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Why Finding Your Passion is a Myth

Why Finding Your Passion is a Myth


    We all have read a lot of articles on how to find your passion in life. From personality tests and questionnaires to life experiences and career advice, even I left no avenue untouched.

    They say to look for hints around you, ask your friends and family for advice and put yourself out there, open to new experiences that take you outside your comfort zone and I’ve got to admit, I’ve done it all. I’ve even managed to dissect my personality into numerous letter codes like INFP and INTP, but even these weren’t good enough to satisfy my hunger to know it all.

    For the most of us, discovering our passions isn’t as easy as getting a degree or finding a job. It’s a rather tiring and patience enduring process, with absolutely no assurance that you’ll get somewhere, or anywhere as a matter of fact.

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    Though what struck me the other day was the fact that for all these years I’ve been searching for my passion. I’ve been trying to find clues and road maps, how to guides or even a magic wand that gives me all the directions I need. Somehow the present me has been trying to find the future me, not create it.

    But how can I find something that doesn’t exist yet?

    It’s like having all the colors on your palette and a blank canvas in front of you while you simply sit still, waiting for the painting to appear.

    Sounds silly doesn’t it? But that’s the rut a lot of us are stuck in. We are constantly in search of something not realizing that all the pieces of the puzzle are within us. We can choose to put them together how ever our hearts desire, for the first time, there are no wrong answers.

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    Different colors on our palette are simply the things we love vs. the things we absolutely despise. We know what makes us smile and what makes our heart ache instead. Our blank canvas is our entire life ahead of us starting from this very moment, simply waiting for us to fill it with our favourite colors making it what ever we want it to be.

    Therefore after years of running around in circles and being disheartened over and over again, it finally hit me: I can be whoever I want to be. A magician, dancer, research scientist, barista, graffiti artist or a bear hugger — anything. Anything at all.

    Yes, we all have limitations. And we have responsibilities to fulfill. But where’s the challenge and the thrill of accomplishment if the road is too easy, right? The problem arises when we feel stuck within and are unable to identify what it is that our heart truly desires.

    Here are 3 quick and simple ways to overcome the self critique and the endless chatter in your mind and start listening to your true self. You don’t have to do them all, just pick one or alternate from one to another.

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    Write Everyday

    It’s called garbage writing by some and that’s precisely what it really is. This is a simple way to let the clutter out of your overworked mind once a day. There are no magical revelations to be looked for or some mind boggling truth about the world. Think of it as a mind cleanse, something you do to get rid of the old…and get ready for the new.

    Date Yourself

    Everyone needs a timeout and so do you. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy a fabulous meal with yourself or a walk by the beach at least once a week. The only rule is that you can not take anyone along. No friends, no acquaintances, only unfamiliar faces are allowed: maybe try something new like a salsa class or a martial art lesson. Its all about doing something you enjoy and having a great time.

    Be Still

    Spend 10 minutes everyday to just be. You don’t have to meditate or pray or do anything for that matter. Don’t even try to control your thoughts, but accept them the way they are. Don’t evaluate, don’t analyse, don’t create and nor should you try to erase them, just let them float through your mind, appearing and disappearing into thin air.

    These are some fabulous techniques to open the communication channel between the worldly you and soulful you, two of which are also suggested by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. All you need to do is pay closer attention to yourself and what is innately you will emerge from in between all the clutter.

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    Just like wizards, magic exists in our fingertips. What colors are you going to add to your canvas today?

    (Photo credit: Empty Treasure Chest via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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