The title of this article does seem confusing, I know.
How do you live with life passion if you haven’t found it yet?
If you no idea what your passion might be or how to find it, this post is specifically directed at you. Even if you know what your passion is, please read on because the message will be useful for you too.
Have you ever known a person who wanted something so badly they put the rest of their lives on hold, waiting for the something to happen? I saw this a lot in my twenties when women around me were hoping to meet the man of their dreams. They were just marking time in a job and in life until true happiness began with a wedding date.
Maybe you feel this way yourself — you are just marking time until you find your passion and can live a more fulfilling life. Believe me, I totally understand this feeling.
I have experienced that sense of restlessness and emptiness in life. I know what it’s like to wake up with dread and low-level anxiety, wondering what’s wrong with me and why I can’t find happiness. These emotions are self-perpetuating, and they taint every part of your life, even the parts that are going pretty well.
Those days when nothing is fun, nothing is meaningful, nothing is interesting, are some of the most tedious, soul-crushing times of your life. And what’s worse is the feeling that there’s nothing you can do to change the situation or how you feel in that moment.
Even when you finally believe it’s possible to find your passion (which does provide some relief from despair), you quickly learn that finding your passion doesn’t happen overnight. It can take months or even years to find it and make it part of your daily life. (If you read my upcoming book, The 52-Week Life Passion Project, I will take you through all of the steps to find your passion.)
So between this moment and the time you find and live your life passion, are you destined to live in mediocrity and unhappiness? Will you just mark time in your life, waiting to find your passion?
You don’t have to do that — and you mustn’t.
You absolutely cannot give away one of your precious days alive on this planet to despair or boredom. You do have options.
There is a way to live happily each and every day, to make your life better even as you wait for the best — your life passion. This time “in-between” should be a time of “active expectation,” during which you prepare your heart, mind, and soul for your life passion. This time of transition can be a period of amazing growth and beauty if you decide to shift your perception of it.
During this time of waiting, consider the following actions and mindshifts:
1. In your work
If you are unhappy in your work, you are spending most of your waking hours unhappy. You can’t accept that, even if you can’t change jobs right now. So what can you do to feel more passionate about your work right now?
Begin by getting clear on what you DO like about your job. Write down everything you can think of that you like about your job — the people, the space, some elements of the work, your office chair, etc. Recognize and acknowledge that it isn’t all bad.
Then look at the one major issue you have with your job. Are there any small positive actions you can take now to make things better? Is there anyone you can talk with who might help you? If so, take the actions. Even small improvements can give you a sense of control and hope.
Finally, try to approach your work with a Zen-like attitude. Even if the work itself is not stimulating or challenging, do it mindfully and gratefully. Release thoughts of resentment, knowing that change will come eventually. As the poet Kahlil Gibran reminds, “work is love made visible,” even work that isn’t your passion.
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection,
even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,
even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit.
~Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet
2. In your relationships
During times of transition and unhappiness, we often take out our negative feelings on the ones we love the most. We are so self-focused and preoccupied with our worries and bad feelings that we push our loved ones away, or worse, we lash out at them with misplaced anger.
This time of waiting is the perfect time to strengthen your relationships. It begins with communication, with sharing your feelings, worries, and dreams. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open in a safe and loving relationship will provide an anchor for you as your work toward finding your passion.
Take extra time to enjoy the company of your loved ones, doing fun and relaxing things together. Make a point of reconnecting rather than isolating yourself in your pain and worry. Savor the passion and fulfillment that positive human interaction provides.
If you have problems in an important relationship, take this time to work on the issues with a counselor. You will need to clear up these problems before you can work on your life passion.
3. In your health
Spend time during your day focusing on exercise and good nutrition. This will boost your self-esteem, your overall energy, and your mood. Pick some form of exercise that seems fun and manageable for you, and begin practicing it for 5 minutes a day. Slowly increase your time as it begins to feel like a habit.
Having a sense of control over your physical well-being provides the emotional strength to make other necessary changes in your life when the time comes. As you become more proficient at exercise and continue to make good health choices, you may find you become passionate about it.
