Fully owning what you are passionate about and yearn for, along with staying that course, is incredibly difficult for everyone I know. Even when we know what that gigantic looming passion is, we let smaller little passions get in the way of our accomplishing it. I can say this from having done this countless times in my life.
What I do differently now – and I am nowhere near perfect – is I set that big passion as the specific destination I am shooting for. Tragedies and bright shiny objects still grab my attention, but I put them in perspective with my big passion. Does getting off-task here create a way for me to get closer to my passion, or does it derail me and send me down an entirely different path? If it keeps me on the path and adds richness to the experience, then incorporating it on my way may be worthwhile. On the other hand, if it sends me on another path entirely, then perhaps I need to put that passion on the shelf for a while and return to it later. A big passion for me was living a life where I had the opportunity to see the world with my family. The picture above is me doing that – finding a man that I desired to spend my life with traveling and seeing the world along with living in interesting places and having my pets with us for the experience.
Keeping your passion as your compass can be incredibly difficult, no matter how disciplined and determined you may be. You will try to derail yourself in pursuing it. It’s scary getting the things you most yearn for! Do you really deserve them? How have you shown the Universe or Spirit or God or Goddess that you are good enough or have done enough to have them in your life? If you get them, then what? Is it all over? Do you have to start over, picking new ones and beginning yet another quest?
You will find that you have minor passions that conflict with your big passions. That is just the worst! It is in these moments that I have to slow myself down, take a big deep breath, possibly even meditate before making a move, and ask myself what do I want most, and is the smaller passion worth possibly losing my bigger passion. Honestly, I have yet to find one that is greater and more worthwhile than my big passion, yet those small ones put up a fight to be pursued!
Over and above this, you also have big desires in all realms of your life – relationships (friendships, family, and partners or lovers), work (short-term and long-term career objectives), health, lifestyle, spirituality. Digging in and identifying them to see how they overlap or fight each other can give you a much clearer perspective on how to steer the ship that is your life story. When we ignore them we become stagnant in life, just like a sailboat on the open sea with no wind. Those passions are your wind, and to succeed these winds need to be blowing in the same direction.
There is something exceptionally cool when you are fully clear about your passions and yearnings. All of the sudden you become much more focused and steady in life. When this occurs you start running into people that can get you closer to what you are wanting. Some will say there is no real change, just a change in your perception. Maybe this is true, but I do know that I start hearing these people and ideas when I would not have a week before.
I do not know an easy way to get your passions, other than to continue striving in that direction until you reach your destination, and fully enjoy your trip along the way. Sometimes you find out when you get there that this passion was not really what you wanted. This is completely okay. At this point you just adjust the sails in your life and shift the direction to the new passion and yearning that has risen up.
It is also okay to take a break between pursuits. Sometimes we need to recalibrate and fully feel into our body, mind, and heart before choosing the next right step. This is healthy and normal. We are actually not meant to be in production mode anywhere near the amount of time we spend in it.
Another thing: pursuing passions does not actually mean abandoning the rest of your life. You can pursue them in addition to your family, your friendships, your career, etc. We all still have to eat, have a soft place to sleep, and feel some level of safety. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that as when your basic needs are not met then your passions become silent until they are well held.
So where do you start?
- Identify the things that you cannot imagine not having or achieving in your life.
- Spend time mulling over them and getting to know them like the back of your hand.
- Sit with each one and identify your why. Really get in deep there.
- Which one pops up the most on your list and resonates the most with you? That is the passion that you yearn for the most – your big passion.
Write all of your passions and yearnings down, including the why for each one. Then prioritise and see where they link up and where they possibly clash. After this, look into the following questions:
- How is the life you have structured thus far fulfilling these passions and yearnings?
- What changes do you need to make, whether adding things on or dropping them?
Only you can answer these questions, and deep down you already know the answers.