HJ: I have been seeing articles floating around the net on major websites suggesting that it is naive or even a bad idea to build a life around your passions. All I can say is caveat emptor (buyer beware)… To elaborate a bit — your life was meant to be built around your passions. If you are not living your passion – your dharma – your life purpose, you will never feel totally fulfilled. There will be a nagging sense that there is something missing. Now, that can happen for other reasons as well, but often times those other reasons are in some way related to the fact that one is not fully engaged in their life’s work at whatever stage they may be at, as there are different levels of fulfillment available as we age and grow wiser and more accomplished.
My mentor recently told a me a story about one of the most transformative experiences in his life — while he was in training to be a chaplain for the dying in a hospital. After literally holding the hands of hundreds of people as they passed, he said that there were generally speaking two types of reactions people had. There was a small group who went peacefully and a much larger group who died with regret and anxiety. The ones who went peacefully, he said, had lived their life to the fullest and built it around their life work (read: passion). Those who went with difficulty, had eschewed their life’s work and passions for whatever reasons and ultimately it was as they lay dying that they realized they had not accomplished what they came here to do. He has since dedicated his life to working with people to discover and live their life purpose.
The 4 Things You Must Be Doing to Build a Life Around Your Passion
By Stephanie Zamora | Stephanie Zamora
If you’re like me, there’s probably something in your life that you’re deeply passionate about. You would love to build your life around this passion, your purpose, or your craft, but you “just can’t.”
After all, you have responsibilities. To your family, maybe even your children or your spouse. Maybe you have a responsibility to that bank that holds your car loan. You can’t just give your whole life two weeks’ notice and start living your dream tomorrow. Besides, what would people think?!
So you continue to work at that job that pays well, you socialize with the people in your life, you do the things that everyone else is doing. You figure that you’ll create a life around your passions, later. When the bills are paid and the timing is right.
But you’re not happy, because you want more. You want a life that’s centered around the things that light you up. A life surrounded by people that you connect with on a deep level. Where you’re doing things that nurture your soul. You want to be great and live anamazing life filled with joy, passion and fulfillment. And you also know that you shouldn’t have to wait for the time “to be right.”
So what’s a gal to do?
How to Build a Life Around Your Passion
Commit 100 Percent to Becoming the Person You’re Meant to Be
The most important thing that you can do is commit 100 percent to becoming the person that you’re meant to be, living the life you so deeply desire to live. This means more than just saying, “I want this.” It means that you will go after this dream of yours with every ounce of energy that you have!
It means structuring your life in a way that can only support your success. You may have to work at a job you don’t like in an unrelated industry, that’s okay. If you’re ready to commit to making your dream a reality, then find a job that allows you to be done at the end of the day. Don’t look for the competitive position with room for growth, look for something that pays and lets you leave when the day is over.
Committing 100 percent means you don’t waste time sitting on the couch watching hours of mindless television. It means you’re reading, practicing, applying, writing or doing something that moves you closer to your goal. It’s all about hustle, baby!
Yes, take breaks, care for yourself, but commit to making it happen by eliminating anything in your life that does not support your growth, or making the necessary changes (like with your job) so that it’s more supportive of your dream.
Give Yourself Proper Nourishment: Mind, Body and Soul
In this day, it’s so easy for our mind, body and soul to be completely depleted of any energy, inspiration or joy. Between stressing about the bills, relationship troubles or the never-ending stream of online information and entertainment, we’ve lost sight of what’s really important to our success.
Your dream may require that you spend hours online hustling, but your dream also requires that you spend hours nurturing your mind, body and soul. Without your physical and emotional well-being, you’re nothing. Literally. Nothing.
Making sure that you move your body, fill your tummy with healthy foods, and spend time meditating, writing in your journal, or doing any form of contemplative practice is essentialto your success. Without the energy, mental clarity and spiritual strength that these practices give you, you’ll only find yourself more stressed, more lost and more out of sorts than ever before.
It is a priority to care for yourself.
Write in your journal, take hot baths, drink tea and read a good book, daily. Meditate, practice yoga, walk, pray… do whatever it is that brings you peace and clarity, daily.
Train and Practice Constantly
I don’t think there’s a single great writer, speaker, athlete, artist or other professional that started out at the top of their game. First, it takes discovering what it is that they’re passionate about, then it takes learning how to do it, and most importantly, it takespractice! Constant practice is the key to mastering whatever it is that you want to master in your life.
If your dream is to be a world-renowned author, you had better be writing every day. Reading books, practicing your craft, trying new things and growing. You can’t find your voice, hone your skills and blow the minds of this world if you aren’t writing all the time.
If your dream is to create beautiful art and make a lot of money doing it, you had better be making art as often as possible. Capturing ideas, filling the inspiration well, trying new techniques, turning sketches into finished pieces… you have to be practicing your craft constantly.
If you want to be great, and live an amazing life doing what you love, you can not overlook the parts that require you to work hard at being the best that you can. People who are making a living doing what they love: They know how important it is to constantly learn, grow, try new things, fail, and try again.
Practice, practice, practice, but also train. Train with the masters, with your idols and with anyone who can teach you something that you need to know. There’s no sense in being prideful — yes, if you wanted to, I know that you could learn whatever it is you need to learn totally on your own. But someone else has already spent years learning what you need to know and can literally teach it to you in a matter of hours. Let them teach you. You’ll get there faster.
Surround Yourself With the Right Team
It is so, so, so important to surround yourself with the right people. If you’re trying to commit to your goals and your dream, but no one in your life cares enough to check in on you or support you, then it’s time to find a new support system.
Find people who are passionate like you are — it doesn’t have to be the same field, and it doesn’t mean these people don’t know how to have fun or talk about other things, the point is that they will support you. They will understand what you’re going through as you push hard, learn, grow and hit unavoidable bumps in the road.
They will cheer you on and keep you motivated when you’ve lost steam. They will remind you to take those necessary breaks, to nurture your soul and to remember the end goal when you feel like giving up.
No matter how strong or independent you may be, you need this support system for when things get hard, because things getting hard is unavoidable. You will hit bumps in the road, obstacles, setbacks and emotional breakdowns. You don’t want to be surrounded by people that don’t support your dreams when this happens. You want people who know how much it means to you so that they can remind you of this when you’ve forgotten in the midst of stress.
Take Action Now
Do you have a dream or passion in your life? Have you committed to it 100 percent? Leave a comment below sharing your passion along with three things you’re going to implement or change in your life to show your commitment to making it happen.