What makes you happiest? What drives you, brings you joy, feels like a purpose?
Some people search their entire lives for their real and true passion. For those still searching, it may feel like everyone around them has found it, or is “living the good life.” In reality, a lot of people are living the life they’ve settled for, which is necessary, or which gives them something they may need or want (like money) but may not actually be their true passion. What is this passion? For some, this may be a thing, perhaps, or another person. In this article, I’m talking more about the passion that fills your life, leaves you fulfilled and happy, perhaps we may also call it a “calling.” For me, most days, I’m lucky enough to know this is writing. According to friends, this makes me lucky to know what it is, to have identified my dream and calling, and to be working towards it.
How do you come to this understanding? You try lots of things, and you pay attention. Sounds easy, right? It is … and it isn’t. Your passion is what makes you happy, what you couldn’t imagine your life without … or at least, that’s how it is for me. This is both a very private understanding and decision – because choosing to follow it or recognize it is a choice – and possibly a public one if you decide to try and follow this passion, and perhaps make money doing it.
Okay, so let’s say you’re among the lucky few who know what your passion is. How do you follow it? How do you thrive on it? And most of all, what do you do on the days when as much as passion fulfills us, it can be a driving task master or just feel boring? It is at those times, perhaps, we need to cling to it tighter, or at least the knowledge that usually it does bring us joy and satisfaction. The difficult times are, after all, the topic for today’s article. Here I offer a few tips that work for me, and hopefully will help you out too.
1) Remember what your passion is. Whether it’s writing, acting, painting, photography, whatever, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is remembering you do love this, it is important to you. Just because you love something, just because you’re lucky enough to have found your passion, it won’t be easy all the time. Hold on during the hard times, when self-confidence gremlins attack, harsh criticism comes in, or all of the above, and remember, there are good times too. The bad will pass.
2) Remember you are lucky. Some people spend their whole lives searching for something that drives them, a purpose to their life. You’ve found yours! And while your passion may not be your purpose, remember how fortunate you are to know what makes you happy, to have recognized when some wonderful collusion of the universe, you, and whatever else came together that makes your passion fit.
3) Particularly if you are trying to make money with your passion, remember why you really do it. Is it to be rich and famous? Then perhaps your passion is wealth and fame, not whatever you create. Try to remember and recapture the wonderful high you felt the first time you knew “yes! This is it!” That knowledge, that moment, your reasons are precious. They may change, but let there always remain at their core a seed of where you began.
4) Remember to be brave. Following your passion, turning your dreams into reality … it isn’t supposed to be easy! If it was, the reward at the end wouldn’t be so great. With each dark day, you know there will be a doubly bright one to make up for it. If everything was perfection, always sun and light, how could we appreciate or differentiate the good times from bad? Success from failure? Each are compliments of each other, and if you’re brave enough to recognize that, to keep pushing forward, to hold tight for a better day, you will have one, guaranteed.
5) Hold on for “someday,” and be ready to embrace it when it gets here. Someday is the day when everything you’ve wanted comes to pass, or perhaps it’s simply when you’re old. Either way, when you come to a point, and you or perhaps someone looks back, don’t you want to be the one who was brave enough to recognize and embrace their passion? To choose something different than everyone else who contents themselves with the mundane, with ‘okay’ or ‘satisfying’? You will be the one who reached for a dream, who found a purpose and forged a place for themselves, and maybe somewhere along the line, you’ve inspired someone else to do the same.
6) And finally, if you’re tired of your passion, if all else fails, take a break. Step back, and re-evaluate. What is it you love about it? Do you still love it? What did you love about it? Can you re-capture the love? Can you fall in love with your passion all over again? Will it just be a new project or idea to inspire you, or is it time to move one? We spend our whole lives changing; some things we are passionate about may not be meant to travel forever with us.
Have you found your passion? What led you to recognize it as such? Was it a grand epiphany, or a gradual awakening? What do you do during the hard times, when things are far less than fun? I’d love to hear from you! Please, leave a comment and share your own passions, and how you hold tight.