Do you wake up in the morning looking forward to your work? If not, you’re not alone.
Many of us spend years doing the daily routine only to find that we wake up one day and realize that we’re not happy. We went to college then got a great job because this is what we were supposed to do. It was an acceptable definition of success and we followed suit. Some of you were lucky enough to find what you loved early in life, get an education to support it and a job that pays you well. Congratulations for your early realization that doing what you love will reward you. For the rest of us who may have taken a little longer (or a detour) it’s not too late to start living your passion!
Perhaps, like me, it didn’t take you very long to discover that you wanted more. Whether two years or twenty, the result is the same- you have decided that something needs to be different or you might go crazy! When you are not passionate about what you’re doing for work it takes much more energy to be successful than if you had the interest and passion driving you. I liken this experience (which I’ve personally had) to riding a bike, pedaling as fast and hard as possible, but it feels as if you’re going up hill pulling another person behind you. Have you ever felt this?
When you’re passionate about what you are doing you know it. Author and positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi describes this as “flow”. In other words, you lose track of time because you are immersed and fully engaged in and energized by what you’re doing. While there are times any work can get challenging, we tend not to mind as much if it involves work that we believe in and from which we feel stimulated and connected. Do you feel that way about your work? If not, here are a few critical questions to help you discover your passion and decide what you can do to start living it today: (get a paper and pen out)
What are you passionate about?
Are you currently making time in your life to pursue your passions?
In general, what do you want more of in your life?
What have you always wanted to achieve or do that you haven’t yet done?
Were you at any point in your current work (whether employed or self-employed) passionate about what you’re doing? If so, think about what it was that gave you that feeling. If not, what were your reasons for choosing that particular job/industry or type of business?
When is the last time you felt energized by something you were doing? What were you doing? Where were you and who was around you? (e.g.teaching children how to watercolor, overseeing the fundraising event for your church, managing the improvement project for the customer relationship management system at work).
Review each item on your list. What was it that you liked about the experience? What exactly gave you that energizing feeling? After you have gotten clear about this for each item, find any common theme. Circle or highlight the common words or phrases. This theme directly relates to what you’re passionate about! Was your common theme teaching children? Teaching others about a certain topic? Were you around animals?
Note: Be open with your answers- no boundaries here. Don’t discount something you recall enjoying because it’s not what’s typically considered appealing. Write it all down.
I’m not suggesting that everyone quit their day job today to find their passion unless that is a reality for you. Rather, start discovering what you’re passionate about. If you’re like so many of us who need the finiancial provision of a day job, start living your passion in small ways. Check out your monthly challenge below!
Decide what you will do to experience more of your passion this month. If you’re passionate about animals, but rescuing 6 dogs or starting your own parrot rescue nonprofit organization isn’t a reality right now, what small step can you take to feel that you are making a difference in the lives of your favorite animal? For example, start volunteering one hour per week at your local shelter, or donate money to your favorite animal-centered charity. Take that small step forward and feel the fulfillment and passion you’ve longed for.
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Latest posts by Dakim Duncan (see all)
- Work Your Passion Podcast Episode 2: Tax Consultant Lorra Brown - March 4, 2015
- Work Your Passion Podcast Epiosde 001: Real Estate Investor Nasar El-arabi - February 25, 2015
- 6 Steps to Creating Your Company’s Vision Statement - November 18, 2014