Perhaps passion is a word that comes secondary to survival in your life. Growing up with “modest means” I, like many others, learned that money didn’t grow on trees, health was for those with enough money for doctor visits, happiness was only bought at fancy places, and paying rent was a luxury. When we focus on life this way, it tends to become a reality. However, I have been fortunate enough to learn from these conditioned thoughts, and from those insights I was capable of forming a new reality.
Though we must know how to survive, to earn an income to eat and drink healthfully, if we focus only on merely surviving, it is all we will experience. In my personal experience, I have learned that life approached with enthusiasm and passion takes care of survival by moving you into a state of relaxation and thriving!
Quite the contrary to what most of us were conditioned to believe, focusing on survival only produces worry. We have confused our focus on survival with a “drive” to get things accomplished. Most of us believe if we worry enough about paying rent we’ll always make sure it’s paid and avoid the pain of living on the streets.
Though pain can be a powerful motivator it doesn’t hold a candle to what passion can do for our achievement in life. The pain and worry of going broke, starving, and missing out only moves us so far. It typically only moves us to meet those ends and nothing more. Not only does this worry and stress keep us from performing to our fullest potential but it wreaks havoc on our health, relationships, and happiness in the meantime.
Passion and enthusiasm, however, provide continual excitement for life and the tasks at hand. Excitement produces focus, drive, motivation, and appreciation for the things we do. There is a stanza from a poem in Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” I want to share with you that simplifies this idea:
“I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.”
The essence of this poem is that whatever you ask for, you will receive. When we decide to focus on only our basic essentials out of the fear that we can’t have more (usually due to past conditioning) we only receive survival. However, we can move beyond our basic needs with trust that if we apply ourselves in full we can achieve beyond basic needs and live a much fuller life. A life that is relaxed, stress-free, fulfilling, passionate, and that still meets our basic needs without question or concern.
Other Reasons Passion is a Must:
- Passion creates Inspiration- Nothing great is accomplished when we are stressed about it. When we enter a state of relaxation, we become inspired. The word inspired, to be “in spirit,” gives us a sense of unlimited possibilities. What better way to approach life than knowing you have unlimited ways to succeed? We create so much stress when we believe there are only one or two ways to get things done. Cultivating your passion brings you into a state of inspiration where anything is possible if you open your eyes!
- Passion removes boredom- One of the worst emotions we could feel, in my opinion, is boredom. Boredom differs from relaxation and stillness. Boredom says “there is no purpose for this moment” where passion says everything has a purpose. It can be boring to wait to get your oil changed, read a technical book, or wait in line. But when your life is fueled with passion you recognized the underlying passions. Perhaps getting your oil changed is a necessary step in taking your significant other out for a romantic date night. Reading that book could enable you to start the website that runs your dream business and waiting in line could be a possibility for meeting a new friend. When you are passionate, everything has purpose and is connected to your deepest desires for life.
- Passion attracts good things- Perhaps one of the sexiest and attractive qualities someone could have is passion. Passion is directly related to happiness because it is the power that fuels you to achieve and receive the things you want most in your life. When you are passionate people sense it. They notice the spring in your step, your balanced carefreeness, your drive, and the resulting success. We all want the same things: joy, peace, love, and happiness. If you water your seeds of passion, you will radiate these qualities, and people, opportunities, and all things good will be attracted to you!
- Passion gives you control- Passion is one of the only ways to feel in control and yet totally okay with “the flow” of life. Clinging to control is usually a sign of a passion deficiency. You don’t feel empowered or in control of your own life so you seek to control the outside world. Passion makes you the choice maker. You realize that the things you do are your choice. You are feeding your higher purposes—such as feeding yourself, contributing to your health and beauty, producing energy, building strong relationships so you can experience more life—and not because you have to. “I have to” disappears from your life and is replaced with “I want to and I love it!” Instead of choosing misery, doubt, and worry, seize the chance to feel enthusiastic and passionate. The choice is always up to you and passion makes it effortless to choose joy!
Now that we understand why passion is so important let’s figure out how to develop our passion. Developing a passion doesn’t necessarily mean finding some artistic hobby like playing an instrument, painting, or writing. It doesn’t even have to be a passion for earning money, starting a business, or becoming a firefighter. The great thing about passion is that the ultimate form is passion for life itself. It may not seem as glamorous as becoming a movie star, but the things we put passion into are only vehicles to drive our passion further.
