You must have a passion separate from the work you do for money and separate from your family. When I look around at all the happiest people I know, they have this in common.
I am not talking about finding YOUR passion, I am talking about finding A passion. I am not talking about LIFE passion or CAREER passion or LIFE PURPOSE. This is an important distinction. I don’t want all that pressure. This is meant to be an escape. It lines up with self-care.
Try something else.
Go back to something old.
A Single Dance Class is Like a Week in Hawaii
One of my greatest passions is dancing. I have always been involved in performing arts and was a musician for many years before I started dancing. I always wanted to dance but didn’t have the opportunity until college. I took a little bit of ballet and a few tap classes as a child, but nothing significant. It was quite a while ago now, but college age is old to start dancing. I had a wonderful teacher who provided an endless amount of training and encouragement. I count her as one of the two most influential people in my life outside my family. I have the privilege of still studying with her today.
I can take a 90-minute dance class and come away feeling like I have just spent a week in Hawaii. Can you imagine? Can you imagine having something like that in your life? There are no ties to work or finances or responsibilities. I don’t go there because I should. I go there because I want to. I go there because it feeds me. I go there to be immersed in a completely different world.
You must have a passion separate from the work you do for money and separate from your family. It does not have to be as dramatic as mine. Come on, let’s find it.
You Can’t Find a Passion by Thinking About It
I’m a very cerebral person. I live a lot in my head. Which is another reason why dance is so good for me. Passion is not cerebral, it’s experiential. You can’t think your way to passion, you need to take action. Turn off any thoughts that may say, “You’re too old, it’s too hard, or you’re not good enough.” Just do it.
Look at your books, magazines, DVDs and credit card statement. Notice any themes? What topics always make you pause when you’re scrolling through Facebook? What do you love to talk about or teach others about? What did you love doing as a child? What did you always want to do but never had the chance?
The Online World Gives Us Unprecedented Access
Did you always want to learn more about astronomy or archaeology? The Internet gives us an endless supply of free information. There are classes in anything and everything you could possibly imagine from painting to calculus. The barrier to entry is low. Grab something and try it. Take a class online or use the Internet to find a local class or group to join.
Tackle New Physical Challenges Throughout Your Life
I took up water-skiing when I left the corporate world. It had been several years since I had taken on a new physical challenge. Think about your kids. Kids conquer a steady stream of new physical challenges right from the day they are born. It tapers off significantly as they exit their teens and dies completely for most adults.
My sister never really liked the water. She learned to swim but never loved it like many kids. Her daughter became a serious swimmer young, so my sister was spending a lot of time sitting by the pool. She eventually decided she’d rather get in pool than sit on the pool deck. She went on to become a very competitive master swimmer.
Think about things that you have always wanted to do and go do them. I’m not talking about climbing Everest, I’m talking about things like ballroom dancing or kayaking. Things that are easily accessible. What did you love as a child? Retro sports like dodge ball have made a big comeback for adults.
Face a Little Fear, Maybe
It’s also good to face some healthy fear. Expand your comfort zone and flex your courage. Be brave. Try a zip line, swim in the ocean, ride a big roller coaster. You don’t have to face fear of bodily harm. My friend Mark decided to try an improv theater workshop. For a guy who had no performing arts experience, this was really putting himself out there. He ended up loving it and now performs regularly with an improv group.
Finding Your Passion Should be Fun
Remember what I said earlier? This is not another chore or responsibility. Wallow in the process and enjoy it. Be open to new things and remember there is no wrong answer.
Try something else.
Go back to something old.
This article, Five Steps to Finding Your Passion, has some great ideas about moving through the process.
It Only Counts if You Practice Your Passion
It’s not enough to find a passion, you have to do it! You can’t just identify it, you must make time for it. When my daughter was tiny, I only allowed myself one dance class a week. I left the corporate world for freedom and flexibility, why was I limiting myself? I don’t know! I want to make sure you don’t make that same mistake. Practicing your passion will spill over into the rest of your life. You will feel happier and more enthusiastic about everything you do.
We Can’t Wait to Hear What You Discover!
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