I wrote an article last week for a sports magazine about losing passion as an athlete. It made me start to think about passions I have in my own life and how they have evolved. The things that used to be important to me have changed over the years. I've discovered things that I am passionate about and I've discovered what it feels like to be lit up from the inside.
What is passion? Close your eyes and think about what truly makes you happy. What are you excited about? Anything that brings energy to your life in a positive way and inspires you is a passion.
I truly believe that it is our goal in life to find what makes us passionate – whether that be love, a calling or skill, a career, a movement or a cause – and invest time and energy into fueling that fire every single day.
But how do we keep that fire burning among a busy schedule of work, family and the overwhelming amount of other responsibilities that are pulling us in different directions at all times? That, my loves, is the million dollar question.
There are a few things that have helped me to do this and the most life-altering for me personally has been to be mindful and present in each moment. This is something I've talked about before, but that's because it has created such a huge chain reaction of positivity in my life that I think it warrants being mentioned often. Once I stopped looking at my days as one long monotonous cycle into the the next and going through the motions like I robot, I was able to find the purpose behind each task I was doing. It helped me to weed out what is important to me and what isn't. It helped me realize what makes me happy and what actions fuel my internal fire. It helped me evaluate the what I was doing and what I wanted to be doing.
My work schedule has been crazy lately. I spend many hours from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep in front of a computer screen and on the phone. For someone like me who loves to be outside and hates having every second of the day committed to something, this kind of schedule makes me feel burned out quickly. I start to feel like I'm spinning my wheels and that's when I know it's time to take a step back and invest some time into what makes me passionate. I make time to write or take ten minutes to pull out my guitar and play. I take a short break and go outside to water my flowers or take a quick walk. I work on my #33things list and think of ways to inspire myself. I make time, even when I'm short on it, for myself and the things that make me happy. It not only helps keep me balanced, but it keeps me connected to what I want and the things that resonate with me.
Surround yourself with people that not only are interested in the things that you are passionate about, but that support you in those passions. There is nothing worse than being excited and passionate about something only to have someone you care about deflate that excitement. It is my hope that we all have people in our life that we connect with and who understand what makes us tick. Invest in those relationships.
I have one friend who I refer to as my voice of reason. We have always supported each other's passions and push each other when we need it. She's my voice of reason because even though she is always honest with me and quick to point out when I need to get my act together, she's also one of my biggest fans and supporters. She always challenges me to follow my heart and the things in life that inspire me. I always try to do the same for her. I think it's just as important to be a positive force in others' lives as it is to have positive influences in your own.
It's not always easy to feed your passions, but it's important. And while sometimes it may feel like you don't have time or energy to do so, make the time. Giving back to yourself will reap so many benefits in the long run and help you live a happier, more fulfilled life.