“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” ~Bishop T.D. Jakes
Most of us are living our lives without any aim or reason. Because of this, we tend to become disoriented and lose our way somewhere in the middle. The happiest of people are the ones who are focused and passionate about something in their lives.
The majority of successful people in the world are goal-oriented and have made their creativity, talent, or hobby into their biggest strength. No one can deny the fact that you can excel in your life only if you are pursuing a goal or dream that you are passionate about. Without having fun along the way, you will only get depressed and lose interest in your life.
The list below elaborates 13 ways to find passion in your life.
1. Don’t Rush Into Things
Life isn’t about a constant rush of jumping into things. In fact, if you want to find passion in your life; then it’s time to slow down and gain a better perspective of who you really are as an individual.Advertising
You can find answers to the troubling questions by slowing down and finding what you really want out of yourself. Take up some activity such as yoga, walking or meditation to help you explore your inner self and find deeper meaning behind your life.
2. You Are the Writer of Your Own Story
Not many people realize that their life entirely depends upon their own hands. Often, we tend to blame our failures on others, but realizing that we have the capacity to evolve and become a better person is only something very few are capable of. It makes all the more reason to change your life the exact moment you figure out that it’s time to change. Always remember: you have control and you can change your life to make the necessary difference.
3. Find Your Strengths
No one is born without a talent, strength, or skill. In fact all of us are unique in our own way. Try exploring what you are good at. There has to be something that comes naturally to you. By allowing yourself to nurture your natural talent, you will be able to excel in your field. And most of all, you will be a happy person doing what you love to do.
4. You Can and You Will
This is the statement you need to repeat to yourself every now and then. By cultivating confidence in your personality, you are indirectly planting a positive idea in your mind. The go-getter attitude is most important in helping you achieve your aims. The only way you can be passionate about fulfilling your goal is by constantly re-assuring yourself that you can and you will be able to conquer all your fears, and you will one day realize your goal.
5. Identify the Recurring Patterns
Notice the recurring themes in your life that call out for you to make a necessary change. A recurring pattern is some kind of a situation or feeling that you constantly stumble across. This is a sign for you to identify it and try to break out of that loop once and for all.Advertising
6. Vent Out Your Feelings
The best way to be clear about your passion is to clear out your mind. This can be achieved by venting out your feelings. Some people write their thoughts down, while others prefer to talk about how they feel. In either case, it is better for you to let your feelings and ideas out.
Many psychologists suggest keeping a journal that helps in organizing your thoughts and allowing you to point out your passion in life. In order for you to figure out what you are truly passionate about, take a few minutes out every day to jot down your feelings. After a few weeks, you will be surprised at discovering what you really want to do.
7. Don’t Forget to Have Fun
What many of us tend to forget is that being too focused on our goals; we somehow forget to have fun along the way. When we stop enjoying what we are doing, that’s when the problem starts.
A lot of people are clear about what their passions are; yet they seem to be unhappy in their pursuits. Why does this happen? Usually, it’s because they have forgotten that it is important for them to enjoy what they are doing instead of being too goal-oriented and going through a set of tasks as a mechanical robot.
8. Let Go of Your Inhibitions
What are you afraid of? Is it failure, abandonment by friends and family, or death? By pinpointing your biggest fear, you are allowing yourself to gain control and confront your fear.Advertising
Don’t worry about the outcome, instead live your life by principles and enjoy each day as it comes. By over-emphasizing on past failures, you will only be discouraged to pursue your dreams. Remember: it’s all about moving forward and not looking back.
9. Just Be Yourself
Many of us try to become someone else because we see those people as successful and happy in their lives. But does that really work for us? Answer: a big No! Never try to be someone or something you’re not.
Being true to yourself is the key in finding your passion in life. As cliché it may sound, leopards can’t change their spots and you can’t really change your DNA. So why not try something that comes naturally to you instead of following someone else’s success act and failing along the way?
10. Take Risks
Simple, we only live once. A lot of us don’t really explore our capabilities because of certain deep-rooted fears. For example, I know of this person who really wanted to try extreme sports but the fear of a severe injury or possible death prevented them from actually trying it out. Now they are too old to pursue their passion and regret not taking the chance when they had the time.
Helpful Resources for further reading:Advertising
11. When Something Clicks, Just Go With It
Often when we are exploring what truly moves us, we stumble across an idea or opportunity that seems extremely appealing. It may be your dream job, or a chance to explore a long-awaited hobby. When that happens, don’t over-think it‒just go with it.
Time is your biggest enemy. It hampers your growth and productivity. By procrastinating on the offer at hand, you will probably reason against it and then end up regretting not taking it up when you had the chance.
12. Admit Your Limitations
It’s not always the case that your dream can be pursued. For example, someone may want to be a famous singer but their voice is not just good enough. Sometimes, admitting your limitations can actually liberate you to follow your dreams in a practical way. That person may not end up being a famous singer but if they are a talented musician, they may end up being someone really famous after all.
13. What Drives You?
For many people, unfortunately, money is the primary driving factor in their lives. Because of this, they become slave to a routine that they hate. It is understandable that finances matter as they help you in sustaining a lifestyle. However, passion and money may not be complimentary to each other.
If you want to follow your passion, then don’t worry too much about the money. If you have a little savings to fall back on, you can even work for less compensation for a while to pursue what you truly love. Remember: if you are really passionate about something that you are doing, then money will automatically come your way.Advertising
So this wraps up the 13 ways to find passion in your life. By following these simple rules, you can explore your inner self and find out what you are truly passionate about. The most successful people in the world follow their hearts. Try to hear what your heart’s telling you and you may be surprised at where it leads you.
Share your success story and tell how you found something you are passionate about. Feel free to comment.
Published on May 18, 2021
How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication
We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.
The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.
Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.
Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.
Table of Contents
Listen to Understand, Not to Speak
There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.
Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.
Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.
We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.
Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.
A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.
The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.
Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event. And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.
Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.
Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!
Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words
While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.
Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved. When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.
These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.
Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.
Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?
Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.
Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.
Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons. These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.
Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.
Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All
As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.
This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.
Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption. Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.
Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.
These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.
Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.
Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!
More Tips Improving Listening Skills
- 11 Tips to Help Improve Your Active Listening Skills
- 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home
- How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)
Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com
|||^||NCBI: Listening Effort: How the Cognitive Consequences of Acoustic Challenge Are Reflected in Brain and Behavior|
|||^||NCBI: The Influences of Emotion on Learning and Memory|
|||^||NCBI: Brain Mechanisms Underlying Human Communication|
|||^||NCBI: Body language in the brain: constructing meaning from expressive movement|
|||^||NCBI: The Role of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Supporting Communication in a Digital World|
|||^||Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences: The Cost of Interrupted Work: More Speed and Stress|