I was a guest on a Spotify podcast last week, to air in the near future, called Highly Optimized. The host is Ryan Sprague.
While Ryan asked me a range of provocative questions, one lingered well after the interview, so I decided to blog about it. After noting my passion for my work, book, and family, he asked what my clients have to say about passion.
My initial response was that for many the conversation around passion causes more pain than promise. Clients come to me because they say their lack of passion keeps them from being happy. For sure, it is not unusual for people to go through life shaming and blaming themselves for not having any. It typically takes the following form: if I were passionate about something, I’d know what to do with my life.
But here’s the thing. You can’t think your way to divining passion. It’s not like cracking a code. Passion is an emotion that must be felt. If, for example, you are living your life on emotional autopilot, you will never connect to your heart and dial down on what it is telling you. The endless chatter in your mind about what you should or shouldn’t do keeps you from hearing or listening to your heart.
Passion comes from doing. You must start doing things, and in the doing, feel what comes up. It may not be a one and done either. Often, the endless and debilitating chatter in your mind tries to talk you out of what your heart yearns to explore.
Get curious with yourself. A good place to start is asking what you like to read, watch, or talk about with other people. How do you spend your time? How might you spend your time? Seek a growth mindset and try various things. When something feels good, stick with it. When you are doing something that feels right, the Universe sends you signs that you are doing what you should be doing. Pay attention to those signs.
Proactively bring enthusiasm to everything you try. It will help the process along. Put your attention and intention to the task. Do what you love to do and commit wholeheartedly to those things. Skip anything that doesn’t resonate, because your passion will not be there. Try to do something each day that excites you, even slightly. If it feels good, do it some more. Build from there.
I never give thought to what I am passionate about, but I have many passions. When I am passionate about something, the Universe showers me with gifts, which adds to the excitement. Relax and forget about searching for passion. It’s the Dorothy moment: eventually you will feel you had it all along.
And, above all else, don’t use the lack of passion as an excuse for not living life to the fullest. Do. The passion will come.