Advertising
Advertising

Published on November 13, 2018

Are You Too Lazy or Just Haven’t Found Your Passion Yet?

Are You Too Lazy or Just Haven’t Found Your Passion Yet?

To be the exact person we are at this moment in time, with this DNA, this personality and our unique perspective is a 1 in 400 trillion “chance” of being alive. Dr Ali Binazir illustrates it this way:

“It is the probability of 2 million people getting together to play a game of dice with trillion-sided dice. They each roll the dice and they all come up with the exact same number—for example, 550,343,279,001.”

You can think of yourself as a miracle of fate or physiology. So, what’s our purpose?

There is a lot of talk about finding our passion in the media. A google search turned up 189,000,000 results on the subject. That’s considerable pressure. That pressure increases when we see someone who seems to have taken their passion by the reigns and is riding it through the sky like a Pegasus.

Seeing someone doing something we love or is smack dab in their “true” passion, seem to exacerbate things that may not be going so well in our own life. Realize that is not really the case. It looks seamless but we don’t see all the failures, embarrassing moments or hurdles they’ve already crossed. They just keep trying.

Lazy is different than avoiding “pain”. Those most successful have pushed through the hard-painful stuff. So, here’s the skinny on manifesting your elusive passion:

Advertising

Define Your Self Passion

Passion can mean many things, and it’s going to come from the very core of your personal story, not anyone else’s.

Remember that 1 in 400 trillion statistic? Your life is going to have its own path, and you will react to it with your DNA, from your personality, influenced by your circumstances and environment. Your passion can be anything that synchronously motivates, intrigues or challenges you. Your purpose can be connected to a vocation, family, or distinct meaning.

To think that we all have one singular purpose or passion is naive. That’s what makes it so hard. We feel bad if we don’t have it all figured out.

I have several passions, and I make them a part of my life. The one thing I do is focus on not fragmenting myself in too many directions. I love flying helicopters, but that’s not my job, it’s a passion. I love figuring things out and being technical, and I’ve’ utilized that in my job many times, but it’s not the direction I follow.

I feel most dynamic and connected to my intuition and intelligence when I write, travel and help others transform their goals.

Need a formula? Try this:

Advertising

  • Think with your heart, not your head.
  • Ask those close to you what your strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Make a list of your own self perceptions.
  • Stack your love’s and dislikes against each other.
  • Stop playing by the rules.
  • Take action(s) daily.
  • Test things out and learn.
  • Use Mel Robbins 5,4,3,2,1 rule.
  • Jump.

Achieving your passion means finding a balance and living up to one’s potential in all areas of life.

You Don’t Need Permission

I used to put so much pressure on myself that I would become overwhelmed and follow opportunities I didn’t really want because it’s what was expected; or I didn’t want to disappoint someone. Even harder to admit that it was the easier path to go. Because following your real purpose and passion is a lot of work.

In the end, there were times I ended up disappointing myself. And we are the ones who must live with ourselves 24 hours a day. Think about that.

I was focused on immediate control, rather than a bigger passion. We’re enamored with the idea that finding our passion is the key to life — getting away, being successful, free, doing something fun and adventurous, seeing cool things, meeting different people or being famous. It’s not. It all sounds so exciting but getting clear on what we want only happens with steps.

Our environment matters, our connections matter, our time matters, and our discipline matters. The more we understand this, the clearer we get on our passions.

Taking action means setting goals and forming a system. There can be no up without down, input without output, positive with negative and so on. You will oscillate, and that’s okay. Here’s the thing:

Advertising

You don’t need anyone’s permission to follow your purpose. Likewise, you don’t need permission to be okay with not having one.

You won’t upset the order of the universe. Forming habits and following goals is still a purpose. If you’re looking to define your passion, utilize the steps above to get clear. It’s one of the most affirming things you can do for yourself.

Take Baby Steps

You must take action. Baby steps are fine, but you must move forward and keep trying. It’s inevitably the way we learn. It’s how we learned to walk, talk, read and tie our shoes. Did we judge ourselves as a child, as harshly as we do now? No.

When people talk about reaching their passion to feel whole, they really want to achieve balance. They want to reserve time for work, family, friends, and personal needs, but not overdo it. Here are a few things to take hold of without regret:

  • Eliminate negative people from your life.
  • Keeping appointments with yourself just like any other (yoga, reading, exercise, cooking….)
  • Educate yourself and seek knowledge.
  • Eliminate overextending yourself.
  • Eliminate frivolous commitments, spending or tasks.
  • Do more of what gives you a buzz of excitement.
  • Achieve one thing a day towards your goals (passion or purpose)

Passion and curiosity come hand in hand, if you’re not wondering about new things and ideas you’re not tapping into your potential passions.

