I used to be called passionless.
It was true. I was like that. Level. Steady. Enthusiastic, but passionless.
Then I went through a series of losses. And during that time, not only did I learn about PASSION, but I also leaned about FAITH.
A few years ago, I realized that I had lost the passion that I had found before. I also had lost faith. Since then, rediscover both and realized it is an ongoing process.
Do YOU remember when your life was full of passion?
Your pulse would quicken at the thought of seeing someone you loved, you’d happily work around the clock on a project you really cared about, or youd drive two hours and stay up all night just to see a performance that you simply had to see? Remember when you’d argue passionately for what you believed perhaps even getting involved in a protest? Or think back even further to a time when you found a sunrise so awe inspiring that you’d willingly get up before dawn and drive to a special “viewing” place.
When we are young we happily expressed our creative side. Later, we pick favorite subjects, develop hobbies, and generously give time to causes that touch our hearts. But then its time to “pick a major,” “get a real job,” “settle down,” and “be responsible.” No more time for doing what we love – and all too often, that’s the beginning of the end of passionand the energy it generates. We work for a living, take care of tasks on weekends, and soon begin to wonder if old interests are “worth the bother.”
Then, one day, we notice that were not getting out of bed in the morning with the same enthusiasm as before and no longer feeling the joy of days gone by. Something seems to be shriveling up inside. Its hard to describe. A knot in your stomach? An ache in your soul? We long for meaning, and love and simple delights. In short, we want to feel fully ALIVE. But, we’ve been doing what we “should” for so long, were not sure how to get the old spark back.
I used to be a musician. I played the trumpet and many other brass instruments for over 15 years. I had a huge collection of music ranging from Louis Armstrong to Insane Clown Posse, from Pirates of Penzance to the Soundtrack to the Matrix, from Glenn Miller to Disney tunes, from Johnny Cash to Tobey Keith. When times were lean after 9/11, and to keep my business afloat, I sold my horn, my albums and more.
I used to be an artist. I painted, drew, wrote and dreamed. But making payments and paying bills became all important. No time for frivolous activities. Why am I watching a movie? I should be working!
I DID find a way to combine the two. Networking to increase business and still be involved in things of my interest. I helped run or directed four Film festivals in the area. I helped build a club of talented designers in the area. I designed shirts, posters and more for the Arkansas Special Olympics. And even donated design work to a local annual fitness competition.
So… find your passion. I’m finding mine again. Writing, drawing, playing music, looking for a guitar….
Now, one last thing before I go, below is an interesting exercise in revving up your passion I found online.
Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D., psychologist and motivational speaker, has a unique way of helping people find their passion. The author of Create A Life That Tickles Your Soul (named “Outstanding Book of the Year and “Most Life-Changing” in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2000) offers four tips for getting your life in sync.
Four Tips to Rev Up Your Passion
When you’re using your special talents in the service of others in a way that you truly enjoy, you’ll know it. Your energy will soar, your joy will expand, and you’ll feel the passion bubbling up from your core. Here are four strategies for reaching that zestful – aint life grand – state!
1. Embrace Whatever Brings You Joy
If your passion for life has dimmed of late, you could be suffering from JDS (joy-deficit syndrome). Perhaps you’ve shifted from an abundance mentality (“Im really blessed and know I will always have enough to survive”) to a scarcity mentality (“I could lose everything in a flash and die”). Now I’m not suggesting that you abandon responsible financial planning, but I am suggesting that you enjoy whatever is available to you at the moment. Focus less on storing up for probable depletion and more on the bounty at your fingertips. Indulge in natural highs like running or watching a winter sunrise. Treat yourself to little indulgences like chocolate or a special tea. Schedule in that fishing trip, round of golf, or massage. Make more “dates” with people you really enjoy and stay away from those you don’t. Listen to music that lifts you up. Read books that fill you with hope. Watch TV and movies that make you laugh and take classes that excite your mind. Embrace anything that will help you say at the end of each day, “Life is good. I’m glad to be alive.”
2. Use Your Talent
What have you been “naturally” drawn to all of your life? Numbers, selling, motorcycles, language, drawing, building things, gardening, science, or problem solving? What activity never seems like work and always gives you energy? What pursuit engages you so fully that whenever you do it time seems to fly?
Perhaps your “talent” is also your livelihood. Perhaps its an avocation. Whichever, pursue it. Develop it, share it, apply it, and honor its uniqueness. We are each especially good at something and that something is usually what we consider “play.” Therefore it sometimes gets put aside and underutilized. That’s when we sense something is dying inside. If you’re not using the best parts of you at work, consider what you can do that’s new. Out of work, paint pictures for friends, join a community choir, or set up a small business on the side. Use your talents today so years from now you can look back and say, “I have no regrets. I was a good steward of the gifts I was given.”
3. Make A Difference
Few things rev up ones passion for life more than knowing that you have brought joy or health, peace, or information to someone else. When you are part of something bigger than yourself, the energy you expend seems to return to your door in larger quantities. You help a neighbor and your own world looks brighter. You work for world peace and your own life feels more stable. You bottle the pills that keep people alive and feel a rush of pride. Use your life in purposeful ways and you have the answer to the question that concerns so many of us: “Why am I here?”
4. Align These Three for Peaks of Passion
People who are able to align all three of these areas – use their talent to benefit others in ways that they truly enjoy say their lives feel blissfully in sync. So, SEIZE THE DAY, and find your passion all over again!
- What peak moments have you experienced over the last few years times when you felt grateful, energetic, useful, or full of joy?
- Did those moments have anything in common?
- What is one “free” treat you’d enjoy today?
- What creative talent have you been “sitting on” for a while?
- How could you express it even if just for yourself? How could you use something you love to do to benefit others?
(Photo ©2009 and courtesy of Elemental Photography)