Are you in need of more passion?
Oh boy. I just watched a short clip of video that brought tears to my eyes and though it wasn’t on my agenda today, I just had to share this with you.
So before I get on my soap box about the importance of following your passions, I invite you to take 4 minutes to watch this truly inspiring video:
What a fabulous reminder of how important it is to take a big brave step in the direction of your dreams. For this completely unassuming bloke from South Wales, it was a hugely courageous thing to do. You can see he is clearly not confident in himself but bravely to put himself “out there” on center stage in front of an audience of millions and one brutally critical judge (need I say who?). Now that’s courage in action if I ever saw it.
Of course we aren’t all closet Pavarottis, but it is my deepest belief that you, and every single person on planet earth, has unique talents and gifts that no one else does. Too often we compare ourselves to those who seem to be more talented than us and, when we assess that we measure up way short, we tuck our passions under the bed and just get on with our “day job” trying (in vain) to content ourselves with our lot in life (oh how I loathe that phrase which wreaks of resignation and misery!).
But just because you may not think you can make a living out of your passion doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it. I was speaking to a woman yesterday (a writer, who’d rung to inteview me for a magazine article she was writing) who shared with me how she’d bought herself a violin a while back but just never made time to learn it. When I asked her why not, she said “Well, I’m just so busy with other things including being a single mom.”
“But why did you buy it?” I asked, intrigued.
“Because I liked the idea of playing violin. But now it seems kind of impractical given how busy my life is and all the writing deadlines I have to meet.”
“But what would it add to your life if you learnt how to play the violin?”
Without a moment’s hesitation she said, “It would touch my heart.”
“Well isn’t that all the reason in the world you should pursue it? I mean how much better mother and writer would you be if you had the violin to nurture your spirit in the midst of your busy life and at the end of a long busy day?”
“Ahhh…” she said, with what I just knew was a smile on her face. The penny dropped.
But what about you? What do you enjoy doing? What brings you joy? What touches your heart?
It could be something incredibly simple like pottering in your garden. Or perhaps it’s cooking, rock climbing, writing poetry, photography, knitting, architecture, adventure travel (that’s me. . . not that I’ve done much since kids entered my life), singing, bike riding, brewing the perfect beer, sailing . . . obviously the list is endless and may well extend to issues that you feel passionate about like child poverty, global warming or domestic violence.
Of course I often meet people who tell me they don’t know what their passion is. Hopefully that isn’t you but if it is then take time to explore what things bring your life both joy and meaning. Ask yourself:
What do you care about? What excites you? What did you dream of doing as a child? What enrages you? What delights you? What makes you sad? What would you do if you had no fear of failing or what people might say? What at the end of your life may you regret not having done (or done more of)?
The clues are in your answers.
A life without passion is no life at all. Really. What’s the point of living your life if you don’t fill it with things, activities, people and causes that enrich your experience of life and infuse it with a sense of meaning and purpose and joy?
For the young man in that video clip, pursuing his passion took him way waayyyy outside his comfort zone. I mean did you see the nervous expression on his face? But just think what new possibilities are going to open up for him(regardless of whether he wins the competition or not!).
And what possibilities might open up in your life if you were to spend more time pursuing and engaged in those things you are passionate about? How would your experience of daily life be different if you were doing more of what brought you joy and meaning?
Of course the only way you are really going to know the answer to that is by having the courage to say a BIG BRAVE NO to those things which are getting in the way of you doing just that and a BIGGER BRAVER YES to you, to your talents, to your dreams, to your potential and most of all, to your (one and only) life.
- On a piece of paper write down three things you would like to do more of in your life that would add more depth to it, bringing you greater joy and deeper meaning.
- Write down when in the next week you are going to spend time on these things (or at least, taking the actions toward these things).
- Share with one person (pick up the phone, email them or just tell them) what you just wrote down and ask them to hold you accountable and support you.
Your life is short and passing by fast.
DON’T get to the end of your life and find you’ve only lived the length of it but never it’s depth.
DO dive deep into life and those things which make you feel truly alive (even if they take you beyond your comfort zone).
DON’T settle for a status quo that is near devoid of passion and fails to nourish your spirit.
DO treat your life as precious, expect more from it and give more to it.
DON’T resign yourself to your “lot in life” and a future that leaves you half numb at the thought of it.
DO LIVE PASSIONATELY. . . after all, there’s really no other way to go!