8.75 ways to create more passion in your life.
Are you a voyeur? I would like to expand the definition from watching other people engaged in sexual activity to include watching other people watching other people living their lives. Reality TV has exploded so that there is virtually no subject you cannot watch other people engaged in. From Ice Road truckers to duck dynasty, from real wives of name your city to couples “courting “ with a chaperone, from the perils of gold mining to hunting antiques, from finding the right Bachelor to finding the right Bachelorette it never ends. How many home renovation and cooking shows are there? We could live the rest of our lives watching other people live their lives, and we wonder why 52% of marriages fail? We wonder why we feel like we are in a rut at work? We wonder why it is hard to meet new people? We wonder why in this world of instant communications when we can text, Facebook, tweet, Instagram and whatever else we are more lonely than we ever have been in history!
The answer is really simple, we have lost our individuality, we are no longer interesting to other people. Look at those people whom we hold in high regard, or high disdain, (remember love and hate are the opposite sides of the same coin). They are passionate about something that interests or intrigues us, they passionately stake out their position and execute a plan to reach their goals and we either go along with them or we revile them. The problem is we seldom do anything about the issue ourselves except on Election Day and even then we don’t care enough to vote. In 2016 50% voted in the presidential election in the USA. In Canada, 68% voted, which is hard to believe as we have one day of democracy and then the Prime Minister runs the country the way he/she wants.
So how do we change?
1. Take control of what you allow to influence you.
There is far more input from all the competing news sources than we can handle, most of which we cannot do anything about. Filter out that which relates to you and your ideals and do something about it. For example, I wanted to make our marriage better so I made a conscious effort to love my wife Pat every day. More love is not just sex, nor is it submitting to all the other person’s whims. I spent more time paying attention to what she really valued and found ways to support her. I cannot influence Donald Trump's never-ending tweets, but I can find ways to help Pat be more involved in the events that bring her pleasure. Take control of what you can do and do it today. Do it to the best of your ability and make a difference in someone else’s life. That is how passion starts.
2. Do it today.
We have a terrible habit of thinking that tomorrow will be a better day. Honestly isn’t there one thing you said yesterday, “tomorrow I am going to do ____ “and you have not started to do it yet. For days I have been wanting to write to someone about a speaking opportunity which would dramatically impact the audience she is responsible for. Every night I reminded myself to do it tomorrow. Finally today I sent the email. I have no idea whether she will say yes but I feel awesome because one more person knows about what I do. What have you put off today? Whatever it is, it cannot wait until tomorrow. Today is 24 hours you never get back. The energy you receive back from being passionate and moving forward is better than any drug you can take.
3. Do part of the task.
Frequently we compound our procrastination because of the size of the project, we suffer from analysis paralysis. People who achieve great success, even if it is just winning the lottery, have to start somewhere. You cannot win if you do not buy a ticket. Break the project down into small pieces and start today with the first step. Eventually, you will find the momentum gaining speed as you complete more and more of the tasks required to get your project over the finish line. As you complete more and more your passion increases and you are happier.
4. Feel uncomfortable.
How often do we stop when we start to feel anxious or afraid of an outcome? I have some good news for you, that is how you are supposed to feel. You can only grow when you do something new, something you have never done before. I have frequently, ask my wife and children, cursed this machine I am writing on for my inability to arrive at my goal. I was recently away on a trip and could not hook into an internet signal with my laptop. I recalled something about a hot spot on my smartphone and wondered if I could join the two together. Five minutes later I was working in a way I never have before and I will never be stopped again. I know it is small potatoes but the win for me gave me immense pleasure and passion about moving on with some other projects. When you learn something new, something out of your comfort zone, you never go back, you move forward. When you move forwards you create passion.
5. Learn to say no.
This may seem counter-intuitive to the other points I have been raising but give me a second. You will find more freedom when you say no to something than saying yes to everything. Typically we want people to like us so when asked to do something, we say yes. Here is a hard truth few understand. We are defined by what we say no to, not by what we say yes to. There are a finite number of minutes in the day, and after sleep and work not much time is left to work on your most important task, becoming a better you. Read the attached link on multitasking https://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/01/15/how-multitasking-hurts-your-brain-and-your-effectiveness-at-work/#4ad09b551013.
5.5) This concept is so important I am creating an extra half point. At the end of the day we are measured by what we accomplish. Have you ever said to yourself,” I could have done a better job!” How did you feel? The reason that happens is because we do not fully commit to what we say yes to. Have you ever done something to the best of your ability and the outcome has been awesome? How did you feel even if no one else cared? Those moments should be more frequent and they only can be if you limit yourself. Notice I did not say do not do something you do not know how to do, learning is vital, just don’t take on more than you can handle.
5.75) Here is an unintended side effect when you say no the correct way. “Thank you for the offer, I would like to help, but I am going to say no. I have one too many projects on my plate right now and I am sure you want me to do a great job for you and nothing less. Keep me in mind for the future.” You are not saying no to the person, you are saying no because you cannot fulfill their “ask” to the level of perfection you value their “ask” to be. You have just flattered them while you told them no. When your name comes up in conversation how will you be portrayed?
6. Avoid other people’s drama.
Everyone will have an opinion on what you are trying to accomplish. Helpful folks will give to facts others will give you emotions based on events going on in their lives. Earlier I said love and hate are two sides of the same coin. Indifference is the killer attitude. Indifference kills relationships, jobs, love, self-worth, hope, joy and passion. Treat drama with indifference, ignore the petty slings and arrows pointed at you or gossiped about others. Every golfer, professional and amateur will tell you the same thing, you have to stay in the now. This shot, not the last one and not the next one, is the only focal point. Life is like that. You have no control over anyone else’s drama so do not get involved. Stay pure with your thoughts and your life will be happier and more productive.
7. Use your brain chemistry to help you rather than hinder you.
Time after time science has proven that positive, optimistic, passionate people make better decisions, have less illness, and live longer. With more passion in everything, you choose to do. You know how you feel when someone who is very positive enters your day. You want to linger and enjoy it. How much time do you want to spend with the chronic complainers? Think less about managing your problems and more about managing your mindset. Those naturally occurring endorphins make you feel wonderful. There are no side effects, you do not have to buy them and you can help others find these feelings in their own lives.
8. Finally, give yourself a break.
Your self-talk is really important. I have been taking golf lessons this year because I am not where I want to be in my execution. My teaching professional says to me frequently,” you are way too hard on yourself. You have the mechanics figured out and you think your way around the course but you say nasty things to yourself when you make a poor shot. Just swing the club, do not worry about the outcome. The practice you do will take care of the details of how you swing. Just go out there and enjoy the game.” If you think about it life is that way. If you put in the time to learn how to live then living your life becomes more fun. Sure there will always be negative events which occur, perhaps even great tragedy, but the more positive you are with yourself the easier you will be able to bounce back. As Garth Brooks sang in the song The Dance, “And now I'm glad I didn't know, the way it all would end, the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, but I'd have to miss the dance.
Create the passion in your life. Be the person you want to be. Love the people in your close relationships unconditionally with no drama, no demands. Your future is up to you so why are you waiting? Start now, take one small step towards where you want to be knowing it is the journey, not the destination that is the reward. As always you are not alone. E-mail me with any questions and I will respond.