Ignite Passion & Find True Happiness
What is Passion?
Quite literally, it is a strong and barely controllable emotion. It’s one that you have inside you when you are mesmerized by something, or someone, the one that drives you to be or do something despite its sacrifices. It’s the reason you get out of bed in the morning, and the things that get you so fired up you can hardly sleep at night. It’s one of the things that gives us a sense of purpose and meaning to life.
Passion is not the same as an obsession. Obsession is an unhealthy fixation that often brings out the worst in someone and leads to destruction. Passion, however, is quite healthy, inspires one to be their best, and generally brings happiness.
Why is it important to find your passion?
“Nothing great is ever accomplished without passion.”
Happy people know what they are passionate about and have found a way to fulfill that passion in their lives. Some people achieve it through their career, others make theirs a hobby, while some are just passionate about their relationships. Some have the trifecta.
People who do not know their passions or deny them to conform to other’s expectations typically are not happy. They choose a profession they can barely stand based on salary; they marry the person their parents approve of or pursue hobbies because their friends are. Unfortunately, some have this trifecta as well.
You do not have to have a natural talent in doing something to love it. I cannot live without music. I need it to work out, clean my house, drive, and many other daily tasks. I can be in a lousy mood, and if a good song comes on the radio, I’m smiling and singing in seconds. I have zero…let me repeat for effect, ZERO musical talent. I can’t even play air guitar! But, so what? I have a sizable collection of music, have been to dozens of concerts, and I am mighty good at playing “Name that Tune.” Not a career, not even a hobby really, just something that shines a light on my day.
Aren’t passions supposed to be super creative, eccentric, or inspirational?
Not necessarily! However, when we are deeply moved towards something, we can make even simple things fascinating.
Knowing what we love doing and honoring our worthiness to do as we desire is the foundation of living authentically. Finding out what we profoundly adore doing is a soul-searching endeavor, but it is a vital part of being joyous in life.
How do I find my passion?
Finding your passion and living authentically is a choice. If you have decided to live life on your terms and be true to yourself, but you aren’t exactly sure how don’t fret! Here are some practical steps to discover what moves you deep inside.
- What did you love doing as a child? Before anyone ever told you “you can’t” or “you should” or “you shouldn’t,” what fascinated you? Your childhood hobbies and fascinations can indicate a genuine passion. Even if you’ve entirely outgrown them, try and remember what you loved about them, how they made you feel, and see if you can connect some part of that experience to your adult self. As you look back on these memories, see if you can notice what (if anything) seemed to squelch your interests. Write down your memories as they come. You’ll be amazed at how sometimes the subtlest memory can trigger a profound awareness.
- What do you love doing as an adult? When do you feel most alive? What makes you smile even when you’re not in the best of moods? What are you good at that you enjoy? What do other people compliment you on? It doesn’t matter if the things you like are popular or not, be honest with yourself. If you can’t think of anything, think about when you feel annoyed or jealous. Sometimes those negative feelings come as a result of wishing we could be or do what we see in others. (Hass).
“Don’t worry about what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive and do that,
because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
- Imagine you just won a $500K. You have enough money so that you can do the things you want but probably not enough to retire for life. What would you do for work? Who would you be with? What would you do for fun? Where would you go? Why are you not doing those things right now? Peer pressure? Are you in a comfort zone? Fear? When we fear the worst, we permit ourselves not to try. When we expect the best, we have a vision.
- Imagine you have passed and write your eulogy. I know this sounds morbid but think about how it will read if you change nothing in your life and you live for another 30 years. Are you satisfied? Do you have regrets? Most people regret the things they didn’t do more than anything they did, even if the results were unexpected. Hopefully, in 10 years you’ll still be around, but the question is where will you be, and is that where you want to be?
- What do you love doing so much you could forget to eat? This may not be the best measure for you personally, but it is for many people I work with and me. I easily forget a lot of things, but eating is not one of them. Unless I’m writing. I can sit down to write an article at 10:00 a.m. and look at the clock at what feels like an hour later and to my surprise, 5:00 p.m. However, when I sit at my computer to do bookkeeping, what feels like 5 hours is usually about 15 minutes. Accounting clearly is not my thing.
Why do people not follow their passion?
If passion is so beautiful, why isn’t everyone following theirs?
One reason is they just haven’t discovered what it is. The suggestions above are a great start, but not everyone will finish this reading this post ready to embark on an adventure. Life coaches are skilled at helping their clients discover their heart’s desires and helping them make a plan to turn those possibilities into reality. They do this by asking honed questions that help clients clarify their values and weed out the limiting beliefs that interfere with their happiness.
Living authentically takes confidence and bravery. If you are used to doing what other people expect of you, there will be an adjustment period when you start to say no to their desires and yes to our own. You may need support if taking care of yourself first is foreign, as it with many people who have put their ambitions aside to make others happy. Make sure you find someone who genuinely supports you and does not have their own agendas.
Some people are accustomed to always taking the “safe” route, even when it means settling for less than their heart’s desire. It’s a good idea to balance risks with benefits but don’t get paralyzed with irrational fears that terrible things will happen. The worst-case scenario seldom comes to pass, and most people are far more resilient than even they know until they put themselves to the test.
How passion connects to happiness
Passion fuels your positive emotions and happiness. It leaves you feeling energized and uplifted. It gives you a sense of freedom and empowerment to just be you. You’ll seldom be bored, and you’ll realize that you have an impact on others.
People who live in harmony with their desires tend to be mindful of all aspects of life. They are often considered warm-hearted, more collaborative and creative. They are motivated by doing what they love, for the sake of being happy.
Again, you have a choice! Live with passion!