Living your passion is like living your purpose. To live on purpose means to engage in your passions and do things that make you feel excited to be alive.
Yet so many people don’t even know what their passions are. If you’re one of them, I totally get it because I’ve been there before and I know exactly how it feels.
I know how frustrating it is when you’re spending your days bored to death at your mundane job and everything else feels so monotonous you could cry. And I get how frustrating it can be when you talk about this to someone who’s never been through this before and they tell you to “just do what you’re passionate about”.
My favourite author, Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in her book “Big Magic” that if you don’t have a clear passion and somebody blithely tells you to go follow your passion, you have the right to give that person the middle finger.
You see now why I love her right? She’s hilarious and totally right! There’s nothing more annoying than when you confide in someone and tell them you’re lost, and they tell you, “Just follow your passion!” What if you don’t know what the heck your passions are??
If you’re one of those people still struggling to find your way, rest assured, there are ways you can overcome this obstacle. And one of those ways happens to be incredibly simple and powerful. This way is to:
THROW “SHOULDS” OUT THE WINDOW!
Over the past year or so, I’ve come to despise the word “should”. If you’re trying to find your passions by doing what you think “you should be” doing, then you’re just wasting your time. Sorry, but it will never work.
For example, if you force yourself to exercise just because you think you should, you will never enjoy it. But if you think of the benefits of exercise and think about how it will make you feel as a result (and you want those feelings), then you actually have a chance to learn to love it. Same is true if you think you should stay at a boring job for the rest of your life just because you’ve gone through school for it, even though it makes you miserable. You will never find your passion forcing yourself to do things out of guilt or worry. Worrying about what others might think of you if you decide to take a different path because you suddenly realized that what you went to school for was not your calling after all will only keep you stuck where you are longer.
The way we’re overusing the word should is mind blowing. Last weekend, my husband and I went for a really lovely, extra long walk by the water and we very much enjoyed it. Then suddenly he said to me, “We should do this every weekend” and just like that, the idea lost its original appeal. It suddenly hit me that we both do this all the time. Whenever we have a nice experience of any kind, we always say, “We should do this regularly” and we NEVER do!
Why? Because as soon as you use the word “should”, it’s like you’re putting this unwelcome pressure on yourself. Whatever you were doing suddenly has this unappealing side to it once you tell yourself you should do it more often. It puts a negative vibe on it immediately and makes you not want to do it.
So here’s a challenge for you. For the next entire weekend, make a commitment to yourself to only do the things you WANT to be doing. Start with the days you’re off and you don’t have any responsibilities that have to get done. Do not plan anything for the entire 2 days. When you wake up, ask yourself, “What do I want to do today?” Then do just that and do it without feeling guilty. When you keep practicing this, you will feel wonderful and you will come to realize that all those things you thought you should’ve been doing were really not that important. This may sound simple, but it will start to open up new ways of thinking for you. You’ll start to understand what makes you feel really good and you’ll want to incorporate more of those things into your life.
Then take it a step further, and ask yourself, “What do I want to do in my life?” And let yourself get carried away for a while. Write down all the things that you’d want to do if there was nobody there to tell you it’s not a good idea. Write down everything that makes you smile, everything you find exciting and interesting. Keep writing until you come across something you could really see yourself doing every day for the foreseeable future. Eventually you’ll come across something that makes you so excited just to think about, you’ll want to burst. That, my dear, is your new passion.
Now what will you do with it? Leave a comment below.