What are you truly, deeply passionate about? Some of us have ready answers to this, but others have suppressed their desires, have buried them away because they’ve been taught that one’s passions aren’t nearly as important as other things, like having a successful career. Many people believe that once they’re very successful, once they amass wealth, they’ll be happy. But more than 100 research studies prove conclusively that the opposite is true: When we are happy, we are more successful! When we follow our passions and do those things that nourish us and make us happy, it carries over to other aspects of our lives, including our work life.
When I was in college I was passionate about two very different things: event planning and creative writing. But my idea of event planning was mocked, and I was told that writers don’t make any money. And so I put those passions away. I hear similar stories from so many of my clients who, when they were little girls, were told that their passions were foolish or wrong. And when this happens, our brains bury these passions and tries to forget them. This is a defense mechanism, and I explain the evolutionary biology reasons for this.
Bob Vallerand, the premier researcher on passion, defines passion as a strong inclination towards an activity that people like, that people find important, and in which they invest their time and their energy. I expand that definition to “activity or cause.” He says that passions become a self-defining activity. So, you don’t just run, you’re a runner.
I walk you through a few exercises to help you remember your passions, which you most likely knew when you were little, before you buried them away.
Next I define purpose and explain how passion and purpose are so closely connected. Passions help us understand our purpose. Purpose is the active, unique impact you make on the world. You may have many passions. Your purpose often is in enacting that, being that, being your full self.
Mihaly Csikszentmihaly defines flow as when you are so engaged in an activity that you lose track of time, you’re “in the zone.” When we’re passionate about something we go into flow, we’re willing to give up our precious free time for it. Hopefully, as you listen to this episode, you’re getting more clear on your own passions.
I talk about some of my own passions, which were evident even when I was a young girl, and how I’ve incorporated them into my purpose, into my actions. People who live their passions harmoniously are happier, healthier, and more successful overall.
To help you with your passions, I leave you with Purpose Power Tips.
And if you’d like to check out a friend’s podcast, which I mentioned during this episode, it’s Naked Talk with Unprocessed Jess, and you can find it on iTunes.
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May you live purposefully, may you love yourself, and may you love life.
Bye for now!
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