3 Ways to Work With More Passion

Dec 19, 2019
 Lean Into Your Passions

There are so many times have I heard someone tell me: “I hate my job. I hate that I am always so tired after work. I hate that I never get much ‘me’ time.” I totally get that. I’ve been there many times. When my health deteriorates and I’m not happy to get up and start the day’s work, I am just miserable. Something always seems to be missing.

In my winter 2020 short story series, Love Paints the Way, my main character Rebecca certainly can attest to that. She has a great career as a Lead Talent Acquisition Manager for an International Finance Corporation in Boston. She enjoyed her work and made a great income. But somehow she didn’t feel that her job gave her much meaning and purpose. Something in her snapped one day in the office with her boss and for the first time, she began to lean into her passions inside.

So often we don’t align our jobs, our health and our happiness with our passion. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that most of us keep those three thoughts separated. But let me ask you some questions before you decide that passion-career-health don’t have much to do with each other:

  • Do you wake up as excited on Monday as you are on Friday? 
  • Do you work with people who appreciate you? Share your values? 
  • Do you make the money that you need? 
  • Do you work according to your natural energies and path?  
  • Do you have a sense of meaning and purpose in your work and life? 
  • Are you feeling happy to start a new workday most of the time? 
  • Do you have time to exercise and rest each day?

If you answered “Yes” to most of these questions, give yourself a pat on the back. You are one of the lucky ones! If your answer is “No”, it may be time for some reevaluation about how, when and where you are working. 

What is the Definition of 'Passion'?

Let’s start with a working definition of ‘passion’- “A strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, person or concept.

Passion has a positive effect on our lives because it brings satisfaction or happiness. Passion comes from a deep exploration of all our talents, plus our heart. When passion aligns with our work and life, we experience joy! It’s a beautiful thing!

A friend of mine lost his job to downsizing a month ago. While he has a master’s degree and worked in a big organization where he made a good income, he has always had a love for being an artist. For years he has been developing his art and selling it on the side. 

He told me the other day, when I asked how he was doing, “You know, this job loss is actually an opportunity. I now get to develop all my artist ideas and create all new things! I’m also doing some deep self-reflection.”

He has been what I call in preparation mode building his art business slowly, but now is able to work on it more fully while he searches for work that is more flexible for him. Here are three steps that can help you move into the direction of being more passionate:

  1. Evaluate your happiness and how you feel mentally and physically.

Sometimes we can evaluate things when we simply ask questions and answer quickly. First, find time to be alone with yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes each day. Check in with your body. Do your you feel tightness or pain anywhere. Note where that is. Sometimes the tightness is simply in your shoulders. If you can, lay down on the floor and stretch. Stretches always prepare you to sit still and journal about what is happening emotionally and mentally. Writing down what you feel brings clarity and once you have clarity, you are empowered. The first step to power and understanding yourself better. Then take some time and answer these questions: How do you feel about yourself?

  • I feel good when_____________________________________________
  • I was most successful when___________________________
  • It felt good to me when someone said to me_______________________________________________
  • It felt good to me when someone said to me that_______________________________________________
  • The most successful part of my past was_______________________________________________
  • The best thing that ever happened to me was_______________________________________________
  • I was happiest when__________________________________
  • The best part of my life was____________________________

After you complete the above, ask yourself:

  • How does this exercise help you see what your passion is? 
  • Were you alone most of the time?
  • Were you physically active—indoors? Outdoors? 
  • What were you doing that made you realize that you have some new habits or patterns?
  • What qualities emerged? (courage, kindness, love, joy, determination, self-control, self-confidence)?

      2. Do a passion inventory. 

In this exercise to find more clarity about passion in your life and work, take some time to answer these questions in your journal:

  • Write about an incident in your life when you were successful and when you failed. 
  • How would you describe yourself? Write about your personal qualities…physical, mental, and emotional self.
  • Describe how others see you. What do people comment the most about?
  • Describe yourself when you feel balanced. What do you need to feel balanced?

    3. Put together a plan of action & dealing with painful memories.

Once you have written down the above two exercises, it’s time to put together a plan. If you find that some of the things you have written about trigger painful memories or emotional upset, then you may need to write about these memories too. Who was there in those memories? What happened? You can even create a character and write through him or her to get those feelings and thoughts on paper. The more you write, the more clarity you will have.

  • TALK TO SOMEONE. If you need to talk to a friend, therapist or relative you trust do so. Sometimes just talking things out clarifies more.
  • Know your VALUES. Perhaps the most important activity in life is your work and has a great potential for satisfying basic needs. Your need is a strong force, an emotional desire. Your value is a need that is turned into how you interpret the world. Here are some values to consider.   

After you complete the 3 steps - Choose your top 3:

SECURITY. Freedom from worry, safety, certainty.

STATUS. The state or position of a person in the eyes of others.

COMPENSATION. Pay or remuneration for services.

ACHIEVEMENT.  Accomplishment of desired objective; something done successfully. Mastery.

ADVANCEMENT. To improve, progress.

AFFILIATION. Associated with fellow like beings.

RECOGNITION.  Special notice or attention for individual or team effort.

AUTHORITY. The power to command, direct and manage.

INDEPENDENCE. Freedom from the control of another.

ALTRUISM.  Concern for others and their good.

CREATIVITY. Finding new and improved ways to do anything. 

Innovation and making new ways of doing things.

ETHICAL HARMONY. Important for moral values, environmental concerns, etc. in the work setting.

INTELLECTUAL STIMULATION. Mental connection and the use of special abilities that encourage support and promote thinking.

VARIETY. Diversity of people, activity, places and tasks.

AESTHETIC. Having beauty in the work setting and surroundings.

Finally, set your goals. Goals are based on your values above and match your passion.  If you died, how would you want to be remembered?

A good way to think about this, might be to try this exercise:

“_____________was a loving husband/wife, good parent, wise, successful, humorous, and kind. _____________was the best kind of friend, one you could always count on.  _________gave and received in equal measure. I struggled, I danced, I cried, I laughed. Sometimes I was angry, other times I forgave. I leave you my heart, my smile, my collection of books I wrote.”

Now write yours.

There’s no better time than now, at the beginning of a New Year and new decade to take the time to find your passion and work toward accomplishing them. In my short story this month, Rebecca did some soul searching. Follow Rebecca’s journey and join my FREE monthly readers club for her - seasonal short stories that will make you smile.

XO,

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