Some of us are lucky to have the kind of career that encapsulates our passions, life purpose, personal essence, and technical skill set all in ONE sweet package—allowing us to exercise them simultaneously.
Others of us are fortunate to have a professional job where our passions may not be infused within our work, but where we can utilize our technical skills and expand our knowledge in areas beyond our scope of experience and comfort…
But that is what fuels your fire?
What makes your heart pound and flutter when you leave work for the day? What gets you excited when you face a Saturday with no agenda in hand? How can you make time for those activities after you’ve clocked out for the day?
I’ll show you how. These are my tips for finding YOUR passion, igniting it, keeping it burning, and striking a balance between that work and the rigors of your 9-to-5:
1.Think on It
Reflect on the three things that have been part of your essence, your being, your truth since you were a kid. Is it playing the flute, painting in oils? Maybe you’re social and active and have always enjoyed playing on a soccer team. If you no longer partake in the activities or hobbies you’ve enjoyed since childhood, why have you stopped?
Perhaps there are variations of these activities or hobbies that may better apply to you now that you’re a working adult. For example, if you enjoyed acting in plays in high school, maybe joining an improve class would be a way to fuel that passion now. If your passion was being on the dance team in college, how about teaching a dance class to troubled youth? Put some thought into it and experiment with different activities or hobbies—you may be surprised to discover what makes you tick!
2. Be True to You
Sometimes we do certain things because we think we should do them—because they’re trendy, because our friends are doing them, or because we have a degree or specific training in something. Ignore all that noise, and instead listen for the voice nudging you in a certain direction, rather than focusing on what you think you should be doing. It’s okay to do things that are outside our box or other peoples’ boxes. It’s okay to try something wacky or weird or offbeat because it piques your interest. Remember: Self-actualization doesn’t come from people-pleasing, it comes from being you, which sometimes first requires finding you (see tip number one!).
3. Rediscover Recess
Remember being in grade school and having an hour of recess to just run, play, and jump? Why don’t we do that anymore? Carve out a little time each day or each week for play, be it going for a spontaneous hike in the woods, doing a paint-by-number, or dancing freestyle in your living room. I pencil my own personal recess time in my calendar a few days a week to ensure that I have time to play, to have my own adult version of recess. Sometimes I find myself journaling, doodling, dancing to YouTube videos, or doing creative visualization. Other times I walk outside my door and explore my city, finding myself at a restaurant I’ve never tried before. The secret is that my recess consists of whatever I want it to be in that given moment. It’s during this time that some of my best ideas, my epiphany moments, have come to me. Recess is not only fun, it’s fundamental to our personal growth.
To be continued!!