4. In your life balance
Use this transition time to reclaim balance in your life. Look at the places in your life where you are over-scheduled or handling busy-work. Try to eliminate some of the things draining your time and energy. Cut back on spending time with people who are negative and not supportive.
If you know you are spending too many hours at work, slowly begin to cut back each day so you can spend more time with loved ones and doing other things you enjoy.
Even physical clutter will make you feel unsettled and overwhelmed. Take a day to let go of material things in your home that you no longer want or need.
5. In your finances
Are you spending to fill the void of your unhappiness? Do you have unpaid debt or are you neglecting to save money? This is a great time to clean up your financial house. Work on paying down debt, and rather than spending on things you don’t need, put that money into a savings account.
As you work on finding your life passion, you may discover that you need extra money to start a business, take a class, or buy some time away from your job. Find joy in saving and appreciating all of the material blessings you have.
6. In your skills
Use this transition time to improve your skills in an area you enjoy. Savor the process of learning and gaining proficiency through practice. Practice puts you in the flow state that is deeply satisfying and engaging. Or learn something entirely new that has always interested you. Take a class or begin reading and researching information online. Do this for the fun of the experience, not as a means to an end.
7. In your pursuits
This is a great time to explore your hobbies, to travel, to redecorate your home or landscape your yard. If you love to read, allow yourself time every day with an engaging novel. When worry, restlessness, and self-doubt begin to creep in, go do something fun. Immerse yourself in the activity the way you did as a child. These relaxing pursuits can relieve stress, enhance creativity, and potentially lead you to a life passion.
8. In your personal growth
A huge leap in personal evolution occurs with the realization that you are responsible for your happiness. You can choose to spend time dwelling on the ways your life isn’t passionate, or you can choose to find happiness where you are right now — as you work toward your life passion.
Being proactive about your personal and emotional development is one of the most valuable and life-altering ways to spend your time. You can do this by reading books, blogs, and articles that focus on evolutionary change and growth in all areas of your life. You can work with a coach or counselor to develop new and more productive ways of thinking and acting.
As you work on yourself, you will gain skills and insights to help you cope with your life transition, as well as creative new ways to move yourself forward. Become passionate about personal growth so that you can embrace your life passion with full awareness and emotional maturity.
9. In your attitude
So much of our experience of life is created by our attitude. When we are feeling passionless and frustrated by our life circumstances, it’s easy to remain angry and negative. Nothing seems good. Even the good things don’t seem good.
A negative attitude can become a negative habit. As you condition yourself to look on the dark side of things, you lose sight of the truth that there is a bright side. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of our own bad attitude and how it impacts those around us and is then reflected back to us.
Even if it is an entrenched habit, a bad attitude can be turned around. First, you need awareness around your attitude and what you are doing to feed it. Then you need to stop feeding it with negative thoughts and words. Stop complaining and discussing your frustrations and problems with others.
Finally, you replace negative thoughts and words with positive affirmations and comments. Practice replacing the negative with the positive, and eventually your feelings will catch up with your actions. Be passionate about becoming a bright beacon for yourself and those around you.
10. In your passion search
The search for your life passion takes time and effort. It will involve self-discovery, addressing roadblocks, research, and experimentation. But the process of finding your passion can be a passionate endeavor itself. This work is leading you to something amazing, to an exciting new life, and you are an explorer seeking out a hidden treasure.
View your passion search as a grand adventure. Every step of the way, you will encounter small gems and new discoveries. You are delving into the character, personality, and motivations of the most fascinating person on the planet — you! So enjoy the journey even as you await the destination.
Don’t allow the frustration of not having a life passion overshadow the opportunities to live passionately today, right now. Life is forever changing, and in-between the changes, we must sit in transition for a while. See the transition as a beautiful resting place to gather energy, get healthy, save money, learn skills, and become more evolved as a person. When it is time to meet your passion, you will be happy and prepared.
Are you in transition now, trying to figure out your life passion? How are you spending this time as you work toward your passion?
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