Even the expert was once a beginner. It’s only consistency and perseverance that made the expert successful, they could have given up anytime.

Advertising

Usually the things you sacrifice your “free” time for can be called a passion. Do you want to make a business out of that, or is it enough that you savor it?

Keep in mind your passion may not remained rooted, it may be more fluid developing over time.

Final Thoughts

Your passion and purpose take on the form you give it. It functions from your actions and inherent beliefs.

Like living, breathing, relationships, you need to treat it like being with someone who encourages you to keep falling in love with yourself.

Fall in love with you. Make the moves, step over the boundaries, and fly. In the words of Joe Brock, author of Thoughts Of Erotica:

“This is the way of the future where healthy, stable relationships (insert passions) are once again the norm and standard.”

Featured photo credit: Tom Morel via unsplash.com

More by this author

Liz Galloway

I'm an idealist, columnist & traveler helping people connect through personal discovery. Stay inspired!

Feeling Lost? 26 Quotes to Help You Find Meaning in Life 9 Reasons to Incorporate Yoga Meditation and Mindfulness into Your Life Are You Too Lazy or Just Haven’t Found Your Passion Yet? How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World After 40 20 Cool Jobs for Unconventional People (No Matter How Old You Are)

Trending in Mental Strength

1 Why Happiness is a Choice (And Why It’s a Smart One to Make) 2 What Is Self-Actualization? 13 Traits of Self-Actualized People 3 How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life 4 What Is the Purpose of Life and What Should You Live For? 5 Midlife Crisis for Women: How It Makes You a Better Person

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 22, 2019

Why Happiness is a Choice (And Why It’s a Smart One to Make)

Why Happiness is a Choice (And Why It’s a Smart One to Make)

You’re struggling to find this elusive thing called “happiness.” Most days, you feel either overwhelmed, anxious, angry, depressed, or flat. Or, maybe you experience quick shifts of mood.

You can remember times when you were happy, but they seem distant, and your life circumstances are different now.

But what if I told you that you can actually choose happiness? And, that it’s easier than you think?

In this article, I’ll break down the basics of how you can lead a happier life, just by following a few basic principals. These are easy to implement in your own life, which means happiness is just around the corner!

Ready to find out more about how and why happiness is a choice? Let’s dive in further to gain a deeper understanding.

Happiness Isn’t an Idea, It’s an Experience

The idea that happiness is a choice seems to be just that, an idea, and one that doesn’t apply to you. How can you choose to be happy when someone has treated you so badly, when circumstances beyond your control are bombarding you with pain?

Many people feel this way.

Each year, the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network releases the World Happiness Report.

This measures the overall happiness of different countries. The 2018 report finds that residents in Finland rank first place, while the residents in the United States are all the way behind in 18th place.

Advertising

Despite the fact that Americans’ incomes have more than doubled since 1972, we’re not even in the top 10 of happiest countries.

Understand the Easterlin Paradox

Americans have continuously made more money, yet we’re not reporting an increase in happiness. This disparity between income and happiness is called the Easterlin Paradox.

Chances are you see more money now than you ever have in your life, yet you’re still trapped in the paradox, struggling to understand why you’re unhappy.

What explains the paradox?

The answer to this question can help you understand what happiness is. Solving this dilemma seems complex — it is a paradox, after all. Yet the answer is a lot simpler than you might expect: happiness is a choice.

It’s as Simple as Choosing Happiness

Happiness is a state of being that you can seize, such as when a runner takes in air with her lungs. Each inhalation is essential, and with every inhalation, exhalation must follow.

If happiness is a state of being, then you could say that happiness is simply an experience, or a set of experiences.

Amanda Pinnock is a college student at Arizona State University who experienced this type of happiness without ever expecting it. To earn her degree in global health, she needed to do a study abroad program, but she was worried she was going to be disconnected from her group as a nontraditional student earning her degree online. [1]

To her surprise, the other students in her group were inclusive and eager to connect. Then there were the locals in Fiji, the country she’d chosen for the program. They seemed to truly understand how happiness is a choice. According to Amanda:

Advertising

“Fijians are probably the happiest and humblest people in the world. They welcomed us with open arms and made sure we were fed and had the accommodations we needed. It wasn’t until I talked further with the group leader and tour guide that I realized they were giving us more than what they have for themselves on a daily basis.”

