Following our passion in life is easier said than done. When I speak of passions here, I’m referring to the dreams and desires we have to make a living from what we love to do most or what gives us purpose and meaning.
Passions are what drive our behavior and fill us with energy and enthusiasm. So, what’s your passion and what are you doing to make sure you pursue it with success? My passion for some things has faded a bit lately, and it made me think. “How is it the exact passions that enliven and incite us, can later become a routine task needing to be completed out of mounting responsibility and obligation?” Could it be that as we change as people our passions change, or that we begin to view what we’re doing from a different perspective? Anything can become work if we’re not careful. We can see this from the business owner who ends up having no time for anything but his work, the counselor who becomes jaded and burned-out, or the artist who never quite makes it and throws in the towel. Maybe you gave up on your passion because the journey seemed too difficult or it wasn’t what you expected. Sometimes the thing we love the most can become the biggest struggles to achieve. Just as our greatest strength can be our greatest weakness, or as the one’s we love the most are the people who can cause us the most pain, so to can our passions become a cumbersome load and be a true labor of love. Just because we love doing something doesn’t mean it will always come easy and without serious effort. Fortunately, if you want something bad enough, there is nothing that can get in your way. Here are a few ideas to help you stay on track.
Don’t lose sight of your inspiring vision
This is a valuable lesson I learned recently. I lost sight of “why” I am passionate about so many things I do and began to focus on what I “needed” to get done and accomplish. Instead of my vision, passion, and purpose driving what I did, I was driven by tasks and to-do lists. Needless to say, when passions become scheduled tasks we feel we have to accomplish, it’s easy to lose the inspiration behind why we started in the first place. Ask yourself, “Am I doing this because I love and enjoy it, or because I feel obligated and am payed to do so?” Now, I would assume that getting payed for what you love to do is the ultimate goal, but be cautious that it doesn’t skew the perspective you have about why you’re doing it. Like I mentioned early, anything can become work if we’re not careful.
Are you a slave to your passions?
One major way we can lose perspective is when we become a slave to our passions. This is when we’re so consumed with the success or failure of what we’re doing it drives us crazy. If all we’re focused on is the numbers, rankings, or figures it becomes very easy to lose sight of the inspiring vision that got us started. Make sure the goals you set are based on your vision and values. Make sure your values are what drive your goals, not the other way around. In this sense you are doing things because it feels right and you want to, not because you feel you have to.
How to reignite your passion
If your passion is fading there’s a good chance that you’re experiencing some fear or fatigue about the results. Maybe things aren’t happening as quickly as you would like or they don’t match your expectations. Here are some suggestions to regain clarity and perspective.
- Think about all reasons you enjoy and find value in your passion. What was it that used to give you such satisfaction?
- Become immersed in the passion by reading, learning, and continuing to develop and grow. Don’t think there is nothing new to learn.
- Find like minded others who are passionate about the same thing and connect to gain new insight and ideas.
- Bring your focus back to your vision and mission, and why you’re doing what you’re doing.
- Focus on the value and satisfaction you’ll get when you reach your vision and long-term goals.
- Recognize that each attempt to reach your goals is a learning opportunity, and adjusting your approach is just part of getting closer to your vision.
Keeping passion in perspective is about never letting the novelty and inspiration fade. As we change, grow, and expand as people, what used to be stimulating and motivating may become mundane. There will be times when we need to adjust our attitude and outlook, and reconnect with an inspiring vision. Knowing this can help us come back to who we really are as a person and what we really desire from life, and to begin really build our business and life around this. How do you keep passionate and motivated? What have you done when your passion started to fade? Photo credit: the half-blood prince