Applying Passion To Every Day Life
January 21, 2012, 12:17 am
Filed under: Passion, Personal Development | Tags: , , , , , ,

Whilst following Leo Babuata’s steps to finding my passion, i’ve realised something fundamental, that finding a passion is like looking for a book in a library.  Finding it is not what is important, using it is.  I’ve also realised that I don’t need to find my most complete passion in order to start applying passion to my everyday life and making myself and my family happier in the process.

So today I’ve been looking at how to apply passion to everyday life.  Many people say that if you do even a boring job with enthusiasm and to the best of your ability, you find yourself enjoying rather than enduring it.  It’s true, after the novelty of working in the frozen department at a big supermarket had worn off, the shifts that I enjoyed the most were my most productive, and it was my being productive that made me enjoy the shift, not my enjoyment causing the productivity.  By doing the best that I could, stacking the shelves neatly and meeting my targets as to how many boxes of things I was meant to put out on the shelves, made me feel discipline and proud of myself.  The saying goes, if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well, and I truly believe this.  Half doing a job just creates a sense of dissatisfaction and an underlying sense of a lack of self-worth.

So how to apply the principles of passion to everyday life.  Rather than seeing ‘passion’ as something extraordinary, see it as everything that you like, everything that you are interested in.  Are you interested in parenting, if you have children then probably you are, it’s difficult to avoid.  So make a little bit of time every day for your family, and when you are with them, spend the time focussing on them, not on the pile of washing in the corner or the television that’s on in the background (turn it off).  Take a moment to enjoy being with them, to see their smiles or hear their voices/giggles, whatever the things are that make you truly appreciate them.  Or are you interested in writing?  Then for just 15 minutes each day, allow yourself to write with no distractions, shut the door, turn off the radio and unplug your telephone.  For those  15 minutes immerse yourself in your writing.  If you are passionate about something, you wouldn’t allow other things to creep into the time that you have doing whatever it id you are passionate about.  A good example for sports enthusiasts would be if you are watching your team, would you be as capable of enjoying it if you were also trying to have a conversation on the telephone and cook dinner? No.

Each thing that you do with your day, whether it be spending time with a loved one or doing the ironing, stop multi-tasking.  Do whatever it is that you are trying to do, as if you were passionate about it.  I think that you will be amazed at not only how much more enjoyable it can be, but also how productive you are – leaving you even more time to discover various passions that you have.


A little disappointed

Four days ago I took it upon myself to start three little challenges, and so far so good.  I’ve drunk my water, done my little bit of fitness and read my son at least one story each day.  I know it has only been four days, and I don’t entirely know what I had expected, but I feel a little bit of disappointment.  I had honestly hoped for a sense of achievement, or some magic makeover, I realise now that was simply ridiculous.

I think that this is a common problem in today’s society.  We live in anticipation of what will be, rather than focussing on the moment.  We often read only what we want to read, listen to only what we want to hear and miss out the other vital quantifying parts.  None of the bloggers that suggested starting with small changes to develop new habits said that you would get the same sense of achievement as when you achieve a much bigger goal, just that you are more likely to succeed.  And that this success could be built upon to develop into the bigger goals you may choose to set yourself.

In order not to get carried away with much of the hype that sweeps us through today and tomorrow and all of next week, one thing that I am trying to do is to make at least some moments in my day truly conscious.  Like today I was walking through some woods, it was muddy and frosty underfoot so each footstep felt different, sometimes squidgy, sometimes crunchy.  I could hear birdsong, water running somewhere, crackling and rustling of leaves and sometimes a distant train.  Then there were smaller things, the sound and feel of my hands brushing past my leg, the sound of my own breathing.  I was carrying my son on my back so there was his wriggles and warmth and little sounds now and again.  I used to spend a lot of time worrying about the future and that I didn’t know what I wanted from it, and worrying about how I hadn’t done enough with my past and yet this meant that I wasn’t able to enjoy the present moment and largely I went through my day without even realising what I was doing, falling into routines and habits that then become difficult to change.

So as i’m searching for my passion, and have the goal of trying to make a living for myself and my family from doing something that I really love, I also want to make sure that I enjoy today.  From my personal experience these are my tips to help:

  • Go outside, stop, look around you and breath deeply
  • Put post-it notes up in places that are likely to have habits you would like to change (such as on fridge, computer screen, television) that say things such as ‘are you sure you want to do this?’ and ‘is there something I’d rather be doing’.
  • Take your shoes and socks off and feel the carpet/ground beneath your feet
  • Have a sip of a cold drink and feel it inside you

All these things can help remind me that I am alive now and that the now really matters.  The questions allow me to change my mind about things that I would really rather not do as often as I do, and yet I seem to just fall into the pattern of doing them day in day out.

Good luck!