Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Finding and serving your passion-Day 5

As we move through life it can be easy to get caught up in the daily to-do list. I’ve noticed over the past ten years of my life while I was beginning my career, getting married and starting my family, I haven’t had much time to think about my passions and long range goals. If we are able to express that which we are passionate about it, it is often the best use of our energy and the best way to serve ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Having a family is a full time endeavor and much of my attention has been focused on that and on my full-time job. But I’d gotten away from the quiet reflection on myself, beliefs and goals that would allow me to direct my energy in a manner that serves my passions.

Now that I have a small child I find that it has become increasingly important to use my time in a way that serves my passions, rather than just passes the time. I’ve been working to name those passions and give them a voice—for me it’s writing, international social and environmental issues, baking, sewing and family. For you it may be a totally different list or maybe you’re not sure what’s on the list.

I find that having some quiet, alone time is a great way to begin exploring your passions.
·         Find a time that works for you—for me while I’m running is a great time for me to think and get lost in my thoughts—without much interruption. Meditation or sitting outside with a cup of tea may work best for you.
·         Take time to write down activities where you are thoroughly immersed. When an activity is so interesting or enjoyable that you are able to focus solely on that task, then you know that you’re onto something. Don’t judge your list—it’s okay if there are things on there that seem silly or small.
·         Write a bucket list of life goals and dreams—where do you want to be in 10 years? What do you want to accomplish in life? What do you want your days to look like? Shoot for the moon—this is your dream list, if you don’t give voice to your dreams, how can they come true?
·         Once you’ve begun to name your passions and goals begin thinking of small ways in which you can get on the path to achievement. Start small—maybe writing a personal blog or volunteering for local groups that speak to your heart. It doesn’t have to be big but a small shift can alter your path and bring new fulfillment.
·         It may take multiple tries to figure out what’s best for you. Listen to your instincts if it feels right, go with it! If you’re not interested, then move on!
·         Shape your time so that your passion and goals are included on your schedule. Instead of watching tv after the kids go to bed (my main time waster) spend some time using your energy in a way that benefits your life and your future. This probably won’t happen every day and that’s okay, but try and use time intentionally rather than passively.
·         Don’t feel pressured to get everything done now—there are seasons of life and there are times when you may only have enough energy to focus on your family and regular responsibilities. Try not to lose sight of the end results though and remember to regularly return to those lists of passions and goals so that you can reevaluate the path you’re on.

When we are living to our full potential and using our energy to express and fulfill our passions it is the ultimate gift of service. This service is the best expressions of ourselves and what we have to offer this world.  Don’t get hung up if your passions don’t match your expectations. You may head down an unexpected path but that may be the best route! What goals and dreams do you have?

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