Find Your Passion

What do I want to be when I “grow up?” What’s my passion?

If I only knew, then I could get on with my life. Then I would be happy, my life would have more meaning, I would be more motivated, less depressed, a better wife, mother, sister, friend, I would find the perfect job, I would be ______________________.

The answers to these questions seem to be on most people’s minds across all age groups. The search for them seems to create a sense of lifelong yearning.

What if finding your passion was closer than you thought? Literally. Because I think it is!

I too want to live a meaningful life filled with purpose. I want what I do to be aligned with who I am.

After reading Brene Brown’s book, Dare to Lead, I realized that if we live within our values we will always be living with passion. We will always be living our best life.

WHAT we do is really secondary to WHO we are. We can bring our values to anything we do and therefore we will always be in alignment.

According to Brene, “A value is a way of being or believing that we hold most important. Living into our values means that we do more than profess our values, we practice them. We walk our talk-we are clear about what we believe and hold important, and we take care that our intentions, words, thoughts, and behaviors align with those beliefs. Our values are our North Star.”

This sounds like passion to me!

Although finding our passion may be more tangible than we think, it still requires some introspection. Brene goes onto say that, “We can’t live into values that we can’t name.”

In her book she encourages her readers to make a list of their values or choose from her list. She suggests narrowing down the list to one or two values.

“Choose one or two values-the beliefs that are most important and dear to you, that help you find your way in the dark, that fill you with a feeling of purpose.  If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities. ”

“Our values should be so crystallized in our minds, so infallible, so precise and clear and unassailable, that they don’t feel like a choice-they are simply a definition of who we are in our lives. In those hard moments, we know that we are going to pick what’s right, right now, over what is easy. Because that is integrity-choosing courage over comfort; it’s choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast or easy; and it’s practicing your values, not just professing them. “

LOVE Brene!

So, I made a list of my values-adventure, connection, authenticity, balance, family, ….. and came up with 18! How to decide? After much deliberation and further reading, I learned  that some broader values encompass other specific values (for me, connection includes family), I was able to narrow it down to just two core values, connection and authenticity.

finding your passion

That was the easy part. The next step is aligning our behaviors with our values, or as Brene calls it, “Taking values from BS to behavior.”

I think this is a life long process. We can infuse our core values into everything we do. In doing so, we ARE living our passion. No more searching, just BE who we are.

So next time you’re searching for your passion or trying to figure out what you want to be when you “grow up” just remember:

“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”

-Glinda the Good Witch

 

This post is dedicated to someone I know who is at the end of a difficult journey. She has inspired me with her strength and courage and has been questioning what she will do next, what she will do when she, “grows up.” I hope in some small way this creates some light along her journey to finding her passion.

 

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If I Can Do It, So Can You!

And if I can do it in one aspect of my life, I can do it in another. As I transition my next phase, I am redefining my life, my relationships and my goals. I seemed to have way more goals, dreams, and ideas for how I can make an impact in some small way, that it all became overwhelming to me and I didn’t even know where to start.

I began to get a little more clarity and success when I decided not to do too much at once. In addition to simplifying my life, finding my purpose (see Courtney Carver’s, bemorewithless.com for some great tips) and working on my writing, one of my goals is fitness, so I decided to try something I have always wanted to do, but NEVER attempted: RUNNING.

I began very, very slowly, running for 1 minute, and then walking for as long as it took to catch my breath (and get up the nerve to continue). As I shared my method with others I encountered, they told me this sounded like the Couch to 5k Running Plan (coolrunning.com). I just did what felt right.

Each time I run, I try to increase the amount of time that I run and decrease the amount of time I walk. Since my daughter recently started running, I would check in with her from time to time for encouragement.

Over the course of about 4 weeks, I went from running for 1 minute, to 2 minutes, to 4 minutes (I was stuck here for a while), to 7 minutes, etc. I stuck with this method of gradually increasing my running time and I run/walk every other day for 2 miles, running about 1.5 miles of that distance (about 20 minutes).

Me, tired, but feeling good after my run

Me, tired, but feeling good after my run

This method of building endurance is really a good metaphor for how I can target some of my other goals. Start off small, remain focused, work at it consistently (even when stuck at some level), ask for support when needed and share successes with others.

There may even be some added bonuses along the way. This morning, as I was running by a man crouched over weeding his front lawn I said, “They never end, do they?” He replied with an unlit cigarette in his smile, “No, and thank goodness, this is my therapy!” I got a good laugh and a warm feeling from this interaction with a stranger. As I continued running, I reflected on the fact that running has been therapy for me, as well.

What have you been meaning to do, to work on, or to finish? Do you have so many things on your plate that you feel overwhelmed and exhausted before you even begin? If so, pick one task, one that is doable and perhaps seems the easiest to complete. Focus on this one goal and write down each day (or every other day, etc.) what you will do to see it through. Small steps are OK and you will build momentum and confidence as you check them off!

Be consistent and share your journey with a supportive friend (or me). This creates a feeling of accountability and it’s nice to have a cheering section.

Good luck and feel free to comment and share your successes here!