Although some people may tell you it takes years to discover your passion, I think it really only takes enough time to develop the strategies to get you on your way. That does not necessarily mean several years getting a degree or half a lifetime learning wisdom.
Here are ten suggestions you can implement NOW towards making today the one that make your passion happen.
- OBSERVE…Keep a log for a few days noting the things that make you uncomfortable or happy; things that keep your interest, beg for your reaction, pull at your heartstrings. Is it a cause or a circumstance? Is it an activity that causes you to lose track of time when you are involved? What draws you back again and again?
- WRITE…Start a list. Some might call it a bucket list but it can also be your wish list. What would you really like to accomplish in life? Is it to get a degree, travel more, help those who really need an advocate, change careers, move, own your own business, be a philanthropist? Put your thoughts into words and keep it somewhere where you see it consistently. Add to it regularly as you discover more about what really matters to you.
- CREATE YOUR ACTION PLAN…Take that list and address a specific step for each wish. If you want to get a degree, have you looked into colleges, financial aid, contacted a career coach or started online courses? If you want to travel, are you researching your favorite locations? If you want to give back more, have you looked into volunteer opportunities? Interested in changing careers? Have you talked with others or connected on line with those in careers you might be interested in pursuing? You can’t make your passion happen by wishing it did.
- READ…Become an expert on things important to you.. Spend a day at the local bookstore selecting books which will help with your career development. Develop a library of resources on leadership, time management and intentional living. Investigate and explore opinions from experts in the fields you seek to pursue. Create a wealth of information to help you make wise and life-changing choices.
- SCHEDULE…You will never develop your passion by thinking about it. You must schedule some time regularly in its pursuit. You can’t write, read or create an action plan to help you pursue your passion if you are constantly devoting time to everything else. Be intentional and schedule regular pockets of time for your passion projects. You schedule time for shopping, eating and sleeping, so why not for what matters most? Make regular passion appointments you keep to continue to develop the next step of the journey.
- CONNECT…The internet has made it exceptionally easy to reach out to others who are involved in similar pursuits. Connect with those who can help give you a perspective, provide encouragement, hold you accountable and teach you more than you know. Start joining and connecting with groups that will assist you in developing your passion projects. Writers Guilds, groups for stay at home moms, professional organizations, women’s groups, political activists, fundraisers can all help you expand your passion by giving you the best people and tools to make it happen.
- ATTEND…Find at least two or three face-to-face events that will help you develop a perspective and a set of tools to assist your passion pursuit. Conferences where you can learn the nuts and bolts of making a dream become reality and connect with people who have done the same is often the beginning to opening doors of opportunity. Think of a face-to-face conference as a gift you must give yourself periodically.
- SEEK A SPIRITUAL CONNECTION… Make a regular connection through devotional time, inspirational meditation, awareness of yourself on a different plane than simply physical. Connecting with a higher power in whatever way you feel comfortable can provide you with a baseline for discovering your passion and developing more clarity about your gifts and purpose.
- RE-CHARGE…Constantly being “on” is dynamite for burnout. Never feel guilty for needing to take time out to “breathe”. Yes, you must have an action plan but you also must be able to give yourself permission to be in the moment. People pursuing their passion recognize the need to enjoy time to relax and recharge. You will be better at doing what you love if you also make time to do what you need to do; step away from the issue, take a vacation, sleep, exercise, watch a movie, take a walk, shop, or listen to some music. Sometimes you can’t begin to discover your passion, until you give yourself permission to enjoy the areas of life where it might be hiding.
- COMMIT TO BEGIN…Take a stand about what you want and commit to pursuing it. Stop rationalizing, making excuses, sabotaging and underestimating yourself. Dave Ramsey was broke, Oprah was poor, Steven Spielberg was rejected and Steve Jobs had no degree…eliminate saying “whatever” and start saying, “however”.
You can’t make any passion happen if you are your own worst obstacle. You can want to own the best cupcake shop on the planet, but if you are not baking it’s not going to happen. You can want to be the best nurse on the face of the earth, but if you’re not involved in some aspect of developing healthcare skills, you’re stuck. Painters must pick up a brush. That’s how it works.
What steps are you taking to make your passion happen?
Kathy Brunner is a certified career coach, author, speaker and branding specialist. She loves to help people take their passion and make it happen. Sign up for her Free Newsletter and free 1/2hr consult at kathybrunner.com