with good food, and using the muscles, bones, ligaments, and tissue that make up my body to the best of their ability.
- I am passionate about the earth; exploring nature, taking photos of it’s beauty, immersing myself in the world, taking care of it, and growing food from it.
- I am passionate about people; helping and caring for them, learning about their differences and specialities, and spending time with them.
Read your passions out loud. Truth has a ring to it, listen for the truth. Is anything missing? Notice my passions are broad and then taper into specific things. The more you give yourself now the more you can hone in and develop later.
Take the passions that you’ve written down and name a few activities that you like to do associated with those passions:
1 . Health:
Yoga, Hiking, Working out, Cooking, Running, Surfing, & Paddle-boarding
2 . The Earth
Gardening, Traveling, Hiking, Photography, & Doing Yoga Outside
3 . People
Doing everything I’ve stated so far WITH someone(s), Cooking for friends, & Helping people
How many times a week do you do at least two of these activities in a day? At least 3 in a day? Write it down.
In the last two years the strongest power behind my actions has been my desire for improved mental health. Between purging items from my life, to changing my schedule over and over again, to seeing professional help and mentorship I have been driven by the desire for happiness and freedom. In the last few months in particular I’ve done a lot of thinking about what my passions are and how I can incorporate more of them into my life. As of August 1st, I now do at least three activities related to my passions every day, at least five days a week. My passions are important to me, they help me stay healthy both physically and mentally and they motivate and inspire me to continuously strive to better myself. My passions nourish me.
Just like everyone I get trapped, rolling off course and tripping over distractions to fall flat on my face. In the last couple months I’ve found distractions to be most powerful when they’re unsuspected. Look them full in the face, the physical barriers, the mental blocks… name them. Pinpoint what it is that stops you from doing what you love and be descriptive. Just like before putting more detail into this now will help you hone in on how you can eliminate them later.
- Fiction and fantasy (yes I am a pieces). TV series wrap me up, fantasy stories find me sinking deeper into stillness, and the ease at which I can open up my computer and sink into someone else world tempts me into lethargy. This is a huge barrier for me as getting lost in other peoples worlds was a major coping mechanism for me growing up, and still if things get too difficult or I start to struggle with mental health again I slide back into ignoring whats around me and replacing it with an imaginary life (too deep? it doesn’t matter – this is my truth and I want you to get that deep with yourself… WHY does something stand in your way, the why will help you overcome it).
- Fear of failure. This ones funny because in this context it doesn’t make much sense… how can I fail at doing the activities I enjoy? I fear sinking backwards into instability and issues with my mental health. This can also be my biggest motivator… but I’ll explain that in a second.
You may have more than that, and your list may include barriers such as work commitments, family commitments or time related barriers. It doesn’t matter what you put on your list, as long as you clearly write how that barrier affects you and why its on your list. For each barrier write three things that will help you overcome each one.
- Getting lost in fiction and fantasy:
- I deleted my Netflix account. Without the easy access to a multitude of alternate realities (i.e.: TV series) I seek out the vice a lot less.
- Watching movies WITH someone – this ones great because I still get to immerse myself in a story, but its with someone, and when the movies over – its over… I’m unable to binge watch 6 episodes of game of thrones by myself curled up in a ball.
- Switch out my fiction novels for non-fiction and development books!
- Fear of failure:
- Write a list of no more than three things that must get done before 10am. Keep each thing brief and check each item off when it’s been completed. This helps me feel accomplished and sets the tone for the rest of the day.
- Goal setting. Really this point deserves its own blog post. And I promise to give you one next Monday. The important one here is that the goals are visible to you daily and you stay accountable to them.
- Create a community of accountability. Who’s your team? Do you work together? How do you keep each other accountable. The team I work with now is phenomenal. We meet each Monday for 45 minutes to 1 hour and tell each other our stories, or goals, and what motivates us. We develop relationships with each other that are deep and meaningful, helping each other with whatever comes up and encouraging each other to move past the barriers that lay in front of us.
This may look entirely different for you. And its okay if you put things down that “seem” unattainable to you. For example
My barrier: work commitments
My three points:
- decrease the hours I’m at work
- change what I do
All of these may seem extreme or impossible, but likely if you have work as a barrier to living a life that is full of what you are passionate about then you’re doing the wrong thing.
Take action: DO one out of your three solutions for each barrier and COMMIT to it for ONE WEEK.
Imagine if you could live your passions all day every day, and make an income doing it? I say you are very lucky if you’ve found a career path that drives you, something you are so passionate about doing that you wake up Monday morning excited to get to work. That didn’t happen for me until I quit what I was doing and started over, from scratch and put my passions first!
May your day be filled with adventure, movement and inspiration ❤
Next Monday we’ll talk about goal setting and work together to create our ideal lives!