© Suzanne W. Zoglio, Ph.D.
We all know people who are unusually passionate about something...their job, their faith, a hobby, an important cause. They stay informed about their passion, yet continue to learn more. They invest energy in it, yet seldom seem fatigued. They talk about it with an enthusiasm that is quite contagious. That’s what living fully is all about...caring about something...being engaged...having a reason to get up in the morning.
When we are young we happily express our creative side...singing aloud, drawing pictures for display, building towers out of blocks, and performing plays for hours. Later, we pick favorite subjects. We may join the band, participate in chess club, even become recognized for our gifts. But then it’s time to pick a major, get a real job, settle down, and make an income. No more time for doing what we love. All too often, that’s the beginning of the end of passion. We focus our energy on doing what’s “sensible” and turn away from what speaks to our hearts.
Then, one day, we awaken and realize something’s missing. We want to feel alive inside, but, we’ve been doing what we “should” for so long, we’re not sure where to turn. If your passion could use a boost, try one of these tips.
Tune In To What Turns You On. What sport, art, or hobby can you never get enough of? Our passion can often be discovered in the leisure activities that attract us. What stirs your emotions - makes you cry, applaud wildly, or talk animatedly? The movies, stories, and even commercials that resonate for you can point to a personal truth that resides right next to your heart’s desires. What makes you lose track of time? People engaged in activity related to their passions say time just flies by. If you knew you would succeed, what would you start tomorrow? Our passions sometimes get lost under a pile of “practical” thoughts.
Try Something New ... or Renew an Old Interest. Experiencing something first hand is the best way to excavate your heart’s desire. Jump in, explore something new, and then pay attention to how you feel. Take a class, go on a trip, join an interest group, or read more about a career that interests you. If you feel alive and energized, you’re on the right track. Schedule another experience along the same lines. And then another. Follow your energy.
Ask Others About Their Passions... then pay attention to what strikes a cord. If you find yourself reacting emotionally – with interest, enthusiasm, or even a little envy or longing- you could be right at passion’s door.
Once you discover a new passion or uncover an old one, make room in your life to pursue it. Just like a rekindled love affair, surrender to it. Let it consume you. Make it a priority. Get carried away...stay up all night planning. Tell others about your obsession. See it in your future. Look forward to more and more time together. Talk about living!
© Suzanne W. Zoglio, Ph.D.
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