What does diet have to do with pursuing your passion? Some may say nothing, others say everything. How you think, your self-image, and your motivation are all directly tied to what you put your body and how that makes you feel and the choices you make. Put in bad fuel, and you may feel depressed and unmotivated. On the contrary, good fuel, can brighten your spirits and give you the energy you need to push on towards that finish line. As we get closer to the New Year, it’s never late to set a new goal, reinvigorate your passion, and make healthier choices that will sustain you along your journey. The following seven steps make help you pursue your passion and can also be used to get you closer to your personal health goals. Remember that pursuing hobbies, work, experiences that fuel your passion, feeds your spirit and thus can have a positive effect on your overall health.
1. Discover It.
Some people come out of the womb knowing what they are meant to do. There are countless stories of young prodigies or people who say that even as a child they showed some inclination towards a particular passion. On the other hand, there are also people who discover their passion later in life, or have absolutely no clue what their passion is. Not knowing at all is definitely not the end of the world. If you don’t know what your passion is and you haven’t been led to it yet, you must simply cultivate the desire in yourself to find it. If you pose the question, the answer will come. Leave yourself open to trying new things, going new places, and trusting your gut instinct no matter how silly it seems. You’ll find it, eventually, and you may also have a lot of fun stories to tell in the end.
2. Nurture It.
So now you know what your passion is? You’re excited to wake up every morning and do that particular work or expression. Now it’s time to put in the work. As the saying goes, you reap what you sow. All of the greatest artists, innovators, entrepreneurs started with their raw talent and passion but they usually found training, or got life experience that allowed them to deepen their craft and cultivate discipline. Your passion is like plant. You have to make sure it has the right nutrients and nourishment to flourish. Every person is different so figure out what works for you, and get started RIGHT NOW.
3. Make a Commitment.
When things get difficult, it’s easy to throw in the towel. There are countless examples of innovators and personalities who found that passion, but then had to face years of rejection. Bestselling children’s author Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected by 27 publishers. Twenty seven rejections! In a recent video entertainment mogul Tyler Perry spoke of six years in his life when he was promoting shows and no one would come. The only way to continue following the passion even in those times when it feels like the passion for doing the work is gone, is making a commitment. You must decide now, that come what may, if the roads are smooth or rough, you will prevail. When you do this, you can surmount obstacles and rejection much easier because your eye is on the prize, the bigger vision.
4. Find Your Cheerleading Squad.
You are now super excited to be pursuing your passion and so you want to run and shout it from the mountaintop! You get there grinning, sweating profusely, panting, and full of all this positive energy and sometimes you find a really somber audience staring back at you. Some of these people may be your family or even close friends. Even worse, you may have someone flat out tell you that your passion is absolutely crazy and that you will never reach your goal. Your grin quickly melts to a frown, maybe even a grimace. Every successful person needs someone that they can call on, who will be their number one fan. We all have doubts, some days we feel brilliant and others rejection may make us feel less than. The key is choosing to get back up again.Having a cheerleading squad that is genuinely excited for our triumphs and helps us put into perspective our low moments is a key element in staying the course to living a passion filled life.
5. See the Vision. Have a Game Plan.
Having a passion is one thing, but sustaining the pursuit of it can be another. In order to have a destination, you need a vision of where you are going. Not just any vision, but a specific, juicy, mouth watering, heart thumping vision that really puts you on edge. You think about achieving that thing and your heart flutters a little bit. Once the vision is clear, then it’s time to make a plan. You’ve got to take some action. This action plan isn’t rigid at all. Depending on your type of personality “plans” may freak you out. That’s okay. I’m a firm believer that with the vision in place, you can be led and even draw the things you need to you, but you have to be open to them.
“Coincidences” surrounding your vision may happen, and you have to be there ready to notice and act on them. Perhaps that’s partly what the saying means: “luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” Prepare yourself by seeing the vision, cultivating your talent, and knowing the specifics of what you want.
6. Work Hard. Persevere. Be Flexible.
Most people who love what they do say it doesn’t feel like work at all. It doesn’t feel like work and because of that they may work all the time! Working hard when you are pursuing your passion should be like breathing. It’s not something you have to force yourself to do. You become engrossed and you want to do your best because it’s what you love. Then there may be moments that are trying where you may have to call your cheerleading squad or recommit to your purpose, but you must stay the course. You must persevere. Flexibility is key. Sometimes you are lead one way that isn’t at all the way you planned but leads you straight to your goal. Sometimes to start just getting close enough to observe the thing you want is enough. Don’t assume it’ll be hard, and don’t assume it’ll be incredibly easy either. Some paths are long highways, and others are short alleyways. Just have your vision, stay on your particular path, and enjoy the ride!
7. Celebrate the NOW. Propel Into the Future.
Accept that wherever you are right NOW is perfect. It’s exactly where you should be. It’s so easy to get sucked into the trap of comparing our journey to other people’s journeys, or holding ourselves up to cultural or societal standards that make us feel like we should be, should do, or should have done already. Focus on the NOW, where you are, and do the best you can. Live in this moment and love what you can do today, what are doing right now, and that energy will help propel you along your path. Every passion needs revisiting and sometimes reviving. The beauty of being alive is that each moment we have the gift of creative imagination, we have the ability to desire and pursue. If you’ve found it, don’t take your passion lightly. Treasure every single moment you get to be alive and do what you love, and you will truly LIVE.