This podcast episode is dedicated to all of the women and men who ask me to help them find their passion. By the end of this podcast (and post) my goal is that you feel inspired and have actionable advice on how to get started in finding out exactly what it is you’re passionate about.
There are people who don’t know what they’re passionate about, or who don’t know what their purpose is. There are people who don’t feel inspired. There are people whose lives feel flat and who personally feel ‘flattened’.
There are a lot of people who don’t know what they’re passionate about as if The Great Almighty Human Creator got distracted and forgot to include that small part within their bodies. The ‘thing you are passionate about’ part.
Whatever you want to call PASSION – inspiration, joy, your way, your desired path, your calling, your life’s work – there is something that I know for sure when it comes to finding it, gaining it, recognising it and welcoming Passion into your life.
If you don’t know what your passion is then you will not find it if you don’t change your life.
Nothing changes if nothing changes.
Most of us have heard the definition of insanity being that you do the exact same thing on a day to day basis but expect different results. And yet so many people live their lives wanting their world to change without doing anything about it.
Life will keep going on and it has no responsibility to you to show up on your doorstep with a golden box filled with Your Passion. Remember how we all thought Veruca Salt was ridiculous in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? She of the ‘I want the Goose that lays the golden egg Daddy, and I want it NOW’.
Why then, knowing how ludicrous Veruca’s demands were, do many of us live our lives like Veruca?
I see two reasons.
The first is that change can seem hard and scary. In the western world, we don’t seem to cope very well with uncertainty. We know where we are right in this moment and because that is at least one thing we can feel certain of, we stay.
Even if it’s not what we ultimately want. This can include jobs we can’t stand, relationships which bring us no joy or bring us down, friendships that are toxic and our own self-inflicted numbing or numbed-down days.
Because we are certain of this moment only – as we are living it – and (we think) it isn’t killing us, we stay, because the alternative is the unknown uncertain and deep down we connect uncertainty with potential failure and ultimately death.
The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with. –
The second is that staying still, or staying in the same place gives us an excuse to not have to take responsibility for our own fulfillment and happiness.
As long as we can wait for the golden goose and play Veruca, then we can blame the Universe when it does not get delivered.
‘Well, you know, the Goose is really bad at directions and always goes to other people’s houses, but never mine’ Or, ‘Why does the Goose always get given to her, or him, or them, but never to me?’ OR ‘Why does she get five Geese and I get none? I hate that Goose. That Goose is an arsehole’.
The world of ‘not enough’ has been created by thinking that the world must deliver to you. It isn’t until we change our thought pattern and go out to find it that the world changes itself around us.
Most people think that the passion comes first. So that if they are not currently passionate about something it is because they are ultimately flawed. They think eventually as they sit on their buttocks they are going to be struck with passion like a bolt of lightening.
Well my dear friend, this is bullshit.
The paradox of people complaining about not getting what they want or not knowing their passion is that they will complain and do nothing about it for potentially their whole lives, where it may have taken them mere months or mere years – and yes, years fly by – to find it if they had have done something different on a day to day basis.
Your destination is going to be shaped, dear friend, in your moments of decisions.
If you dislike where you are right now and you feel like you’ve waited forever for your life to be amazing, but you make a change in your current routine on a daily or weekly basis, your world will change.
Otherwise, life doesn’t stop for anybody.
If you want to rise, you have to take it. Ask for it. Work for it. Know that you’re worth it.
If you take action you will figure it out as you go along, human beings are smart like that. YOU are smart like that.
See, if you take a walk and you come across a fallen tree, you don’t sit there behind it because your path is blocked and wait until you dehydrate and die, hoping to be rescued.
You navigate your way around that tree because your innate knowledge knows to do so.
It is worthwhile then to trust that if you make a decision to do something different in your life, you are more than capable of navigating obstacles in your path.
Let’s take the fear of the ‘unknown’ and the anxiousness that surrounds ‘uncertainty’ and instead, let’s and call it a dance.
Once you begin to dance little-steps in different directions, you will – eventually – find wonder, light, interest, curiosity, joy, delight, or beauty in the experience and Your Passion.
Finding Your Passion may take two weeks or two years of small changes, but in that time, you can sit on your arse and say ‘Woe is me, I don’t know what I want to be or do or what my calling is’ or think to yourself ‘Fu*k You Goose’…and nothing changes, or you can dance.
Do something different every day and eventually you will have learned thousands of new things, about life, about what you love, about you. You will meet many new people. Some who will teach you lessons through love and some will teach you lessons through hardship, no doubt.
But your life will be richer for it.
Life is terminal.
It is nobody else’s responsibility to find your passion than yours.
Having a child won’t give it to you.
Getting married won’t give it to you.
Your boss wont give it to you.
Tattslotto won’t give it to you.
You are it. You’re the keeper of the dancing shoes.
