I am a believer in maximizing life. I think we should be who we want to be and live the life we hope to live. I believe all of us have a responsibility to ourselves to find whatever strength, power, support, tools and ideas we can to be who we truly want to be.
Perhaps one of the greatest forces that we have inside to propel ourselves into living our most meaningful life is the energy we call passion. Passion is the accelerator to our car; it is the warmth that helps a cake rise; it is the feeling that drives us to grow, change and persevere.
A passion for life
When you think of the term “passion,” several different things may come to mind. For most people, romantic passion may be the first image that pops into their brains. While romantic passion is wonderful and important, for the purposes of this piece, I am talking about the activities, people and experiences that give us a rush of energy and excitement and drives us to greater success and happiness.
More than a feeling
While passion is a feeling that motivates us, it is something that does not always come easily or work under any circumstance. Of course, we have all either had or heard of experiences where a passion literally appears out of nowhere and fits perfectly into the constructs of a person’s life. Maybe you tried out a new activity and knew instantly that you would love doing this and you were able to make it happen.
Sadly, these types of experiences are rare and may only occur once in a lifetime. For most of us, it is challenging to find something that we love with so much passion and then be able to carve out enough time to spend focused on it. If you are able to find something you are passionate about, investing time into it typically relates to how easily you can work it into your daily schedule and other commitments.
Whether you have yet to discover your passions or you already have a long list of them, it is always great to find more. Here are my five tips to help you find what you are passionate about:
1. Brainstorm and research
If you’re not completely sure what you are passionate about, spend time exchanging ideas with people who are close to you and finding out more about the activities, people, places or things that interest you. Try them out, and if you love and enjoy them and they give you an adrenaline rush, then you’ve just found new passions.
2. Look into your past
Perhaps when you were a child, teenager or even a young adult, there was something that you were passionate about. Maybe there was something you loved to collect, a place you loved going, or an activity that you loved doing. Bring those old experiences back into your current life.
3. Spend time around people who are passionate
Passion is contagious. Being around happy, enthusiastic and driven people can ignite some extra passion inside of you.
4. Make a mood board
Print out pictures or cut them out of a magazine. Put them on a board to help stimulate your creativity and to remind you about things that you love. Once you have some ideas, go out and do them. (You can do this exercise on a big board, or even on Pinterest!)
5. Make a bucket list
If the word “passion” has you stuck, and there is nothing that you feel that strongly about, make a list of all of the things you want to do that you have never done. Get excited about planning to do those things so that you can cross them off of your list.
If there is already something you love doing, do more of it. Do you love baking? Spending time with great friends? Reading books? Going for a hike? Do more of those things. Taking the time and energy to focus on doing more of what you love allows you to live a more passionate life.
Stacy Kaiser is a successful Southern California-based licensed psychotherapist and author of How to Be a Grown Up. A top relationship expert and media personality, Stacy contributes frequently to Live Happy.