Listening in on your passions
When I left the traditional workforce, I realized that I had only touched on my passions.
Traditional employment was boring and barred by norms and regulations that, I felt, were all designed to keep people in line.
Once I left, I realized that the rules that most people govern their lives by (at least in relation to work is concerned) were at best malleable and at worst not real.
After leaving those confines, I was free to pursue my passions - and not just one of them, but all of them.
Because you’re reading this, you probably realized very quickly that writing was one of those passions.
I had a great deal to say, but my previous work left little time to be creative or work with the written word.
But now, I had a voice, and this is what I found about pursuing my other passions with writing as my guiding light…
In college, I found it odd that the adults around you were very preoccupied with trying to put you in a box.
- What do you want to major in?
- What do you want to do with your life?
- Here’s a checklist of things that may interest you.
- You should be a (fill in the blank).
The goal was the same - put everyone in a box and train them like a factory.
It really didn’t matter the field of study you were in.
- Go to class
- Complete assignments
- Write paper
- Shadow and intern with professionals
- Learn the background material
- Be able to recite what we tell you is important
Now, I’m not saying that model doesn’t work. For many, it does.
But what I pulled out of that was, I CAN’T and WON’T be able to pursue my passions in life through work.
And that was flat out bull shit.
What’s impossible in the college setting is training every individual based on their skills, passions, desires and interests - especially when they are teenagers.
There are just too many variables.
The assembly line process works for most - especially if you only want to be an employee.
But when you step away in the evening and listen to what it is you’re passionate about, do you feel a sense of fulfillment or one of lacking?
Listening to yourself and finding fulfillment is one of the most challenging, but rewarding exercises you can do.
It’s often too loud to hear what you have to say to yourself, but let’s be honest, you always know.
Have you ever felt absolutely drained after a day of work and have no energy left for anything else?
And NO, I’m not talking about something where you’re physically exhausted, I mean mentally and emotionally drained where you come home hating everything about life.
How about this…
Have you spent a number of Sunday evenings dreading Monday morning?
If you have, I want you to make 2 short simple lists:
Write down 5 to 10 things you would love to do regularly if you had the time.
I’m not talking about sleeping and wasting your days away. What activities do you enjoy? What do you want to spend your time doing and experiencing?
I often hear things like travel the world, exercise more regularly, spend time with friends and family, take more pictures, take more walks. These are the types of things that you should be listing down.
Active, fun things you actually like doing.
What would you eliminate forever from your life if you could? List 5-10 things
Maybe these are remedial tasks at work, Monday morning meetings, business trips, eating your vegetables, dealing with negative people. The list can be whatever you want to get rid of that just are dreadful to even think about having to do.
Ok, so you have 2 pretty powerful lists. What to do with them?
If you take 15 minutes online, you can find someone out there doing exactly what you love, avoiding what you hate, and making a living at it.
Now, I’m not saying you’re going to become a millionaire by scuba diving around the world and never answering a single email ever again.
That’s pretty extreme - but not totally impossible.
But how could you implement those two lists into your life?
How can you get more of list 1 into your life and more of list 2 out of your life?
Inactivity is really the enemy here.
When you know what you want and what you don’t, but you do nothing about it. That’s when you have given up.
But when you listen to your passions, you can find a way to make those passions the center of your life, the reason for getting up in the morning.
It may take time to move into that lifestyle, but moving towards your passions will be infinitely better than staying where you are.
This is the focus of writing sales copy - giving people a choice - to move towards their better life, or remaining in one they hate.
My passion for helping people was realized with my passion for writing. This is where I found happiness and success.
Oh, and the thing I hated? Having a boss.
Before Moving On
Take 30 minutes from your day and make the 2 lists.
See what it is you enjoy the most.
See what it is you hate.
Then take action!
Fire that client, ask for that raise or that time off.
If you can’t listen to your passions and pursue your own happiness, you’ll never get to the point where you can fully help someone else - because YOU won’t have known the experience yourself.
Listen to your passions, embrace them, life them - daily.