The “P” Word
Passion: It’s a word we hear often. It’s in movie titles, book titles, church names, and paint colors. It evokes emotion and memories; camaraderie and battle. It might even turn into a new family member if the lighting is right (wink, wink).
But how often does it turn into a business plan or the means it requires to take the first step to reaching a goal?
I mean, what is passion anyway? An elongated spurt of motivation? A feeling? A knowing? A belief?
I would say it’s a burn. It’s your why. It’s whatever excites you about the idea of opening your eyes in the morning. And it’s certainly worth pursuing.
Before the throes of adulthood strike and we learn about societal expectations and what’s okay for some people and not so okay for others, we as people, are mostly mentally blank slates. The world around us is fresh, exciting, and unlimited.
Then, it happens (gasp!).
And like a thief in the night, it quietly robs us of focus, sense of purpose, energy, and plain ole leisure.
Before we know it, we’re years down the road of life feeling unfulfilled, unaware, stuck, and empty. And then we die. Albeit, responsible! But dead. And that’s the story for so many of us.
So the question becomes “How do I take care of my responsibilities and do what I love?”
Insert: The Art of Pursuing Passion
I’m going to be honest. As far as I can tell, there isn’t some magical formula that will help you achieve this mighty human feat. It’s called an “art” for a reason. Art is subjective to the artist meaning your path may look a lot different than someone else’s.
There are so many life factors that contribute to this that no one’s journey is going to look exactly the same, but I believe there are some overarching principles that can help light your path.
1. Love yourself enough to know that you deserve to do it.
The very very beginning is believing that you can actually do it and believing that it’s okay for you to do it. I cannot stress this point enough. This is the start. Without it, nothing else works. Why? Because everyone won’t believe in you. Everybody won’t want to see you do it. Most people will misunderstand. And all you’ll be left with is what you believe about yourself and your own capabilities. Make no mistake, this is a less traveled road for a reason.
Allow yourself the opportunity to dream. And dream big, and wildly, and weirdly. Take the limits off of your own mind. Be honest about where you are in your self-love and belief in yourself. Be honest about your capabilities. There is room for celebration and growth. When you get to a confident resolve, then you are ready to begin.
2. But don’t love yourself so much that you feel entitled.
Confidence without humility is pride. Pride kills. No seriously. It kills people, relationships, careers, plans…you see where this is going. Understand that this isn’t going to be easy and anyone who told you that or sold you some expensive program to convince you otherwise is a liar.
The truth is, we all come into the world with different levels of privilege - some of which can be used to our advantage. But at the end of the day, no one owes us anything. And even if they do, it’s very rare that people actually pay what they owe. So don’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder because someone else got the opportunity and you didn’t. It’s not going to do you any good and the extra weight will only slow down your progress.
Plan to work hard. Plan to earn it. And never forget to say “thank you” despite how big or small the opportunity.
3. Just do it.
Literally just start. Here’s the thing: you’ll never actually be doing it if you never start. So what if you don’t have all of the resources right now? So what if you need more education [pro tip: the internet is free!]? Just start. Use what you have. Use what you have to grow what you have until it becomes bigger and more sustainable. Then, repeat. Before you know it, you’ll be doing it. Really doing it. The way you imagined it all those many sweat, blood, and tears ago. Yay!
It’s what I’m doing. Nothing fancy, but when put into practice everyday, makes a major difference over time. So here’s to you, your passion, and staying motivated along the way!
Ms. Melody Monroe