A while back, I did a series of posts on finding and living your life passion. (If you haven't read them, check them out: parts one, two, three, and four.) In the series, I talk about ways to discover what you are passionate about, and also how to begin living those passions once you discover them.
Passion for something is a wonderful thing. It makes us feel alive; it gives us a sense of purpose and drive. But if we're not careful, passion can smolder and eventually die. Sometimes this will be a natural thing, as our dreams and passions definitely change as time passes. But sometimes the loss of passion happens because we lose focus or because we are no longer taking action.
I've found this to be the case for me lately. I haven't taken enough action toward my dreams. I really haven't engaged in enough action, period. As a result, my life feels smothered, lifeless, and I feel myself losing all sense of passion for the things I once loved. I don't want that to happen, so it's time to make a change.
As I read back over my series on finding life passion, I saw a common theme: passion requires action. Just as our physical bodies require action (i.e. exercise) to prevent atrophy and the breakdown of the body, our minds and hearts do too. Even if you were living your life deliberately and with passion a few months ago, if you do not take the necessary actions right now, you won't feel the benefits now. I'm at just such a place, so I need this reminder.
What is holding me back from living my life the way I know I want to? Here are some of the biggest ones:
- Fear. Passion and purpose can be scary, because you might fail. You might not get what you want, so it can be easy to rationalize that you don't really want to go for it. Or that you will take action later. It's true, your dreams will always be around, but if you don't take action NOW, you may be missing out on some amazing opportunities.
- Complacency. Do you know why we get stuck in ruts? Because they're comfortable. They're easy. You don't have to extend yourself or make a lot of effort. Sometimes you need a little break where you are comfortable. But if you stay comfortable in life, you aren't moving anywhere or growing your soul.
- Distractions. I say distractions, but what I mean is distraction, because my main distraction is the Internet, and I freely admit that. I'm not proud of it, but I'm coming clean and saying that the Internet is my biggest time waster and I want it to stop!
So what do we do? How do we start taking action toward our goals and dreams? How do we push past fear, complacency and all the distractions out there? I'm not certain we can ever fully beat these monsters, but if we don't fight them by taking action, they take over and we lose. Is that dramatic? Maybe. But if we don't take action now, before we know it life will be over. All we have is today. So...here's what I pledge to do, starting today.
- I pledge to act on my feelings. Sometimes I think to myself, "I should call so-and-so" or "I should start playing guitar again." Well, needless to say, I don't often actually DO the things I think about. When I get a prompting, I will act on it.
- I pledge to actively live my life, every day. By this I mean that I will enjoy the moments I have right now. I will seek out new experiences, do instead of think, and actively BE the person I know I am meant to be.
- I pledge to cut distractions from my life. This is a hard one. I use the Internet for work, for communication, for entertainment. But it also wastes my precious time. I'm going to find ways to get it out of my life as much as I can. I'll detail this in a future post. Instead of allowing my mind and heart to be distracted, I want to be active, to live, to be.
Do you have things holding you back from your passions? Tell us in the comments what is holding you back and what you pledge to do in order to live your best life!