"strong interest + practice + engagement + purpose = life passion
You have a strong interest in something.
You begin to practice it.
As you gain proficiency, you become more engaged in the practice and the joy of becoming proficient.
With engagement comes a sense of deeper purpose.
Your strong interest takes on new meaning as it fulfills you deeply and reflects your core values.
It begins to take shape as a passion with a larger purpose in your life.
Without practice, you cannot live your passion. But practice isn’t just a means to a passionate end. It is the passion. Martha Graham,the foremost pioneer of modern dance, speaks eloquently of the power of practice.
“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.” read more.....
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Your thoughts or opinions about a situation are not your feeling states.
Here’s an example: You can watch a movie that you thought was depressing, but still feel happiness. You can interact with someone who you think is negative, and you can still experience deep joy within yourself. You can have any number of intellectual opinions about politics, and those mental perspectives are separate from the emotionality you have.
The capacity to witness something that your mind or outside sources might label as negative, and to remain in a positive feeling state while doing so, is what self-determination — and transcendence — is about.
Think about people who are peaceful even in chaos, or generous when they’re broke, or loving in the face of oppression. Think of Nelson Mandela experiencing inner freedom while in prison.
You can’t always choose what happens to you, but
you can always choose how you feel about it.
Being able to experience peace, even appreciation, when you’re in a tough situation is a result of being in touch with your Soul. The feeling of peacefulness is the indicator of Who You Really Are.
Conversely, feeling like a bag of aggravated worry balls is an indicator that you’re out of touch with your greatness.
Peace or worry. Gratitude or anger. It’s your choice.............
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A Simple Guide To Creating Your Passionate Life In 2014
This is decision time.
Is 2014 going to be your year?
Is this the year you’re going to create your life rather than react to circumstances around you?
Is this the year you are going to unlock what makes you come alive and allow it a place in your life?
I hope you see the New Year as a beautiful, blank canvas spread out before you, awaiting all the possibilities for living the life you envision for yourself. Of course, making that vision real can be a daunting proposition.
Believe me, I know how it is to have a firm resolve on December 31st to make big change — but come around February, resolve has melted away and life is back to status quo.
It is so easy to slip back into auto-pilot. We have our habits, our schedules, our regular activities that can fill up every nook and cranny of our lives if we allow them to. The burning desire we had at the start of the year to create a new life has somehow fizzled away with each passing week.
And to be perfectly honest, sometimes it’s a relief to just let go of the resolve and say, “My life is too busy for this big change. It’s not really possible.” Then we have an excuse to walk away from the passionate life we envision and the work involved in getting us there. We have justification for stalling out on our hopes and dreams.
In spite of our very real desire for an amazing life, there is a lot of fear and trepidation attached to change.
So of course we come to this point again year after year — the days and hours before the beginning of a new year. And we are still in the same life, doing the same things, no closer to finding or living the passion that is somewhere buried inside of us.
If you see yourself in this scenario, you are not alone. Most of us fail many times to actualize our dreams and goals, and many of us have no idea what our dream is or should be.
But take heart . . . our inability to make change happen has little to do with laziness, self-discipline, or a lack of passion.
It has to do with lack of knowledge.
We don’t know how to go about finding our passion. And we don’t know how to sustain the motivation and actions involved in both finding and creating our passion.
It is this last part — sustaining motivation and action — which is critical to recreating your life. When the rubber meets the road, when you must actually get out of the chair, make the phone call, do the research, pick up the pen, create the momentum between thought and action, you have all the power in that very moment to move mountains.
But as you know, those are the moments that undo us.
I teach a program called The Habit Course (now a self-study course) with my friends Leo Babauta and Katie Tallo. We teach people the skills involved in creating new positive habits that are sustainable for life. There are very specific skills involved in working on a habit that rewire your brain to accommodate this new behavior, allowing the habit to become natural and automatic.
The work involved in finding your passion and making it become part of your life requires creating a series of new habits. That is exactly what proactive change involves — creating new habits.
When you work on your passion . . .
- You must change your thinking habits.
- You must change some of your behaviors.
- You must learn new problem-solving skills.
- You must create regular time for self-reflection and answering important questions
- You must create a series of action plans.
- You must take daily and/or weekly action on your plans.
“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted… unbidden… it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us… passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we’d know some kind of peace… but we would be hollow… Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we’d be truly dead.” ~Joss Whedon, Screenwriter and Director
Each one of these requires building small, new habits in your life. And although seemingly innocuous, these new habits require energy and specific skills. So let me simplify it for you.
