Ahhh passion – this topic has been at the forefront of my life for the past couple of weeks. I have even met the US author of The Passion Test Janet Attwood who came out to Australia recently to ignite all our passions.
So when this blog post from Zen Habits arrived in my inbox, I just had to share it with you all. Do as I did – print it out and put it somewhere to remind you how to follow your passions! I especially relate to points 5 and 6:
1. Surround yourself with passionate people.
This is the foundation. Most people don’t believe you can do work you love because they’re constantly around people who hate their jobs and don’t know what excites them. This has to change. Those around you have everything to do with your success and your belief of what’s possible. You’ll either rise up or sink down depending on who’s next to you.
Passion is contagious. You must have an environment that embodies it. You need a support crew who believes what you believe. People who dream as big as you or bigger. Not only will they give you ideas but they’ll condition the belief that doing what you love is the norm. They fuel our passion and make the unthinkable possible, even normal. You’ll begin to expect the same of yourself.
Look around you. Do the people you see inspire and motivate you? Are they doing epic things? Do they love their work? Learn how to make genuine connections with new people doing interesting things. MeetUp, coffee shop bulletin boards, Chamber of Commerce, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Find people in your own town and online. Befriend them. Make them a part of your life. Get out on adventures together. Schedule a weekly dinner or drinks just to talk about what’s exciting. Environment is everything.
2. Create space.
If you don’t give big ideas room, they’ll never show up. Purpose and passion are no different. Lack of space creates pressure – the ultimate killer of creativity. And nothing requires more creative juices than passion. Start small with five minutes each morning. Schedule downtime. Start walking to work instead of taking the bus. Don’t multitask. Get out in nature. Just be, let things flow and see what comes up. Give yourself permission to dream. Passion thrives in emptiness.
3. Help someone in a way only you can.
We all have natural strengths and talents that can dramatically help those around us. What comes easy for you is no doubt challenging for others. We tend to take these for granted, often hardly noticing our own gifts, and rarely share them with others. Passion comes from using those on a routine basis. Ask yourself, What do people thank you for? What do people routinely ask for your help with? Most people’s passions help others in one way or another. Perhaps for you it’s knitting, teaching children math, cooking a good meal or leading a yoga class. Devote time each day to sharing your talents.
4. Keep a journal of what inspires and excites you.
Let your thoughts run wild. Most importantly, keep a running list of what inspires you. Books, magazines, movies, people, products, music, stories, careers, everything. Most people have a brush with passion almost daily, unfortunately we’re often too busy thinking of our 97-item todo list to take in the education. Anytime something catches your eye or excites you, open up your journal and get it onto paper. Over the years you will have a running story of how you might enjoy spending your time.
5. Challenge the norm.
Ask questions. Don’t take things as gospel just because that’s how they’ve always been done. Don’t aimlessly listen to those around you. Question everything you’ve been doing and are about to do, especially if you don’t enjoy it. Is it really what you want? Is it in line with who you are? Perhaps there’s a better way. There often is.
6. Scare yourself – Live outside your comfort zone.
Passionate people thrive off uncertainty. If you aren’t doing things that give you a few goose bumps you’re either not learning, dying or bored out of your mind. None of which are good. Do something at least mildly uncomfortable daily. This could be as small as making a phone call or sharing your art with someone. Be vulnerable. There’s a pretty direct correlation between pushing limits and epic living.
7. Find the right reasons.
If a passionate person gets fired, they brush it off and get excited about the opportunity the lost job must be presenting. You can’t control what happens but you can control your reaction to it. What challenges have come up today? How could you reframe them? The juiciest possibilities often have the best disguises. Notice them.
8. Learn something new.
Become obsessed with learning everything you can find – new skills, approaches, ideas, you name it. If it interests you then it’s important enough to get in your brain. We have to fuel what excites us. Grab a magazine or book that interests you and read a few pages on the way to work or before bed. Passionate people almost always have a book within reach. Ideas can be found anywhere. Start looking. Be a sponge.
To read more of this article: http://zenhabits.net/ignite/