5 Steps to Living with Passion

Living with purpose and passion inspires creativity, fuels energy and brings fulfillment. It’s not characterized by personality traits but rather by an inner quality that is easily observable, whether expressed by a penetrating, quiet intensity or zestful exuberance. In seeking to define a passion for living, words penned by James Michener are quite descriptive. “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion… He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.”

How does one resist the downward pull of mediocrity and get on the road to the successful pursuit of unrealized dreams? There are specific steps you can take to tap into the energy that fuels your dreams.

Most of us have experienced the frustration and boredom that ensue when trapped by circumstances seemingly beyond our control. Stress causes tunnel vision; it creates a negative cycle of discouragement. Furthermore, overwhelmed people tend to retreat and creativity comes to an absolute standstill, creating even more frustration and hopelessness. On the flip side of that are the exhilaration and creativity that infuse a person who has vision and is on a mission, doing what they love to do. You can begin this process by developing the gifts and talents that are uniquely yours.

How do you find the gifts that are buried underneath disappointment, failure and rejection? How do you really know what you’re designed to do?

Discover what your primary vocation is. If you’re not sure, take a personality and aptitude assessment or work with a success coach. Ask yourself the question, “If I inherited a fortune tomorrow and money was no longer a reason to work, what would I do with my time?”

Set a goal and resolve to demonstrate measurable progress toward that goal. Use peace as a compass in setting your direction. Activity goals should generate feelings of anticipation, not dread. BE CAREFUL who you share your aspirations with. Negativity is like a virus and it’s entirely too prevalent.

Get confirmation regarding your goals from at least one trusted person who knows you well. Lack of self-confidence can blind you to your own area of giftedness and rob you of creativity, but the right words from a trusted advisor are invaluable. Whether this person is a coach, mentor, friend or associate, be accountable regarding your progress. Having a sounding board can save you from costly missteps as well as be the whisper of encouragement to nudge you off the diving platform and into the water.

Begin. Course corrections are a normal part of any journey, but you have to be moving in order to know if you are going in the right direction. William Faulkner said, “The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

Persevere. This course is for the long-distance runner, not the sprinter. Philosopher William James wrote, “Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. Give your dreams all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.”

You can work eight hours a day in a job you don’t like and still be a happy person. Spending just one hour a day doing something that you love can flood your mind and spirit with positive expectation and make your days pleasurable. Your age and your past history have little bearing on your destiny when you fan the fire of your desire to become more than you are today. You can live the life you’ve hoped for. So what’s your dream?

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