If you want to turn your life around in 2013 by uncovering your life passion and making it part of your daily life, then you need to understand the following steps in order to begin.
A Simple Guide to Creating Your Passion Life in 2014
Step 1: Make the decision
Do you want to dedicate this year to finding and living your life passion? I don’t ask this question lightly. Making this decision and acting on it will require time, emotional energy, and patience. It will also require you to address your fears and self-doubts and sometimes to take action in spite of them. And it will require that you let go of some things in your life (things you think you may need or want) in order to make room for some truly amazing new things that will serve you far better. Ultimately it requires a leap of faith. Are you willing to make that leap? If so, move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Preparation
Before you embark on any journey, you need to prepare. Your preparation for a passionate new life should begin with a vision for what that ideal life might look like for you eventually. Set aside 2-3 hours one day this week to work on your vision. How would you like your life to look one year from today? Examine each area of your life (career, relationships, finances, lifestyle, personal growth, etc.) and create a picture of your ideal for each area. You can write out bullet points or write out several paragraphs describing your vision. Here’s a good sample of a life vision.
Step 3: Choose
In order to tackle big change, you need to break it down into smaller, manageable actions. Look at your vision and decide where you are most likely to find your passion — in your career, a relationship, a move, a new interest? If you aren’t sure, go with your instinct or simply pick something. You will be dedicating some time every day toward change in this area of your life.
Step 4: Disassemble
Now you need to break down the area of change you’ve selected into manageable actions. You can begin by asking yourself questions. For example, if you want to find a job you feel passionate about, what specifically do you need to do to begin making that happen? What specific actions do you need to take? This might include taking a career personality assessment or doing research. It might mean looking for potential opportunities in your current job or thinking about starting a new business. Write down every possible action you can think of to get the ball rolling with making change toward your passion in this area.
Step 5: Start small
Once you have the actions outlined (or as many as you can think of right now), break those actions down further into 5 minute activities. You need to make this passion work as manageable and non-threatening as possible so it feels easy and fun. In the beginning, as you are getting accustomed to adding this passion pursuit into your schedule, you want to start with a small amount of time. You can lengthen the amount of time you spend on it as you form the habit of working on it every day.
Step 6: Create a trigger
Attach this 5-minute passion work to an already-established habit — like brushing your teeth, making coffee, putting the kids to bed, etc. Your passion work should immediately follow this trigger. The trigger serves as a tangible reminder to do the work and make it part of your day. Be sure the timing of the trigger is appropriate for the kind of passion work you are pursuing. For example, if you must make business phone calls, you don’t want to have an evening trigger. Remember to stick with 5 minutes during the first week so you don’t give up. You can lengthen the time by 5 minutes as the work begins to feel habitual.
Step 7: Set up accountability
Tell people what you are doing. Announce it on Facebook or share on Twitter. Ask a friend to serve as your accountability partner, and report to them daily after you finish your passion work. When you know someone is paying attention to your actions, you are more likely to follow through. Plus, having an interested person involved in your passion journey will be motivating for you.
Step 8: Reward your progress
Every small step you take moves you closer and closer to your dream. Keep a journal or calendar in which you make notes about what you’ve accomplished. Acknowledge the progress you’ve made and reward yourself for it. Students in The Habit Course would put gold stars on a calendar for every day they performed their habit. Seeing all of the stars lined up was strangely satisfying! If you don’t make note of your progress, you will forget and feel like you haven’t accomplished much.
Step 9: Add time and actions
As you incorporate the habit of working on your life passion into your day, you can begin to lengthen the time you spend and add more actions to your work. There will be days when you feel confused about whether or not you are doing the right thing or following the best course. And there may be days when you have no idea what to do. But just do something with that time related to finding your passion. Read an article on someone who inspires you. Define your core values. Make a bucket list. Learn more about your intelligence type. Do what you can to stay in touch with who you are and what you think you want for your life.
Step 10: Don’t give up
The ultimate success of your passion work requires that you keep doing it. There will be times you feel discouraged, confused, and frustrated. If you understand that going into the process, then you won’t be surprised when it happens. But please don’t allow it to derail you altogether. Continue taking small steps in the direction of your dream. Even if you are unsure, do something. Go back to working for 5 minutes only. But please don’t give up altogether. I promise, at some point you will break through and see the way forward.