By: Dr. Gwen Smith
I have been talking about finding and living your passion for a while. I am so completely passionate about it, because I discovered for myself the true power in living a life from this perspective. When you are living in your passion, you enjoy happiness and great thoughts about what you do. If you are not careful about it, your health can suffer because you want to work long hours at it without stopping. It feels like play.
Is what you’re doing inspiring you to that level? If not, you owe it to yourself to stop and take some internal inventory, right now!
But I don’t know where to start!
Unlike what we were taught in school—to think—our passion is not determined by simply thinking about the process of what we would like to see happen in our lives, or what logically makes sense to bring in the most amount of money. On the contrary, it completely is all about the way your body feels when you are engaged. It makes sense that we were given sensations as signals to the quality of our experiences. We know when we are happy and we know when we are sad. We also know WHAT makes us happy or sad? If we have not dismissed those feelings, gut sense or emotions over the years, they are very reliable and valid tools that we can depend on to help us navigate our lives.
The access to fulfillment and happiness
As a researcher, and one having been schooled in research methods, I was taught that if I cannot observe or quantify ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is), ‘it’ does not exist. I believed and taught that for a good while. And then I discovered the magic of listening to my emotions and internal compass, it was only at this point that the quality of my life and my experiences shifted for the good. Many top income earners live their lives from this perspective, from their passion and internal compass. If not, they are typically, and completely miserable and unhappy inside. Money is not the access to living a completely fulfilled life. A completely fulfilled and passionate life however, gives one access to making all the money he or she desires.
If this is the case, why do you think that you can ignore these senses when it comes to determining what you should do in your life and still feel happy about it? I think you may be saying, to put food on the table, and to take care of your responsibilities. Those are important to attend to, yes, and living a passionate life and earning a living are not mutually exclusive. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It is important to live your passion.
A bit of caveat here
I want to be explicitly clear that when I am speaking about emotions and feelings, I am talking about the gut sense, the true north compass that you were born with and which some have suffocated over the years. I am not talking about erratic emotions built from negative past experiences and false ‘truths’ that you have told yourself and have led yourself to believe. It is the first instinct you feel, before your mind engages to start reasoning.
What does this mean?
This simply means that at the core of yourself, you can know what it is that you love to do, or what makes you happy. However, since you have more than one thing that makes you happy, as we all do, arriving at the process can sometimes lead to extreme frustration due to the presence of our conscious reasoning powers sabotaging the entire process.
What can you do?
The best thing to do is to work with a buddy to help with the process or seek professional help from a coach skilled to work with you in identifying your passion. It’s not recommended to work with someone who has an opinion of who they think you ought to be or what you ought to be doing with your life, as they may influence the process outside of where your internal compass is directing you to go.
The first thing to do is to make a list of things that you absolutely love to do, which others told you that you are good at, or for which you have great skills. Start off with 10-15 items. Working through that list is where the trick lies: you have to tap into that internal compass for each of those items, and a skilled professional can best help you to do that using a system to provide clarity. Visualize yourself doing the activity, and connect with your feelings as you do that. This gives you a great a place to start to identify what you are passionate about. It is quite a simple and simultaneously complex process producing surprises and clarity around what you need to be focusing on.
You do have other areas of passion, not just work
Passion does not just exist in your area of work. It also exists in other areas of your life. You like certain pleasures, and experiences about which you are also passionate. Think for a moment about what that can be: relationships, health, beautiful environments, etc.
Go ahead and identify those areas too and place them on a prioritized list and begin to take action around those items. You will find a shift in the quality of your life if you have selected the right areas. Once you’ve identified what those areas are, make every plan to operate your life from those perspectives. This is where the magic begins and continues…complete magic!
So what do you believe you need to do next?
Once you have figured out your passion, you can figure out what your purpose may be in this life. Your passion lights an internal fire in your belly. Your purpose uses you to light an internal fire in others’ bellies. At the intersection of your passion and the needs existing in this world, you will find your purpose. Go find it and live it. Someone is waiting for you.
When you are living your life completely from your passion and purpose this creates a completely magical experience for you to live from. Do you want to live it today?
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