The first part of developing passion is realizing you want to feel passionate about all you do! The ideal of achieving some grand goal is that you will eventually be doing everything you love. But even after becoming a celebrity, CEO, farmer, or parent you will inevitably be faced with the unknown in life: flat tires, bills, contracts, relationships, and infinite interactions. Passion is the ticket to enjoying all of these things, no matter the role you choose to play.
- Ask yourself; “Am I doing what I love?”- If you had the choice to do anything without worrying about how you’d make an income, what would it be? Imagine you have all the money in the world and decide how you would spend your time. Success isn’t about having or doing some particular thing, it’s about doing or having what you love. If you can find out what you love and then find a way to get paid for it, you are already a success. Once you hone in on exactly what you love to do, spend your free time brainstorming ideas and ways to get paid to do what you love. The best way to do this is to think of the things you love to do as a service that the world is in need of. If you love playing soccer, start giving lessons! It will inevitably grow into something grander as you perfect your craft.
- Pay attention to your happiest moments- The times you feel fully alive are usually where your passions lie. What were you experiencing in those moments? Was it with a particular group of people; was it the way you expressed yourself vocally; was it a certain activity, an environment? Get the details and find that source of your truest happiness. You will be surprised how many ways there are to live those moments over and over again for the rest of your life! I personally believe the things that create the most passion are free and internal. Though a passion of mine is music, I realized over the years the joy and passion comes from the freedom and creativity I have when I can create something; music is just one vehicle to express freedom and creativity, and now I can find that passion in simple conversations by expressing creative ideas!
Moving from Fear to Passion
Moving out of a primal state of survival and worry into a state of enthusiasm and passion is one of the most profound things you can ever do to transform your life. Though we may deny it in ourselves because of a seedling of self-doubt, we can all agree that we’d love to live a fulfilling and passionate life. We can see the benefits that passion can provide in accomplishing our goals, big or small. Now that we know the importance of passion and how to develop it, the last question is then, “How do we keep passion alive?”
Like anything else in life, we must consistently do things if we want to keep them in our lives. A healthy body doesn’t come by eating one healthy meal, but finding a way to consistently eat healthy and enjoy it. The same rings true for passion. We must feed our passions consistently to keep them alive! Step one is of course understanding the importance of passion. Like a healthy body can fuel our life’s success, our passion is another powerful tool for success. Understanding a few things about passion can help us continue to fuel the fire.
- Spend more time doing what you love- Sometimes we need to just do more and think less. Creating passion is a two-way street like many things in life. It involves mind and body. We can use our mind to create passion by goal-setting, journaling, reading, meditation, and other forms of internal work. However, sometimes we just need to act. In the midst of confusion it can be hard to do that internal work, and though it is the most important place to start, we all have an idea of what we love underneath the confusion. Even if the whole picture isn’t together yet, taking action on a small part of what you love usually snowballs into something bigger. The more love you put out, the more you get back! So if you aren’t exactly living your dreams yet but you have an idea, keep the passion alive by doing a little of it each day. If your dream is to become a celebrity personal trainer and your passion is dwindling, hit the gym, go for a run, make a healthy meal, and inevitably it will escalate into something more and the passion will grow.
- Reconnect with your original purpose- Remember, everything you do started with a passion. You got that job so you could pay for something you love to do. You bought that car so you could drive to places you love to go. For some reason our minds tend to sink into negativity and crush our passions with doubt. Perhaps it’s the consistent tug of gravity or some great life lesson—whatever the reason, remain consistent with your purpose and you will rekindle that flame! A good question to ask yourself is “What is the why underneath what I am doing right now?” Why did you get started in the first place? Did you want something that you’ve lost sight of? It’s easy to desire something with all our hearts then get lost in the sea of opportunity along the way to getting it. If you can refocus your original purpose, you can always find something to be grateful for. Even if you discover the things you wanted then are not what you desire anymore, you now have greater clarity on how you want to live your life! Either way, it’s going to empower you and relax you to find the underlying cause.
There you have it, my greatest insights on the purpose of passion and how to develop and use it consistently to create a great life. I hope this inspires you to build that passion within yourself and remain grateful for the life you are constructing!
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