How Can Passions Direct Your Life
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A few years ago, I read an interesting article about how to pick your next career. The writer mentioned that one of the important things you should consider is if you have a passion for what you do. If there was a thing you loved doing, chances are good that you would be very successful at it and would get great joy out of it.
She also noted that although it’s hard to know if you have a passion until you find it, thinking about ways to add some passions into your life can help determine whether or not you need to make changes.
It can also inspire you to keep looking outside of work for experiences that give you pleasure so that you don’t feel like you’re leaving something behind when you resign your position.
I thought of this idea as I was reading my book list for today. What I want to do after I am done with high school is to teach yoga. I have always wanted to teach a skill or activity to other people, and teaching yoga seems like a logical next step.
Not only does it sound fun, but I could probably learn more tricking students into practicing than anything else! In fact, I already have a couple of classes under my belt, which means I already have a way to pay the bills while still wanting to pursue my dream.
What does passion mean?
So what is passion, then? It’s an internal state of mind or feeling that you experience when you are doing something you love – making art, playing a sport, investing in a product or area of business, etc.
You will know this feeling if you have ever been completely focused on something else (like watching TV while eating junk food) and suddenly got excited about it. You may also have experienced it as your own personal proof of the theory that everyone has at least one strong passion they can turn to for happiness.
In fact, research suggests that people who feel more passionate about their jobs and lives are happier than individuals who don’t. This seems counterintuitive, but it makes sense once you think about it.
If you are happy with your job, then you won’t be looking for ways to enjoy it outside of work. By contrast, people who feel less passion for their career probably look forward to leaving work each day because they find it uninspiring and unpleasant.
Thus, they spend most of their time during working hours thinking about how much they hate their job, not because they want to, but because they do… which obviously doesn’t make them very happy.
Given all this, why wouldn’t we try to identify and cultivate our passions to achieve overall wellness and contentment in life?
It makes perfect sense.
How can you direct your life based on your passions?
The first step in developing your passion skills is to figure out what your passions are. It’s easy to get distracted at work, for example, so that by the time you get home you don’t have much energy left for things you used to enjoy like watching TV or reading a book.
If this sounds familiar, it's a good sign that something needs to change.
The more you focus on your job, the less passionate you will become about it. And since we spend a lot of our lives at work, being not very passionate there could be an effect on how you feel about yourself and your career.
So take some time one night this week to make a list of all the activities you would normally do after work. Make a note next to each activity of why they made sense aside from the fact that you enjoyed doing them.
For instance, if you were planning to watch TV then write down reasons such as: because I had already watched my show, it was still warm, and I usually fall asleep soon afterwards.
Follow your dreams
Following your dreams is one of the most powerful things you can do to live a happy, well-rounded life. If you want to be a doctor, then go into medicine! You could be very good at it and make a living doing so.
If you’re more creative, design courses or become an artist. Or if you’d rather work with people, take up working in sales or teaching.
Whatever your dream job is, learn as much as you can about it and be prepared to invest time in it. Also, be confident in yourself and your abilities – nothing great was ever achieved without self-confidence.
Having a goal that makes you passionate will keep you motivated day after day. And when you are able to relate everything you do to that passion, it helps mitigate some of the feelings of burn out caused by spending long hours studying or working hard.
Work on your weaknesses
A strong work ethic is great, but if you're spending all of your time trying to fulfill your duties as an employee, don't get distracted by things outside of work.
If you've always wanted to start your own business or take up swimming, go do it!
You'll have to make sacrifices at first, but in the long run, these new hobbies will give you more fulfillment than working for the rest of your life.
Start looking into what those past passions are so that you can find ways to bring them into your career.
Are you passionate about reading? Help other people learn how to read by becoming a literacy coach. Are you good at drawing and designing? Become a creative director.
The possibilities are endless - just because you aren’t doing something now doesn’t mean you can’t add it to your repertoire later.
Believe in yourself
After you learn how to love yourself, your life can start to take shape around your passions. You will know what you want to do and you will be able to go after it with all your heart.
Believe in yourself! It is cliché but true – conviction is one of the most powerful forces in the world. When we believe things are possible, they become possible.
When I was nineteen years old, I couldn’t even drive. But now I am a licensed driver, and I have proof that if you work hard, anything is possible.
You have got this life! And you’re going to live it to the fullest. You’re going to enjoy this time you have so don’t waste it living someone else’s dream for you.
Start looking at the possibilities in your own life and add some passion to them.
Let’s look at another word for passion – enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is like a tonic that makes your body feel better and helps you perform your best. It is not dependent upon something or someone else, it is you yourself.
When we are enthusiastic about something, we try to add luster to it by going beyond the basics. We may even exaggerate a bit to create an emotional reaction.
For example, if you love reading, get additional inspiration by learning how to do crafty things with reading. Try giving away some of your books to help spread the love.
Enthusiasms include eating foods that you enjoy, sleeping well, and exercising so that you can have more energy. All of these contribute to having happier, healthier life experiences.
So this week, try looking for ways to be passionate about something other than work. Take time to connect with friends, go to events, learn a new skill — anything that takes your mind off of the daily grind.
Spend time with friends and family
Living your life by your passions means spending time with people that make you happy, which is typically not a large population. You will need to be motivated by friendship to do things such as going out for coffee or taking an afternoon stroll together.
Friendship takes work and it does not happen overnight, but being passionate about the lives of others can bring you happiness for years to come.
Friends that share your passion for something will keep you engaged and invested in their lifestyle, they will ask how their actions affect you and want to know what you like and dislike so they can influence those preferences.
They will also try to get you into different modes of action to support your passion, and promote these passions within yourself. A person with a passion for running would probably enjoy walking with you, and could even motivate you to start exercising.
Let’s talk about something that not too many people think of when they say “life changing,” but can actually change your life pretty dramatically — food.
Many people spend their lives in front of the TV or computer eating junk foods that contain high amounts of sugar and fat. It is very common to see individuals enjoy these foods because they taste good, but what this does is make you feel tired and hungry afterwards. This lack of energy makes it easy to satiate yourself with more carbs or snacks, which are usually made of processed foods.
Food gives us our strength so by consuming less nutritious foods, we start to suffer from low blood glucose levels, which leaves you feeling sluggish and sleepy. Consuming healthier foods will help restore normal functioning of your body.
Certain foods play an important role in making sure your heart keeps beating and your muscles keep working. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins like chicken. Plus, most nutritional experts agree that six units of fruits and veggies per day is enough to meet your daily recommendations.