A friend was asking me the other day: how can I find my passion in life?
He was explaining that he had a good job, a girlfriend that he really was in love with and all seemed ok in his life, but he just felt something was lacking, like a sort of a spark. He was really thinking of making major decisions, like moving to another country or quitting his job to move on from this point of lack of passion, but he just couldn’t find what to do instead.
He is not the only one to recently have brought to me this kind of uncertainty, several of my friends and clients have. For a long time I was at the same point – sort of a bit lost, not knowing what to do, where to move, what step to take to feel more fulfilled, to feel less anxious, or to have the feeling I had found my place.
What I did at the time where I was a journalist traveling around the world broadcasting news was to increase the moments where I was doing that little thing I felt more passionate about.
In my case it was practicing and teaching meditation. I started to dedicate to that so much that at one point every step unfolded with a sense of it. Every little decision took me to the next one. Passion was the thread. I moved from Paris to Los Angeles driven by this passion. I got married and pregnant and wrote Blooming Together, a Pregnancy Meditation Program…all for love and passion. I got instructed in Pranayama Yoga Meditation, also because of that vital flame pushing me towards what I loved to do. It wasn’t always easy, but I followed my passion.
You may ask, but what is passion? What does it look like? How can you recognise it?
It’s more simple that it seems.
You know that thing that makes you loose track of time when you are doing it? You almost don’t eat or sleep, and feel totally excited when thinking about doing it? That activity that brings you totally into the present moment? Well that’s it. As simple as that.
A way of finding it that I use is to complete this phrase: Wouldn’t it be fantastic if…” “I started painting again”, “I went to swim at the lake”, “I started to work making crystal wind patterns again” – You complete the blank. Usually that crazy thing you see as just nonsense can be what awakens your passion.
There are 5 references that I have used to navigate passion so you can smoothly get into it and turn your life on.
- You can’t think your way to finding your passion, you have to engage with your whole body. Get into it, practice, create, write, sing, compose, dance, whatever you love to do you have to do it, not just think of doing it. You will easily find what I call the P point…the passion point. You will know, this is it. And ATTENTION, when you are looking for it through experience don’t intend to find it, just enjoy the moment in whatever you are doing…When your mind is in hunter mode it usually misses its prey ; )
- Once you find that little thing that makes you thrive, acknowledge it, cherish it, nourish it with your time and energy. Even if it’s crazy, small, not at all what you studied or were supposed to do, not at all what people see you doing, not what your parents raised you for, not what your friends are use to getting from you, be brave and trust your guts. GO FOR IT! It will save you a lot of time. Because remember – this life is short and every minute counts.
- Acknowledge it but bring it in gently. You don’t have to rush, give it space in your life little by little. No need to quit your job, or to totally change your life if you don’t feel ready. Just nourish it daily like a little plant. Invest time and energy in it every day. Contact people that have done this for a while; share, talk, enjoy it, the rest will unfold of its own accord.
- Whatever your job is (that doesn’t tickle your belly when you do it), if you can’t leave it immediately train yourself to do it with joy and care. Practice being present, being grateful for what you have, being at peace with it. This will help you open and gain the precious energy to build momentum. Complaining and being mad about any area of your life, thinking that your future holds all the solutions for happiness is a trick of the mind. Why? Because each time the future becomes your present you will be complaining again. Whatever you keep practicing as an attitude tends to become one of your habits, so practice gratitude and find the good in your present, so you can travel smoothly into your future. (that will become your present again and again).
- Find little things that make you happy – it doesn’t have to be a huge activity. Maybe you dpn’t requiring a big change but just a little adjustment to your life with this passion thing. I’m very careful with my clients in advising changing it all… Many times we just need to find what is it that hooks our creativity, our imagination, our passion, in little everyday activities, in very small actions and that’s more than enough to be happier and feel more fulfilled.
In that sense I want to share a video I did 3 years ago. It’s unedited. While we were on a Caracas’ beach with my family, I found this boy with his kite. He spent at least 4 hours in a row trying to fly it. So passionate, so determined. He inspired me to film him just for the pleasure of it, as a holiday video. The crazy thing was that at the same moment in Berlin my friend Dave witnessed a spontaneous concert in the Berlin subway. When he showed it to me I felt the connection between the two scenes.