Plenty of Fijians don’t have running water, but Amanda noted that they felt they lacked for nothing. She says:

“They live off the earth and they all help one another … They may not have had nearly as much money as an average American, but they are wealthy in their lives, and I think Americans can learn a lot from that. It really put into perspective what’s most important: family, loved ones and the environment.”

For the Fijians Amanda encountered, happiness isn’t a concept, it’s the act of supporting each other.

Happiness is the act of finding joy in everyday experiences with other people.

Communities of people who give to each other and share the value of generosity, the value of love—a love which expects nothing in return—are the happiest.

That’s why, according to the World Happiness Report, generosity and social support networks are two key factors that lead to happiness. [2]

Every second you’re alive and conscious, you have choices to make. Amanda Pinnock chose to experience another culture even though she was worried about fitting in. She was happy to share the experience with the other students and the Fijians that welcomed them.

Each day of your conscious existence you can choose to support others, to accept their support, to engage in activities that are good for you.

Advertising

All of these acts will bring happiness. You can choose to trust others and do things that help them to trust you. You can choose to build up the community around you and be a part of it.

The Art of Sisu Can Change You

In Finland, famine wiped out 9 percent of the population during the 1860s —hardly an event that would engender happiness. The Finns have made a point of recovering by embracing a philosophy called sisu, which is a shared value of grit, determination, and rational action, even when life is painful.

Sisu is also about powering through exercises that are challenging and uncomfortable, such as taking a swim in an ice-cold river, running a marathon, or biking to work in the rain. [3]

According to This Is Finland, “Sisu is extraordinary courage and determination in the face of adversity … Sisu is embodied by people everywhere who defy the odds and hold on to hope when at first there seems to be none.”

Sisu is simple: seize life, do it with courage, and build your courage by engaging with the world in challenging ways.

Be Proactive in Your Happiness

You can be happy by being proactive. People who choose to recover from addiction choose to take proactive steps toward recovery.

You can think of choosing to be happy as choosing to recover from depression. As it turns out, exercise benefits recovery in a number of ways:

  • Exercise imitates the effect of drugs on your brain (or rather, drugs imitate the effect of exercise) by releasing endorphins.
  • Exercise helps you sleep better and increases feelings of well-being.
  • Exercise helps you cope with stress, structure your day, and improve your physical fitness.
  • This lines up very well with sisu, although sisu asks you to take it to another level and challenge yourself beyond your comfort level.

Even if you don’t take it to that extent, start small and exercise on a regular basis, then build up to greater challenges. Work on making connections with other people based around your exercise routine.

What the Buddhists Know

Buddhism is particularly concerned with cultivating happiness through constant practice.

Advertising

First, Buddhists acknowledge that existence lends itself to pain and mental dysfunction. This is the wear and tear of the world that comes from desiring and expecting what you don’t have.

Buddhists follow a set of practices towards enlightenment:

  • Clear the mind of negative thoughts: Recognize negative thoughts, redirect them positively, and act on positive thoughts.
  • Practice mindfulness: Without applying judgment, contemplate how your body feels and pay attention to your breathing; pay attention to your own thoughts; pay attention to “phenomena” — the world around you.
  • Meditate and concentrate: Let random thoughts go while you’re sitting and concentrating on one single thing, such as the sound of water, your breathing, or a humming sound.
  • Have compassion: Personal happiness is directly related to the happiness of others. Contemplation of others and their suffering leads you to a place of true compassion, and compassion for others is a simple path towards happiness.

Buddhists choose to live neither in the past or future.

Thoughts of the past can bring brooding and depression, and thoughts of the future can bring anxiety. Contemplation of the present and compassion for others in the present can help alleviate depression and anxiety, freeing your mind to accept happiness.

People choose many creeds, philosophies, and religions in the pursuit of happiness. In any situation, you can choose to concentrate on what makes you happy.

You can choose to accept the most excruciating challenge as an opportunity to be good now and to create happiness.

Make the Smart Choice of Happiness

Happiness is finding joy in everyday experiences.

When you choose to include other people in your happiness, then with it comes community—in both social networks and shared experiences.

Happiness is the smart choice because deep down it’s what your being strives for; it’s what other people want, too.

When we’re choosing happiness together, we’re choosing to care for each other, and the whole world opens up to infinite possibility.

More About Happiness

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Arizona State University: Find Yourself by Getting Lost
[2] World Happiness Report: World Happiness Report 2018
[3] This is Finland: Sisu Begins Where Perseverance Ends

Read Next