Have you dreamed of doing something big with your life? Are you longing to find your passion — something that makes you come alive? We all want to live a passionate, purposeful life, but most people have no idea how to go about doing that. How do you know what your passion is or if you’ve chosen the right path? How do you recreate the life you have now to build the amazing life you want to have? There are so many considerations, decisions and potential roadblocks.
However, finding and living your life passion is one of the most important endeavors you will ever undertake. Once you are living your passion, the quality of your life will improve dramatically. When you are doing something you love — something you feel deeply engaged in — everything feels easier and more joyful.
There is a process to uncovering your passion and living your passion. It isn’t hard, but it does take commitment, patience, and tenacity. There are many practical considerations in addition to the research and experimentation required in figuring out exactly what is the best fit for you.
But don’t be disheartened, because it is so worth it. And once you make the decision to work toward your passion, you’ll find the daily actions you take to get there offer so much satisfaction on their own. When you know a great outcome is ahead, the work to reach that outcome doesn’t really feel like work.
Let’s look at some of the actions you can take to get the ball rolling.
1. Write a vision. Write down exactly what you want your life to look like at the end of this process, in every area of your life. Post the vision where you can see it every day. You can revise it along the way if you want.
2. Examine your current life. You’ve been focused on what you don’t like about your life, but examine your current life to see how much of it matches your vision. You want to maintain those things and remember that part of your vision is already happening.
3. Define your values. Make sure you’re clear on your core values for your life. Every decision you make about your passion and how you want your life to look should support or reflect those values. Here’s a list of 400 value words.
4. What are you tolerating? What in your current life are you just tolerating? What drains your energy or constantly bugs you? Start addressing these things one by one to make room for the new, good stuff coming your way.
5. Get rid clutter. Not only physical clutter but the clutter of too many distractions, activities and commitments that suck your time and energy.
6. Refine your relationships. Look at all of your close relationships, both personal and professional. Are there any that drain you, upset you, or cause you problems? How can you release these people or change your relationship with them to make room for important, new relationships?
7. Make an appointment. Set a daily or thrice weekly appointment with yourself to work on your life passion actions. If you don’t set aside the time for the work, you will never reach your goal. Make it non-negotiable.
8. Communicate. Talk with the people in your life who need to know what you are working toward. If your passion is threatening to a spouse or loved one, provide assurances that you are planning carefully. You will need their buy-in and support.
9. Save money. Begin putting money aside in a savings account. You may need this as you transition toward your new life — for education, to get a business started, or to sustain you financially as you transition.
10. Decide your income. Determine your lowest acceptable yearly income. To do this, you will need to know how you spend your money, where you can cut back, and how long you are willing to live at this income level.
11. Find other income streams. Start thinking about ways you can bring in extra cash in a pinch. Even if you transition from one full-time job to another, it’s always good to have a back-up plan.
12. Start reading. Read everything you can about your passion or passions. Look at how other people have translated that passion into a career. Make notes about anything that seems interesting or relevant to you.
13. Refine your search. As you begin reading and researching, you may find one or more career options that jump out at you. Deepen your research on those topics to find out exactly what kind of education is needed, who is already successful in this area, what kind of salary you could make, how long it would take to become proficient in this area.
14. Find a mentor. Find one or two people who are doing what you want to do and doing it well. Connect with them. Send an email to ask for their advice. Make a list of questions you want to ask.
15. Refine further. As you learn some of the specifics of making a profit from your passion, do more research on what needs to be done to take those actions. This may be an on-going process as you are learning or transitioning.
16. Take some assessments. Whether or not you are pursuing self-employment or working in a team environment, it’s useful to take a career personality test, an entrepreneurial aptitude test, and an emotional intelligence test. These will help you see where you might run into difficulties and what you are most well-suited for. You can find many of these free online. Here’s an entrepreneur assessment and an emotional intelligence assessment.
17. Take action. Taking the first real action toward your dream is scary. It might be signing up for a course, taking out a loan, volunteering, or buying an instrument. This is the first action that says to you, “I’m committed to changing my life.” You may not feel 100% sure that your first step is the right step, but you have to take it to find out. So set a date and take it.
18. Brainstorm and write. Think about all of the possible action steps you will need to take to get you from here to there (once you have done your research). Make one big long list, then go back and prioritize and order the list. Break down each action step into the smallest possible steps.
19. Set up a calendar. Start building your planning calendar by assigning the above action steps to specific days or weeks. Allow yourself time for setbacks, interruptions, or changes.
20. Keep communicating. Remember to keep those close to you involved and in the loop. You may meet some resistance. Think ahead about this possibility and how you will handle it. What is the bottom line for you? For them? Keep the lines of communication open.
21. Decide about your current job. Be sure to include as part of your action steps how you will move from your current job into your new one. Will you continue working at your old job as you start your new work? How and when will you discuss this with your employer? Be sure to leave on a good note and handle things professionally so you can maintain those ties.
22. Stay financially prepared. Depending on what you are doing, you may not bring in much money at the beginning of a new career. If you’ve done your planning, you are prepared with savings and/or extra income streams. Keep an emergency fund available and a list of contacts for extra work if necessary.
23. Juice up your motivation. It is natural when you move from something safe and secure to the unknown to feel fear and lose motivation at times. Stay on top of that by reading motivational books or listening to audiobooks. Continue to research and read about successful people in your field.
24. Expect setbacks. Count on setbacks happening several times during the process of putting your passion to work. The path isn’t linear. You will have bumps in the road. If you accept that from the get-go, it won’t be a surprise when it happens.
25. Take daily action. Thinking, planning, fretting, and pontificating only go so far. Only daily, focused action will move you forward. If you don’t know what to do, just do something.
26. Enjoy yourself! You are working toward something amazing — the life you are creating. This is your heart’s desire, and although you haven’t reached it yet, every action you take is carrying you closer. Relish each and every action, because the process can be just as exciting as the end result.
Remember, uncovering your passion and making it real in your life is a process. Continue to take daily action toward your dream, refining and shifting as you learn more about yourself and deal with the natural challenges that are inherent in any life change. Keep your vision of a passionate life in the forefront of your mind, and before you know it, you will wake up one day and realize your are living your dream.
What life passion do you dream about? What do you want to spend more time doing with your life? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Author Bio: Barrie Davenport is a life passion coach and founder of BarrieDavenport.com, a site devoted to helping people uncover and live their life passions. Download her free guide, The Passion Myths: 6 Lies Keeping You from Uncovering Your Life Passion.
Photo by: Elenapaint