Passion is “a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.” It starts as a simple curiosity or a feeling of falling off of Niagara Falls. It rushes in and completely takes over every decision you make and fuels you each and every day.
Yet over time, you start to feel like you are leaving pieces of yourself behind and you feel more drained and lost than ever before. You become bored with what is in front of you and the career you chose is not meeting your expectations. The first job out of college no longer seems worthy of your time and the true meaning of what you are meant to do becomes a shadow over your head.
The passion that once flamed your career path is gone, leaving barely an ember of hope.
It is the day to day routines that slowly allows that flame to burn out. Routines are great when building self discipline and learning how to show up everyday. But when you become complacent within those routines, your mind loses focuses. When your brain doesn’t have enough energy, you start to wander.
The Journey to Discovering Passion
I was 16 when I graduated high school, after three different high schools in three different states, I finally made the decision to be done. This one choice led me on a path of discovery.
I started out in the military and getting hired at nineteen in a prison as an officer. I thought it was what I wanted, I knew I wanted to be in law enforcement because making a difference was where my heart was at.
Over time, that passion seemed to fade. The expectations from what the job would give me failed dramatically and I sat back down at the drawing board.
Again I was on my path of discovery and I made a practical choice. After six years of working in my first career, I began what would be my second career. I became an accountant with no clear passion.
Over time my passion showed up again, and it turns out it was still a passion for making a difference.
It became clearer to me that my passion was not changing, it was the method in which I wanted to achieve my passion that was wandering.
From Wandering to Getting Clear on Your Passion
Getting clear on my passion was a discovery process of its own. I thought when my passion for the career I chose faded, it was my passion that was gone.
I have come to know that the passion is always there as long as I stoke that fire. The tools, methods and paths may change as situations change.
As a mom to four kiddos, I no longer have a desire to work in a dangerous environment but I do have a desire to make a difference for other parents that are struggling. I took steps to ensure that my passion was always burning in the background instead of letting my brain take over and wander.
Start with Self Care
Remember to build in breaks daily and over long time periods. Learning to meditate or going for a walk will help you show up fully each day. Taking weekends to unplug or longer vacations will help you stay on track long term.
I had to take care of myself so my brain wasn’t losing focus. Take breaks and allow yourself to unplug. By unplugging, you allow your mind, body and spirit to refuel itself. Those breaks also allow you to work in sprints and produce better results.
Connect With “Why” Each Day
Write down your goals for the quarter. Doing this keeps your mind focused on what you are creating and why you are doing it. This gives you enough motivation to show up on the hardest days.
Recognize what it is you want to create and why; connect with this daily. Connecting daily to your why will help you stoke that fire.
Look into Your Past
What were your goals and achievements? Identify your themes in passion. Write out what drives you today, include any curiosities. Look past the surface of your answers and note any themes from the past and future that are similar.
Passion Doesn’t Die, You’ve Just Got Bored Sometimes
A lot of times, your passion doesn’t just die all out. It’s the day to day routine that has bored you and burned out your motivation.
You are in charge of stoking your own fire of passion. It comes from within you, it is not an external source.
Once you are clear about your passion, always be flexible about your methods. If your first approach doesn’t work, change it. If your second approach doesn’t work again, think of new methods. Don’t let your passion die while getting stuck in an approach that doesn’t work.
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