This week’s Top 10 Tips Tuesday is a guest post from vibrantnation.com on how to discover your passions in life. Let us know what passions you have.
What do you want to do with the rest of your life? We’ve heard it said a kazillion times that to achieve happiness we must find something we’re passionate about. Sounds easy. Right? Problem is some of us wouldn’t recognize our passion even if it jumped off a billboard, landed in our lap and gave us a bear hug.
Many of us have maxed out our Visas on books with titles like “Finding your Passion” or “Following your Dreams.” All well and good if you actually possess a genuine talent or pursue a special interest or hobby. Maybe you play piano or guitar or some other instrument. Or maybe you can sing, sew, paint, crochet, create crafty stuff, plan brilliant parties, bake fabulous cakes, design gorgeous flower gardens or are a genius with a camera. Perhaps you enjoy running marathons, love to build birdhouses or collect weird and interesting objects. For you lucky and blessed folks, finding your passion should not be too difficult. It’s right in front of you.
However, there are a considerable number of perfectly nice, well-adjusted, intelligent, kind and noble people out there who have been on a lifelong journey in search of their one true passion… and have yet to discover yet.
To you, I say: be bold, be daring and be totally unconventional in your quest.
1. Define what you are seeking.
What activities could you spend all day doing and even forget about meal time? Do you enjoy pastimes that stimulate your creative juices or ones that are relaxing? Would you prefer to be alone with your passion or share it in the company of others? What would you love to do even if you didn’t get paid for it? Keep in mind, it’s perfectly acceptable to have more than one passion.
2. Take a calculated risk.
Do something unexpected. Go back to school. Get that masters degree you always wanted. If you truly despise getting up each day and going to a workplace you loathe—quit your job. Crazy…especial in today’s bad economy? Of course. But why on earth would you continue to do something that makes you miserable every single day of your life? Indeed, a job pays a salary. But is the money worth being miserable? Ask yourself: Are you better off miserable or happy?
3. Cultivate your community.
Take classes at a local college, night school or community center. Select one course and attend every single class. It doesn’t have to be an intellectual pursuit. It can be beer making or stained glass or writing or photography or how to start a business, computer classes or a drama group. Network with other people during classes. Finish the course. You may decide you hate it or it might offer other related avenues for you to explore.
4. Take a trip.
Be adventurous. Often a change of scenery refreshes our soul, expands our mind, changes our perspective and offers a new focus. Travel to some place you always wanted to go…a few hours away or around the world. Better yet, go somewhere that is outside your comfort zone. If nothing else…read a travel book or watch a travel movie.
5. Move or Declutter your life. (I said these ideas would be unconventional.)
Do you hate where you live? Is your house or your town making you unhappy? Does the weather upset you? Is it too humid? Too cold? Do you feel trapped? Would you rather live by water? Or by mountains or palm trees? Would you be happier in a smaller home? I’m not suggesting that you run away from your problems. Perhaps all you need to do is downsize and rid yourself of all unnecessary baggage including people who do not validate your worth. What remains might well be your undiscovered passion.
6. Liberate yourself.
Give yourself the freedom to choose. This is not a self-centered approach but more of a realization that you have something worthwhile to offer to others. Never except excuses from yourself or anyone else. Be disciplined. Force yourself to move forward or sideways…at least in a different direction but never backward. Don’t stagnate.
7. Walk away from your fears.
Fear holds us back from living life to the fullest. Yet, the hardest thing in the world to do is to let go of your fear. Try walking away from your fear in baby steps. But absolutely no turning back. Are you afraid of heights? Go to the tallest building in your town and take the elevator to the top floor. Sometimes highrise hotels have restaurants on the top. Walk to the windows, stand there quietly and look down. Yes, it’s very intimidating. But once you’ve done it…you will be amazed at your sense of self-empowerment.
8. Surround yourself with supportive people.
Learn from them. Exchange ideas. Hang out with people who share your interests, who motivate you. Ask them what they think are your good points and what they like about you. Don’t be discouraged by naysayers.
9. Look outside yourself.
Help others by volunteering. Inspire those around you with a friendly smile, encouragement, compassion, kind words, thoughtful gestures, a neighborly good deed. Arrange a quiet, romantic evening for you and your special love. Pull out all the stops. Express your passionate side with your children, family and friends. Give them your time and your full attention. When we give ourselves to others, we reignite the love in our own heart and the passion in our own soul.
10.Embrace your joyful self and seize your opportunities.
Most of us are genuinely decent people. Recognize the goodness in yourself. We all encounter problems. Envision them as opportunities and find unique solutions. Keep a wide-open mind. In seizing opportunities, you may burst upon an unexpected passion. If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Still haven’t decided? Adopt a puppy. Care for it. Love it. And name it “Passion”.