Simply following our passion in life will not result in change. The common advice in the personal development blogosphere is that all we need to do to be happy in our life is to “follow our passion”.
Life is NOT that simple and that advice is flawed!
Passion Doesn’t Move You Forward
Do you struggle with knowing where to start in making changes in your life? (I know that I have!)
Perhaps it’s your diet.
Perhaps it’s spending more time with your family.
Perhaps it’s the time you spend watching TV or surfing the internet.
It can be overwhelming with where to start and which activity to pick that you’d like to change because you’re “passionate” about them all. Simply following the advice of “follow your passion” will not result in making changes in our life, it will only lead us to stay where we are because the amount of choices are so overwhelming that we fail to act.
“Remember a time when…”
In order to move forward and to take some of the guesswork out of this process, I’d like you to try something.
I’m going to ask you a couple questions and I want you to remember the first thing that pops into your head.
What is one of the things you’d like to change (e.g. diet, work/life balance, happiness, etc.)?
Remember a time in your life when you were ______ (healthy, happy, confident, outgoing, financially comfortable, etc.). What were you doing?
Got the first things that came to your mind? Good! Let’s move on!
The answer to the last question of what you were doing is where we’ll start with our changes. It doesn’t matter if the idea that came to you wasn’t what you thought it was going to be or if you think it’s stupid.
Work with me here!
What I Discovered
Years ago when I was trying to figure out the type of work I wanted to be doing in the world, I did this exercise and the first thing that came to me was when I was a summer camp counselor for middle school aged kids. Those summers were some of the most fun and rewarding I’ve had in my life.
Looking back on that experience, what I took away was that I was most happy when I was helping other people and simply having fun. I was both mentor and friend to those kids and that is a role I strive for now in my life. If I want to be happier in my life, I know that I need to help other people by being their mentor and friend. (As a result, I created this website!)
You Already Know
What ever activity that first came to you is what I want you to do.
For example, if your idea was a better diet and the time you had a better diet was living at home because your mom made great healthy meals. Then ask Mom for some recipes and start cooking.
If your idea was being more responsible with money like the time you had a budget when you got out of college. Then create a budget for yourself again and get back on track.
You already know what to do to take care of yourself, we just need reminders from time to time. This exercise is a reminder to you of what your mind and body crave to do. It’s also a way to connect to the knowledge that is already inside of us.
So begin by doing that NOW! Don’t wait until tomorrow or next week. Do it now while the thoughts and emotions are still fresh.
Following your passion is too broad for us to make changes, that’s why the advice is flawed. We need specific activities that connect us to the emotions we want to move us forward. This activity will do that for us and begin a snowball effect to the growth and change we’re seeking in our lives.
It also removes the obstacle of not knowing where to start. You just came up with a place to start and that’s more than you started with when you began reading.
What was the activity that first came to your mind? Were you surprised by what it was?
Please share what you came up with by emailing me at dave (at) warriordave (dot) com and I can help you come up with some more ideas. Or you can share your activity in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Cheo70 (Creative Commons)