Even if you paid the best coach in the entire world $1M to help you find Your Passion, eventually they are going to say ‘You need to do the WORK’.
You’ve got to put your toe in another direction honey. You have to do it like you were dancing, because eventually, you’ll find your flow and your rhythm. Eventually, you will be tango’ing to the tune that you were always meant to be.
You’ve just got to take the lead.
Today, because I want to inspire you to dance a little differently, Here’s 51 things you can do to dance your life in a new direction today.
- Go to a book reading. They’re usually free and listening to other creatives talk is like magic to the soul.
- Buy an educational magazine you don’t usually read and get absorbed. Great ones I recommend are Womankind, Dumbo Feather and Peppermint.
- Listen to a new podcast. My absolute favourites are The Tim Ferriss Show and The Moth Podcast (representing thousands of stories. Like Humans of NY in a podcast!). But you can find great ones at iTunes on any subject you like.
- Read a personal/professional development book all the way through. Hot ones right now are:
Rising Strong by Brene Brown, The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown, or Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
- Get your finances in check utilising tools or books from awesome women like Denise Duffield-Thomas with ‘Lucky Bitch‘ or Kate Northrup with ‘Money, A Love Story’.
- Take a train or bus or tram or walk to a suburb you don’t spend a lot of time in and just check it out. New surroundings often = new inspiration.
- Walk down your own street and see what you can notice that you never have before, such as a beautiful garden or flowers, wonderful buildings or places, colours, sounds and the effects that Mother Nature has on your close surroundings.
- Spend 10 minutes each consecutively focusing on all of your senses, taste, smell, touch, sight, hearing OR spend an entire day being focused on one and then move onto the next one. (If you have a lover… get them involved ;).
- Try to stop the negative -self-talk. Out-loud and inside. What you say shapes your thoughts so make them kind.
- Try not to complain. Keep an elastic band around your wrist and move it to the other hand each time you complain about something. Do this until you can last a whole day (or better yet a week) without complaining. Build this muscle!
- Go and take a dance class (or a karate class, or a Thai Chi class or any bloody class!)
- Forgive someone – Truly forgive them. Not conditionally, or so that you remind them of again and again. Drop it. release it. Let it be free.
- Go on a weekend love-fest with yourself. Take yourself away (preferably without your technology) and be reminded of who you are again.
- Begin a gratitude journal at the dinner table each night. Actually writing gratitudes down truly cements the practice.
- Pack up a bag of ‘stuff’ you don’t need or use anymore and take it to the op-shop/goodwill/tip.
- Call your local council and do the same with a load of hard-rubbish if you have any.
- Declutter your office or bedroom.
- Eat your lunch outside.
- Schedule a call to your Nanna or Mum, or another relative you don’t talk to enough each week. Tell them a joke.
- Go for a walk in your afternoon 10 minute break.
- Make it a point to learn at least one new thing each day: the name of a flower that grows in your garden, the capital of a far-off country, or the name of a piece of classical music you hear playing in your favourite clothing boutique as you shop.
- Bring out your dictionary and learn a new word every day for a month.
- Keep a five-minute journal: Included are these questions each day:
In the morning answer… Focus of today? What would make today great?
In the evening answer… I am grateful for? 3 Amazing things that happened today? How could I have made today better? Daily affirmations: I am?
- Cancel subscriptions to recurring payments you don’t need anymore.
- Read a book on a non-fiction subject you know nothing about.
- Spend a day doing what your 8 year-old self loved to do and see what happens.
- Paint a picture of yourself.
- Make a sculpture out of pieces of nature you find on a walk.
- Go TV free for a day (or a week!) and see what happens.
- Make a list of all of the commitments and social obligations that you have in the next 100 days. Then, take out a red pen and cross out anything that does not truly bring you joy or help move you along the path to achieving your main life goals.
- Prepare dinners for a week and put them into containers.
- Ask someone for help.
- Throw a dinner party.
- Go to a trivia night.
- Volunteer to create a team-building event at work.
- Don’t argue with other people. Allow them ‘their truth’ and sit comfortably in your own… in your own mind.
- End a bad relationship (either romantic or friendship).
- Drink less.
- Say no to late nights for while.
- Create a vision board.
- Set the table as if you were dining with Oprah.
- Start a blog! 😉
- Talk to a stranger.
- Volunteer somewhere.
- Go to a farm and talk to some animals.
- Visit your local farmers market and buy some food you have never eaten before.
- Learn some new jokes and use them.
- Go and see a foreign film.
- Take an art class.
- Learn a foreign language (and plan to travel to that country)
- Tell someone you love that you love them.
“You must know that in any moment a decision you make can change the course of your life forever… the very next movie you see or book you read or page you turn could be the one single thing that causes the floodgates to open, and all of the things that you’ve been waiting for to fall into place.” – Tony Robbins.