How Passionate Are You
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It’s easy to think that because you work for a company, live in an area with other people your passion is fulfilled, or at least you believe it is. But what if I told you that most likely, even though you spend hours every day working, living close to others, and showing up everyday, you are not very passionate?
What if I also said that unless you are practicing one of your passions outside of work, then they are probably not strong either?
I would challenge you to consider all of the things you have given up to pursue your career. Your family, friends, health, life experiences – everything means nothing if you aren’t spending time on something that makes you happy.
Give some thought as to which areas of this article you feel passionate about. Then use those ideas to inspire you to make changes to bring more balance into your life.
It will take effort, but don’t let that stop you! Keep looking until you find something that you have never stopped doing.
Never let passion decline
Let’s look at some examples.
If you are in your twenties, and you spend most of your time with people who don’t share your passions, it can be hard to find yourself spending lots of quality time doing things that you love to do.
As you move into your thirties, forties, and beyond, it becomes more difficult to pick up hobbies and activities that matter to you.
This is what I call the Emotional Turnoff Factor. It happens when you invest energy in something, and then you see or feel that it isn’t important to you any longer.
Because you've got other commitments, because you're busy, because you don’t have enough time, you stop engaging in this thing that you once loved.
And as we know, passion doesn't last if you don’t give it fuel. So, whether you realize it or not, you’re depriving yourself by letting pass of this essential part of your life.
Now, I'm going to ask you to do a little exercise.
Take a few minutes in the next couple days to think about an area you’ve been investing your limited resources (time, money) in lately.
Maybe you’ve been trying to lose weight, so you’ve spent several hours every day working out.
Find what you are passionate about
We spend our lives chasing something we want, or trying to make things happen that we think should bring us happiness.
But if we were able to identify what makes us feel happy, even for a few minutes every day, I believe we would all be very rich.
We’d also probably notice a dramatic change in how we feel about ourselves and the world around us.
Because being passionate is not just about having fun, it’s about doing things you love with such intensity that it feels like your life depends on them.
You’ll get so involved you can’t stop thinking about everything related to your passion and nothing else.
It’s impossible to watch TV show after show without feeling motivated to do some kind of work on your chosen field.
And when you finally do take a break, you’ll feel drained instead of refreshed.
There’s a reason why people who struggle with depression can still wake up each morning and choose to put in an hour of working on their favorite hobby.
It's because being surrounded by your loved ones and staying active physically helps combat mental health issues.
Plus, studies have shown that those who enjoy what they do tend to give themselves more credit for their achievements.
This subconscious attitude boost can help you stay confident in yourself and your abilities even when there are no flashy success stories going around.
Connect passion with results
Following your dreams is not easy, but it’s definitely worth it. If you don't believe that, then why would anyone else?
If you want to be married next year, then you need to love marriage.
You want to raise children well, so you have to enjoy being a parent.
And if you want to run a business that stays afloat, you have to like doing business.
All of these things require that you are passionate about them. You have to feel some kind of strong emotion for them to matter to you.
But they all pay off in different ways, depending on what they are. None of them matter unless you care about them.
It takes longer to see rewards from other areas, but sacrificing now will make your life more satisfying later.
Living with less than full intensity won’t let you achieve your goals. It might keep you comfortable, but it'll prevent you from experiencing true happiness.
Become a lifelong learner
Even if you’ve got your degree, even if you’re in your career with no plans to change it, it's important to be passionate about what you're doing.
We've discussed before how important passion is for success, but I want to go into more depth here and talk about why it's so crucial to your long-term health as a person.
I'll also give some tips on how to use passion in your life, from studying something new to investing in things that make you happy.
Let’s look at another word that is often used in passion literature and messages — passionate. The dictionary defines it as being very excited about something or someone, especially for a significant amount of time.
But there’s an important difference between the two words.
The first part of the definition uses the present tense to describe what most people consider the most basic level of passion. It looks like this: “to be passionately engaged with ….”
That sounds great, but it can easily backfire. If you ever find yourself using that sentence, try changing it to a past simple form!
Instead use this: “To be invested in (something) means to show interest in (it)” or even better – “It's just not smart to invest your energy in things you don't care about.”
Why? Because investing your emotional capital in things that make you feel bad will only hurt you. And we all need to learn how to take care of ourselves physically and emotionally.
So if you want to know if you are truly passionate about something, ask yourself whether you are consistently showing investment in it. If you're not, then chances are you're wasting your time -- and others' time too.
Your own inner peace is more valuable than any fleeting feeling you get from something.
Take time for yourself
It’s easy to get distracted in life by all of the things you have to do, and how much work you need to finish before you can enjoy your day.
But don’t underestimate the importance of self-care in your life.
You should make time every day to unwind, to be alone, or perhaps to talk with someone about something that is important to you.
This could be doing some activity you like to do, reading a book, having a conversation with a friend, going out for a meal, taking a bath or shower, practicing yoga, or anything else that makes you feel relaxed and happier.
It does not matter what kind of person you are, self-love is a powerful thing.
Focus on what you can control
A lot of people think that being passionate is about feeling an intense emotion towards something. This isn’t quite right, however.
Being passionate means having strong emotions for things you want to do. It’s not just making random noises like “I am so excited about this!” or “Wow, I really love doing this thing!” – it's thinking about how you could put more effort into this activity, and then actually putting in the effort.
It’s not always easy to be passionate - but if you work hard at it, you will eventually find yourself motivated by things you care about.
Believe in yourself
Let’s look at some examples.
I read an article the other day about how successful people are obsessed with success. They believe so firmly in their own ability that they don’t bother to convince themselves otherwise, for example when others claim they're not good enough.
Their self-confidence makes them confident in themselves which then motivates them to work even harder to prove those skeptics wrong. A part of them always doubts themselves but they push through because they have such strong confidence in what they can achieve.
This is why they succeed instead of staying stuck in a job they feel doesn’t challenge them or reward them enough. They know there's more to life than just paying your bills each month, and if you want something bigger out of your life, you've got to be willing to invest in it.
Success takes hard work and investment in things you want, but it is totally worth it.