Find Your Passion!

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Do you have a friend who is always excited to tell you about their new workout program? How about a relative that’s posting pictures of their nutritious meals? A colleague who is so stoked about their recent promotion?

Yeah, you know these people. They’re usually the ones we love to hate. But have you ever asked yourself, “Why are you hating on this guy?” These people are generally positive, optimistic, and fun loving. So what do you have against them?

Their Passion!

These people have a passion for something- whether it’s the gym, a sunny day, or making a positive change in their life.

So when you’re down in the dumps, it’s easy to hate on these people for their optimism. But really, we’re jealous! The real you says “I want that enthusiasm, energy, and spirit! I want to be that passionate about something!”

So how do you find passion?

  1. The first key to finding your passion is understanding passion. Passion is defined as a strong and compelling emotion, feeling, or desire. Passion can come in the form of positive and negative, such as love and hate. If you’ve ever been really opposed to a new policy or legislation, you can relate to a negative form of passion. It’s important to understand that both forms of passion can be fulfilling.
  1. What turns you on? The second key to finding your passion is paying attention to what turns you on. What gets you excited? What activity leaves you with more energy? What would you do if money were no object? List your answers to these questions in simple, one-word columns. What patterns do you see in the responses? Try to create categories from there to narrow it down.
  1. Discipline is the third key to your passion. What are you willing to wake up at 6am for? What do you make sure you do daily or weekly no matter how busy you are? What is something you feel you can’t live without doing in your life? Again, list your one-word answers and look for patterns and categories. Are any similar to your answers to #2?
  1. What do you want to change? What do you wish was different about the world? What do you want to change in your life? Less stressful job? Travel more? Connect better to friends and family? When we notice we want to change something in our own lives, we often find that’s true for others as well. Suddenly, your desire for change is authenticated and supported by many others in your circle. When we see a need that could potentially benefit hundreds of lives, we can find the energy to bring it to fruition. Use the answers from this section to compare to #2 and #3. 

Now what?

What common threads did you find in your answers? Start looking there for a theme or category that you really connect with. Then try it out! The truth is you never really know what your passionate about until you give it a chance. Maybe your were certain you would love working in healthcare, but you tried it out and it was much different than you thought it would be. Then try again! You can always return to your list for more inspiration.

Grow your list as well! This isn’t something that will remain stagnant, and will change as you grow and explore yourself and your surroundings.

Let go of feeling like you have to have all the answers about your greatest passions and pursuing your life’s dreams. The benefits of passions and dreams are in the journey, not necessarily the destination. 

Already found a passion? Share it below! You never know who you’ll inspire!!

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Is your life a disorganized bookshelf?

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‘Is she really comparing my life to a bookshelf?’ you might be asking yourself. The answer is yes. If you’re like me, then your life IS like a disorganized bookshelf.

What do I mean? Our mind works like a series shelves and compartments. We see something, think something, experience something, and then we categorize it. These categories act as compartments and cubbies in our brains- strictly organizing the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of ourselves and others accordingly.  The categories, compartments, and cubbies are created based on our mental schemas, or mind frames. For instance, if you’re religious, you may believe that premarital sex is bad. That belief acts a blueprint for other thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to be categorized. So if a friend shares something about their relationship, you may categorize them as good or bad based on your pre-developed schema. Got it? 

Make space in your bookshelf. Make space for new ideas, feelings, and a new schema. Think about the schemas and mind frames your parents hold. How are yours similar and different? How did you develop different schemas than your parents on the same principles/thoughts? Your experience! And thank goodness for it! If our thoughts and perspective stayed the same for generations, then we wouldn’t have civil rights and marriage equality. 

So how are the cubbies on your bookshelf serving you? Or not serving you? What categories should you eliminate, combine, or make more room for? Hint: Making more room to explore your rationalization for certain schemas, being open to new schemas, and new labels for healthier schemas is key! Until we accept our need for growth and make it a priority, your bookshelf will appear full and crowded. Get rid of what’s not serving you for some new books (ideas)!

Your bookshelf is for practicing containment. For instance, one cubby of your bookshelf (the self-help section!) may be overflowing with books, going all different directions, and very few have actually been read. Sound familiar? You may have some anxiety around wondering ‘Am I good enough? I feel like an impostor. I’m lacking fulfillment.’  You may have found several things that could be helpful, but you’re not sure what’s actually going to work. Feeling some uncertainty? Overwhelm? So how well can you sit with these feelings- the anxiety, uncertainty, incompetence? My guess is not good. Most of us struggle with these feelings.

What can you do about it? Become an observer of yourself! Take a step back and look at what you do when you experience these feelings. Do you rush out to buy another book or “something that will make the feeling go away?” Observe the feeling and your reactions to it without being judgmental. Take responsibility for the feeling by stating them out loud“I’m don’t feel adequate in my job.”

When you’re immediate remedy doesn’t alleviate the feeling (buying that book), what’s your next move? Tip: placing judgment on yourself or the feeling won’t help here. So don’t hate, appreciate. The feelings are signals. That’s it. Use them as such. What are they really trying to tell you? Tip #2: it’s usually not the surface thing you think it’s telling you. Dig deeper by observing. Contain the feelings not but suppressing them, but by allowing them some space on your bookshelf, acknowledging them (out loud!), and being aware of your reactions to them.

So how will you clean up your bookshelf? Here are some suggestions:

– Get rid of the books (mental schemas) that aren’t serving you. i.e. You’re not good enough, You will never succeed. These aren’t good books, trust me 🙂

– Reorganize the books your want to keep. Know where to find books like You Are Loved and You have support at a moments notice. These are the best books to reread as needed! 

– Leave open space on your bookshelf for future readings. Being open to new ideas about yourself and world requires mental space to do so. So make room for the You that will continue to grow and evolve in your career, relationships, and life. 

Tell us about your mental bookshelf below. How have you organized it for the better? Share your experience now!