1. The Importance of Cultivating & Maintaining Passion
Passion is an infinite resource. Passion does not run dry. But, we may need to cultivate passion and we may need to seek sources of inspiration to continue feeling passionate.
Think of it as a well that you must keep going back to, to replenish. We can’t drink water once, and expect to never need water again.
We must access the living water that brings life to our spirits.
Find the places and people that inspire you and continue gaining sustenance and inspiration.
Don’t feel discouraged if you feel passionate one day and not passionate the next. Passion is fleeting but it does return. Keep your palms open, ready to accept the gift of passion when it comes again. Seek it out, but also have patience.
Rest assured that it will return, but also place yourself where it is likely to be.
Just like a good marriage – we should do all that we can to cultivate passion, and at the same time, be willing to put in a labor of love – even on the days we do not feel the passion.
2. The Radical Power of…Baby Steps
Not sure how to start on your passion journey?
The answer is baby steps.
I know, I know – baby steps don’t exactly sound thrilling.
But what if, starting today, you committed to one baby step a day for the next year?
A baby step maybe won’t cause a noticeable change in a day or a week. But 365 baby steps will. If you take one baby step a day – trust me – July 2017 will look very different for you.
A small step is very different than no steps.
Every night before I go to bed I have a series of questions that I ask myself. Because I know I will ask myself these questions every night, it keeps me more intentional about my day. One of the questions I ask is “What did I do today which moved me closer to my goals or dreams?”
So everyday, I have that question in mind, and everyday I do at least one tiny thing. Nothing is too small. It could be researching an idea. Sending an e-mail to someone. Writing out a goal list. Just as long as I do something.
3. Inner Work is Not Selfish
I used to worry that “inner work” was selfish. I thought I should only be focused on helping others and not myself. It turns out, helping ourselves and others are both pretty important.
When I first started working in the mental health field, I got a client that reminded me a lot of myself. She struggled with anxiety, negative thought patterns, and overthinking. All things I struggled with.
At first, I was so excited to work with her. Until I realized I had no idea how to help her. I had not yet worked out how to cope with these things myself, and therefore, really did not have a lot of helpful wisdom to pass on to her.
I have since realized the value of inner work.
Also, I have realized the importance of self-love. We are called to show love and gentleness to others – but this may be difficult if we haven’t yet learned to show these things to ourselves.
With this being said, I don’t necessarily suggest waiting to help others until your inner work is complete…because…well..that’s a life long process. But, don’t devalue inner work – it not only helps you, but it will help others too.
You can’t teach what you don’t yet know yourself.
4.Embracing Uncertainty is Non-negotiable
I am not a very big fan of uncertainty.
But, I have learned to embrace it – mostly because, we really don’t have any other option.
Life is uncertain.
And when it comes to a passion, the truth is, none of us know exactly where following our passion will lead us.
And that’s okay.
Going back to the “baby steps” method – I know that it can be hard to even take a baby step, when you are not clear on what direction you are going. But the important thing is, is that you start moving. It almost doesn’t matter what direction you are going at first. You can always correct the direction. But honestly, what I have found, is maybe the end result is very different than that initial baby step and where you thought it was taking you, but that baby step still was a step there.
Also, it is okay to try a few different things at once. Some days I have an idea for one thing and the next day I have completely changed my mind. Or I go back and forth on two ideas. Try both. See what works. See what leads somewhere.
5. There is No End Result
I used the phrase “end result” in the above section, but if I am being perfectly honest, there is no end result.
Just really good views. You stop and appreciate the view. And then you keep climbing – because life is a journey. As long as you are breathing, the journey isn’t over.
I know that “it’s about the journey, not the destination” is an overused cliche…BUT that doesn’t change the fact that it is true. I know I have spent much of life waiting for a destination that would finally fulfill me. But the truth is, it is the journey that fulfills and motivates us to keep going.
As I said, there will be beautiful views to stop at and enjoy along the way, but you must continue on the journey. There is always new life to be found.
6. It’s Okay When Things Go Wrong
Things will go wrong. In fact, plan for it and anticipate it.
Know this is part of the journey.
We don’t chase after failure or difficulty – but when it happens, trust that it is leading you somewhere.
After college I landed a job that I was trying to force into a destination. But it wasn’t a destination. My journey had not concluded.
After a few years at my job some frustrations came about. And those frustrations gifted me with a desire to explore “new territory.” And it was through those frustrations that I was propelled to make changes in my life. And those changes gave me new life and new hope and new joy. I am thankful for the frustrations.
And although I am living more within my passion these days, that doesn’t mean I am free from failure, frustration, or disappointment. But when it comes, I will again trust that it brings the gift of growth and will take me somewhere new.
Wishing you much joy & wisdom on your passion journey.
- What are some ways you could cultivate and maintain your passion? What are the places and people that inspire you?
- What are some baby steps you could take? What is a baby step you could take today?
- What inner work do you need to do right now? How can you start working on this?
- What are some other thoughts or ideas that came to mind while reading this article? How could you act on these thoughts or ideas?