What are your passions?
It took me quite some time but I’ve finally figured out my passions. Better late than never, I say!
It was not easy – in fact it was like pulling out my wisdom tooth without any sedatives. I was working full-time at a consulting company and feeling like a part of me was dying a little bit everyday. I thought there has to be more to life than this.
I didn’t hate my job but I was working the grind: work, eat, sleep, repeat and it was sucking the soul out of me. At that point, I was clearly lost and not even aimlessly wandering around for anything. I was living to work and that was all wrong! Because it is about working to LIVE.
So. It took awhile. First, I explored and identified my passions.
I’m naturally a highly anxious person. I had insomnia and the “monkey brain” where I was always thinking about something. Rarely relaxed or calm or ever in the present. Remarkably, some of the methods I used to fix this problem ended up being things I had a passion for. How?
- Books: I had stopped reading for pleasure during college and it was time to pick up the pages again. Books are a form of escapism. It allows me to get out of my reality and into somebody else’s fantasy. My friend Dexter bought me a kindle two years ago and it goes wherever I go.
- Writing/Journaling: I still hand write almost daily in my journal. If I go a few days without jotting anything down, it feels weird – like something is off. Similar to missing a day of exercise or brushing your teeth. It’s a habit now.
- Travel: Obviously, travel and anything travel-related plays a big part in my overall happiness. My family could not afford big vacations when I was growing up and it wasn’t until after college with a full-time job and being an “adult” that I realized I COULD afford to go traveling if I put my mind + effort + strategy to it. I started getting out, seeing the world and it was addicting. In 2012, I mustered up the courage to visit the motherland (Vietnam) and I went alone. It was a wonderful and empowering experience (read all about it here). Fast forward, here I am.
- Yoga: Bikram to be exact but I don’t mind practicing the other kinds as well. It taught me to be (a little more) calm and present in this moment. I learned to be in the moment. When you’re trying to balance yourself on one leg while holding the other leg up high behind you in a room heated to 110 degrees, nothing else matters right now but holding that leg up without tipping over on the next yogi/yogini next to you.
- Meditation practice: came with yoga. It isn’t called a “practice” for nothing. Some days are easier than others.
How do you have a more passionate life?
- You identify your passions
- You make choices
- You take control of your life
Finding your passion is doing whatever you enjoy and whatever makes you FEEL better about yourself. As long as it brings a healthy dose of optimism and enthusiasm in your life – go for it. Start living by finding time for the things you like to do.
I’m not saying,”have it ALL” because sometimes you simply can’t. It’s about having MORE – living the life you want + taking the time out for yourself, and adding enrichment to it.
Some questions to ask yourself:
+ What keeps you up at night? Besides stress.
+ What makes you ask more questions?
+ What naturally makes you excited? Is there anything in this world that you want to create, improve, or just make plain effing better?
+ When you drift off into daydream land, what is that dream?
+ What do you secretly wish for?
Seriously. Take a minute, hour, day or even weeks and months to figure this out. Just freaking do it. No excuses.
Take the weekend off to really sit down, think and feel. Only you know what you want for your own life. Nobody else knows what you want but they are and will be sure as happy telling you HOW to live your life.
Write all that down and don’t pause or take a break. Just let it flow on that piece of paper.
After you’ve identified your passions…..
Part 2: You make choices coming next!