“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” (Albert Einstein)
I love to travel, especially to Italy. I became passionate about Italy and everything Italian for several years. I studied the language for 5 years, read a multitude of books about the culture of Italians, researched every detail on the regions of Italy and even wrote a book on the regional foods and hiking in Italy. I lived there for 6 months and spent over a month there each year for 6 years running.
I am also passionate about coaching. I believe passionately that coaching has the potential to transform lives in a positive way. I studied Executive Coaching, launched myself into coaching practice and even teamed up with coaching experts to help teach others the skill and art of coaching. I desire to be a life long student of coaching, as that is what I feel it will take to strive to master it.
But let’s look at what’s consistent in both of these passions. My passions seem to point to learning, curiosity, being inquisitive, acquiring knowledge and teaching others. Is my true passion, then, all about learning, discovery and sharing? Why is it that I couldn’t simply travel and enjoy the sites and scenes and leave it at that? Why is it that I can’t just be satisfied with learning the basics of coaching? There is something deeper that this exploration and curiosity brings me as a person and to my life. Learning through exploration allows me to take risks, challenge myself, have a purpose, stretch myself. I bring a curiosity and an intent to learn in every opportunity, learning through reading even for relaxation!
I believe in the phrase “the more you know the more you realise you don’t know”. Knowing that I can never know enough is frustrating; causes me to feel inadequate at times, even anxious. But I keep doing it anyway. Being passionate about something entails an element of pain and perseverance.
We can all have passions or be passionate about something, but how do we live our passion?
Here are six ways we can live a passionate life, a life that serves our values, gives us purpose and meaning, and allows us to express our authentic self.
- Define your passion
This seems like an easy one but let’s consider it.
Look at the things that you feel passionate about; the things that you do by choice even though at times they cause pain or challenge. What do they entail? Try to break it down – are there common elements in many of your passions? A passion for cooking may actually be a passion for giving and sharing. A passion for running may be a passion for the outdoors or for physical challenge. A passion for knitting may be a passion for focusing the mind, relaxation time, or creating something.
- Know the why
So, once your passion is defined ask yourself – what does this passion do for me? When I’m doing these things, how does it make me feel? How does this passion define me? What am I with these passions? What am I without these passions? Who am I being when I feel passionate? How am I feeling about myself when I do the things I’m passionate about? What do others around me gain when I do the things I’m passionate about? The answers to these questions will build a picture of the purposefulness and meaningfulness of your passions in your life. Through such awareness, you will see the importance of protecting your passions, nurturing them and allowing them to grow.
- Do more of it
We often think of our passions as activities we do in our spare time, as fleeting as that time can often be. Some people are fortunate enough to build a life around their passions. Think Richard Branson, professional athletes, artists and performers. Although, many of these people seem to be living their passions, at some point they may ‘lose’ their passion as the activity takes on elements of work, a sense of obligation if you like. However, if we know the true ‘passion driving the passion’ as discovered in step one, it is possible to live your passion and maintain this passion for life. Making it a priority will serve you and those around you.
- Build it in
Finding ways to build your passion into your life can add enjoyment in everyday life. It may not be possible to work with your passion, but it is always possible to find ways to build the elements you are most passionate about, the things that drive your passion, into everyday life. A person with a passion for learning can tune into podcasts during their morning commute. A person who loves being outdoors can hold walking meetings with colleagues. A person passionate about health can fill the company fridge with vegetables for the week. A person passionate for having fun can bring lightness into meetings and add humour to the workplace.
- Draw from it
Through awareness of who you are and what you gain from your passion/s, allowing those positive aspects to infiltrate other areas of your life can be enriching. For example, my passion for learning makes me feel empowered, empathetic of others, curious and inquisitive. I can build that into many areas of my life. I can listen more to the stories and experiences of loved ones and learn from that. I can explore how things work, I can question how my business can go through exploration of opportunities. I can use the positive energy and feeling of vitality that running gives me and put that into my relationships with others.
- Re-shape and protect it
Sometimes life gets in the way of us performing our passions as we would like. My passion for learning has fueled my ‘fixation’ with Italy, yoga, food health, coaching, travel and running. Basically, the underlining purpose hasn’t changed but the action/activity has with the circumstances of life. You can re-shape the expression of your passion through exposure to new people and experiences. Tying the underlying values you hold to anything new or different that you do may bring life to a new passion.
Nurturing your passionate self will create a passionate mindset and ensure you live a passionate life, and therefore a more fulfilling one.
by Kristin McMaster. Director Health Coaches International, Masters in Nutrition, Executive Health Coach, Dip Fitness
Our Health and Leadership Coaching Course focuses on learning the core competencies of coaching & allows participants to build their own self awareness to grow. Find out more: https://healthcoachesinternational.com/courses/