Passion is about more than finding your calling in life. It means caring intensely about who you are, what you stand for, and what you do every day. It’s about making a difference in people’s lives, pursuing your dreams, and contributing to the world around you. Passion is about waking up with a purpose, following your heart, and living life to the fullest. As Mae West said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” So find your passion and live your life with gusto.
Sadly, some folks don’t live . . . they merely exist. They sit silently rather than taking a stand; they follow blindly rather than thinking for themselves; and they dip their toes in the water rather than taking the plunge. These folks are self-conscious about “standing out,” afraid of making a commitment, uncomfortable in their own skin, and reluctant to put themselves on the line. They’re a bit like wallpaper, comfortable living life in the background despite the fact that they’re bursting with promise. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get going and pursue your passion. As Lucille Ball said, “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”
Where Is Passion Born?
If you’re passionate about something, you’ll wake up each morning thrilled to greet another day. You’ll require less sleep; you may forget to eat; and you’ll always make time for the things you love. In fact, some folks find it hard to stop thinking about anything else. But who’s even trying? When you’re passionate about something, the adrenaline rush will consume you from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. And you may smile so much that your jaw hurts. People will say your excitement is contagious and that you look happier than ever. The truth is, you are.
Discover your passion:
- Toast yourself. Pretend you’re toasting yourself at your future retirement dinner. What were the most fulfilling moments of your life? What made you happiest? Then make sure you do more of those things before your real retirement.
- Get free advice. Ask some retired people what changes they’d make if they had the opportunity to live life over again. Learn from their experience.
- Think out of the box. Assume that you have enough money and that only your wishes matter — if you had only 10 years to live, what would you do? Once you’ve identified some possibilities, get moving!
Believe in yourself:
- Believe in yourself. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, don’t expect others to have faith in you.
- Kill negative thoughts. Banish those negative thoughts. They’ll reduce your confidence and drag you down.
- Accentuate the positive. Surround yourself with people who provide encouragement. They’ll also provide energy and support when you need it most.
- See yourself a success. Spend a few moments each day picturing yourself a success. Imagine yourself accepting the award, closing the big deal, or receiving a standing ovation for your achievements. It might just happen!
Take a chance:
- What’s worse –– failing or never trying? When you attempt something, there are two outcomes –– success or failure. If you don’t try, you give up any opportunity for success. As Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
- What’s the worst that could happen? Some efforts seem daunting until you calculate the downside risk. Worrying is often worse than reality.
- Please yourself first. Stop looking for acceptance and determine what YOU want out of life.
- Control your fears. Don’t worry about things that you can’t control.
Decisions, decisions, decisions:
- Difficult decisions made easy. Instead of laboring over a tough decision, determine the key decision-making criteria, and use these to evaluate your options. Then do it!
- Be your own best friend. If you were giving advice to a good friend, what would you say? There’s your answer.
- Don’t let your brain talk you out of it. Passion lives in the heart, not the head. So follow your heart, but don’t forget to bring your brain.
- Nothing is for life. Don’t lose sleep if your decision doesn’t pan out. Very few decisions are life altering, and there is almost always something to learn, as long as you try.
Go for it:
- Light small fires. Try something new. Start small. If it doesn’t work out, limit your losses, and move on. If things go well, build on your successes.
- Hit some singles. Some people set unrealistic expectations and overwhelm themselves in the process. Instead, set achievable, short-term goals while pursuing your long-term plans. Small wins will keep you motivated as you pursue your long-term goals.
- Life doesn’t go according to plan. Sometimes we create an “imaginary” plan and hold ourselves accountable to it. Be flexible. There’s nothing wrong with deviating from the plan.
- Break it down. When faced with a large problem, break it down into digestible parts. It’s easier to address big problems in small pieces.
- Don’t quit. Never quit at the first sign of a challenge. Quitting is habit forming. But then again, so is winning.
- Get going. Stop procrastinating and get started. Dreams, unlike eggs, don’t hatch from sitting on them.
- Dream BIG. Believe in the impossible. And then prove it CAN be done.
- Be yourself. As John Mason said, “You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.”
Pursue Your Passion Today
It doesn’t matter what you’re passionate about — what’s important is being passionate about something that matters to you. So stop wishing and start doing; stop following and take the lead. It’s time for you to stand up for your beliefs. It’s time for you to make your opinions heard. It’s time for you to make a difference in your life and in the lives of others around you. Get up from the couch and jump in with both feet. Sure . . . the road will be lined with caution signs, and there may even be some speed bumps along the way, but if you’re positive and remain determined, you’ll be happy that you tried. As Abraham Lincoln said, “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” So find your passion and pursue it today!