Monday, July 24, 2006

Living a life of passion

Most people go through the motions of living with no thought to whether or not they are truly happy. Rising each morning to face another day of drudgery in the same old grind. How sad!
How about you? Are you living the life you always dreamed? If your answer is yes, great! If not--why not? Let’s explore this topic of living a fulfilling life. A life of passion as I like to think of it.
Finding your passion is the start. What is your passion? What gets you excited? What makes your heart pound? Discovering the answer is to discover the gifts God has given to you.
To begin with, your passion is often something in which you have special talents or abilities. When you participate in this activity you find yourself energized.
Other people will validate your passion. Listen to what people tell you about your work. They will let you know the positive way they respond to the work you do for them. This is confirmation of the things you do well and of your true passion.
Listen to your inner voice…the Passion within you. I encourage you to spend time in reflection. Find time in each day to be quiet and listen. What things come to your mind? Pay attention, after all you know best. So you say, “I don’t have time to be quiet.” I say, “You don’t have time to not be quiet!” The time you spend will pay you back many times over in defining the person you are and in defining your dreams and desires.
Once you begin to see your passion you will want to bring it to reality. The creation of a personal vision statement is a great way to begin the process. The written personal vision statement helps define who you are and who you want to become. It shows where you are and where you plan to go. It becomes a focusing point for your passion.
Engaging your vision is the next step. This is done through a regiment of goal setting. Outlining intermediate steps you need to take to achieve your passion. Goals provide a structure for achieving your dreams and attaining a life of passion.
In goal setting, begin by prioritizing what is important to you and don’t get caught by the things which seem urgent but aren’t necessarily important. A great book to help you understand this concept more fully is First Things First by Stephen Covey. In it he suggests we should spend our time focused on the compass instead of the clock. In other words, where we need to spend our time is not on what is most urgent but on what is most important.
In all of this we need to create balance in all aspects of our life. From work to leisure, from family to friends—It is that balance which helps us stay in sync with ourselves and pursue our dreams. You need to understand; dreams change, desires change and your passion may change. And that is OK. As you grow and change, so may you dreams. Be flexible and embrace these changes.
You need to adopt an attitude to succeed. I am reminded of the young ball player who struck out every time he was up to bat. His coach started working with him to ‘see the ball all the way to the bat’. After a short time he was making contact, hitting foul balls, but still he was making contact. His attitude about hitting improved and eventually he was batting the ball into play. By the end of the season he was leading his teams in hits. A positive attitude and learning from the ‘foul balls’ helped him to succeed. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the foul balls
The actuality to achieving a life of passion is it takes work. Work is the vehicle which carries your dreams— your vision—your passion to reality.
When you are lucky enough to realize your passion you need to understand it is not the be-all or end-all, rather it is the body of our existence—it defines us and challenges us to define ourselves and live our lives in a new way. Not in a dream world, rather in a world created from our love for what we do and our desire to share it with others through our work. Living our PASSION!

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