I often coach people who want a life passion but have no idea what it might be.
That’s how they enter the coaching relationship. They begin by saying, “I really want a life passion, but I have searched and searched and have no idea what it is.”
I can relate to what they are saying. I felt that way for years.
So we talk for a bit, I ask some pointed questions, and then I leave a lot of empty air between us, which tends to make people uncomfortable. Most people don’t like big gaps in conversation, so they talk.
Usually they talk about dreams they once had. Or things they wish they could do. Or ideas that hold a bit of interest and appeal. And all of this is said with a sort sad Eeyore voice, as though they are speaking of these long lost and unrealistic ideas only to fill the conversation gap.
Then the next word out of their mouths is one I’m waiting for. It jettisons them from a full-on passion seeker to passion wanna-be. And it signals to me that a huge mind shift must take place.
There’s one little innocent word that has the power of the Great Wall of China to block them from being on the path to passion. If it’s repeated often enough, it can be a life-long trap, imprisoning people in the status quo.
What is that one little, but hugely powerful word?
The little word is BUT . . .
- I always wanted to be an artist, BUT my parents told me I’d never make any money at it.
- I thought about going back to school, BUT it’s too expensive.
- I really hate my job, BUT there’s nothing else I know how to do.
- I’d love to start my own business, BUT it’s way too risky.
How many “buts” does it take to permanently separate you from ever finding and living your life passion? If you say it often enough, you’ll ultimately convince yourself that “but” is a powerful gatekeeper with a key you’ll never have access to.
Let’s face it — we are full of excuses.
We have so many reasons and roadblocks preventing us from changing our lives that we might as well give up on passion. If we let it, life could be one big “but.”
Now I’m not saying those “buts” don’t have some legitimacy. They do. But (oops, there’s that word!), have you ever noticed how we allow an initial roadblock to become the excuse for not finding an alternative solution? We just belly up.
“Dang. Can’t do that. Hit a roadblock. Oh well, guess I’ll just stay here on the couch and eat pork rinds.”
Excuses are convenient if you don’t really want to do the work of finding your passion. But if you mean business, if you are really determined to live passionately, a roadblock is simply an annoyance and excuses aren’t part of your vernacular.
Then along comes a big-footed human who kicks the anthill and destroys all of their hard work. Or maybe a stick falls from a tree and blocks some of the ant tunnels. Do you see the ants going belly-up or running away forever? No, they just switch gears and keep on moving. They rebuild the anthill or create a new tunnel in a different direction. They hardly miss a beat.
If ants could make excuses and give up on their purposeful work, they would die. And frankly, I think we humans experience a form of death when we give up on our passion. When we say, “I can’t find my passion because there’s a roadblock,” then we have sprayed ant killer on our soul.
Living a life passion infuses us with the essence of what life should be all about — purpose, joy, enthusiasm, and creativity.
Think about the words you find yourself saying about finding your life passion or making your passion real in your daily life.
Are you making excuses?
Are you constantly saying “but”?
Are you going belly-up when you meet the first roadblock?
If you really mean business about wanting to live passionately, then you have to change your language. And even further, you must change your attitude. You must believe with all your heart that there is a way from where you are now to where you want to be — even if it means taking a few detours, cleaning up a few messes, or figuring out how to rebuild a tunnel.
I love this quote by bestselling author and master coach Michael Neill from his book, Supercoach: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone’s Life:
Hope is the magic elixir that energizes dreams, fuels possibilities, and lets you live beyond the limits of your historical thinking. It is not a promise that something you want will happen — it is an invitation to enjoy the possibility of what you want while you and life negotiate the eventual outcome. There is never a good reason not to hope.
One key take-away from that quote is the line about you and life negotiating the eventual outcome. Believe it or not, that’s the easy part.
The hard part is eliminating the excuses, the “buts”, and the Eeyore attitude. The hard part is having hope in the face of perceived roadblocks. I’m not trying to diminish the reality of difficulties that will come your way. I’m trying to diminish the power they have over your ability to find and live your passion.
Just about everything is “figure-outable.”
- If you don’t think you have a passion, push past that belief and dig a bit deeper into one of the areas that might be your passion.
- If you don’t think you can change jobs right now, challenge your reasoning, research just a bit more, run the numbers once again.
- If you don’t know if you should go back to school or get more training, just make a call to the admissions office, talk with some graduates, get a fresh perspective.
Excuses are the easiest fallback position in the world for doing nothing. Don’t make them. Exhaust all possibilities, try a detour, make an adjustment. Passion doesn’t come in one flavor, shape, or size. You can find and fashion a life passion with all of the resources you have available to you right now.
Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses. ~George Washington Carver
You are smart enough. You are creative enough. You are enterprising enough. Hold a vision in front of you of the passionate life you want. Then start digging tunnels.
No more excuses. No more buts. It’s time to find your passion.
If you want to discover The Simple Step-by-Step Formula That Finally Reveals Your True Passion, I invite you to join my course, The Path to Passion. Click below to learn more.