What do you want to accomplish in life? Who are you meant to be? What gives you meaning and purpose? Where do you want to be in 5 years from now? How are you going to get there? I know it’s a lot of questions up front, but I would encourage you to take the time to answers these fully. Living from your passions requires hard work and self-awareness. It requires taking risks, stepping out on a limb, and having the faith to let go even when you don’t see the ground below. Even though it takes risking some comfort and security, in the long-run you will find lasting happiness, contentment, and satisfaction by doing what you love. I watched a motivating and humorous Ted Talk by Larry Smith recently that inspired this post. Check the video out here! He poignantly explains why many people won’t ever seek out and commit their life to what they are most passionate about. Unless…. yes, he leaves us hanging on the word “unless,” and it got me thinking about the tenants and principles that can help people start doing work they love and stay committed to their highest passions. Below is a list of 10 tips to help you stay committed to living out your passions.
1. Believe you can
First thing first, you must move past the barriers and limitations you place on yourself. Confidence isn’t always given to us, and frankly, other people may tell us our plan is impractical and unrealistic. This is why we must provide ourselves self-support and self-encouragement as we pursue our passions. Continually fill yourself up with positive and inspiring ideas.
2. Create the right environment
Setting up our environment for success includes being intentional about the people, places, and situations that surround us. Clean up your surroundings and add some inspiration and ambiance to your home or workplace. Work on making associations with people who you admire, and find mentors who can help keep you on track. It’s crucial to remove the figurative “garbage” from our lives, whether it is smut television or gossiping people.
3. Invest in yourself
What’s the best investment you can make? It’s not in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. It’s in yourself! Start immediately investing time, money, and energy into expanding and growing your knowledge and skill set. Expose yourself to what’s new and keep learning. Read blogs in your industry and attend workshops and seminars to stay educated. If you keep doing the same thing in this day and age you won’t just get the same results, you will fall behind.
4. Use each day to the fullest
If you were given $86,400 each day, would you waste any of it? I’m imagine not, but unfortunately, we are given exactly 86,400 seconds each day to spend as we please, and many people waste the vast majority on distractions and time-wasters. Point being, plan your day out and set clear goals on a day to day basis. There is a notion that successful people have over 100 goals they are working on at any given time, and that they are pursing these goals with passion, conviction, energy, and enthusiasm. When we are pursuing our passion our goals are not draining but instead are invigorating.
5. Create value
We all have unique traits, talents, and skills we can use to create value. Give people something they can use that addresses their needs and challenges. What unique qualities, knowledge, or skills do you have that can be offered to help others? In what area have you always felt competent and had a natural ability? How could you position and package yourself in a new way using this expertise?
6. Recognize opportunities
Focus on saying “yes” to opportunities. You will gain much more experience, wisdom, and character from saying yes, than from saying no. Even in times of adversity look for opportunities and blessings in disguise. Keep an open-mind and always be aware of people or situations that can offer you insight and growth.
7. Take responsibility
Don’t blame others. You are personally accountable for your life, and frankly the reason you’re probably following your passion is so you don’t have to keep blaming others or the organization you work for. Until we take responsibility we will be stuck sitting, waiting, and hoping some opportunity comes along. Don’t be a victim, instead own the truth and find solutions.
8. Be willing to make mistakes
Following your passions will require taking chances and being willing to take a risk in the face of uncertainty. Fortunately, the best teacher is failure, and we can learn from mistakes. As the saying goes, no risk, no reward. We can do our best to make calculated decisions to limit the risk, though mistakes will occur. As a disclaimer, I’ll roughly paraphrase Dave Ramsey by saying, if you’re going to make mistakes, make sure to just sprain your ankle, not break your leg. You can much more easily get over a sprained ankle.
9. Keep your vision crystal clear
Consider the responses you had to the questions at the beginning of this post. This is an important reminder of what you want and who you are. Our vision is the bigger picture of where we see our life headed and what we desire down the road. Don’t get distracted or sidetracked by setbacks. Keep your eye on the prize.
10. Stay balanced
Balance yourself emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically, and relationally. In a recent interview with Yongho Shin for his upcoming video series, I discussed living a balanced lifestyle. A major key to living out your passions is to organize your life around what you want to do for a living. The point is to discover the type of lifestyle you desire and determine how much time will need to be dedicated to different areas of your life, and if you need to alter your time spent in any area for your well-being or effectiveness. I don’t know what you’re passionate about, but by developing a clear vision, following these tips, and working to reposition your core beliefs to align with your aspirations you can begin to live out your passions.
This is where I provide my personal connection to the ideas in the post. I hope you will join the conversation by leaving a comment, and offering your personal connection to these ideas as well. I want to share my personal and business vision and mission statement. You’ll notice that within my personal mission statement is to “follow my passions.” I have made this a guiding source of decision making and an integral part of my life. I have also established a business vision and mission that reflects my passion to serve others and help them flourish. By establishing these statements it helps keep me crystal clear and committed to living a passionate life. I would encourage you to develop a clear vision and mission for your life and business as well. Personal Vision and Mission “My vision is to live a full, meaningful, and thriving life.” “I stay inspired and empowered by connecting with others, using my character strengths, and following my passions.” Business Vision and Mission “My vision is to help others find greater purpose, meaning, and significance, and to empower them through results based products and services that improve their lives and help them flourish. “This will be done through integrity, quality, value, expertise, and leading by example.” Photo credit: tibchris