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7 ways to travel the road to your passion

"Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion."

Georg Hegel

 

Passion is a personal thing, a journey you're on that consists of you and what you really, truly love. Passion is what makes you smile, what makes you jump for joy, what consumes your thoughts and finds it's way into your conversations without you even realizing it. It's something that means something to you, something that you cannot live without. You can be passionate about things, actions, people. You can be passionate about feelings and abstract concepts. You can be passionate about just about anything. Some people, as you've probably noticed, are more passionate than others. Some people put their whole hearts and souls into the things they care about and give 110% to things that matter to them. It's those people that I want to be like. It's those people that inspire me to pursue my passions and do what makes me truly happy.

What are you passionate about? That's the question I asked myself when I began writing this post. After all, I couldn't very well write about being passionate without first thinking about what I'm passionate about. Honestly, I'm passionate about a lot of things. I'm passionate about the people who mean a lot to me. I'm passionate about certain issues, such as gender equality and animal rights. I'm passionate about things that fascinate and intrigue me, like books and films and art. But one of the things that stands out most in my mind when I hear the word passion is writing. I love to write. I do it as often as I can and, man, do I enjoy it. At home, my shelves are stacked high with journals and spiral-bound notebooks. My computer is bursting with stories and poems and little snippets of ideas. 

Since I've started this blog, I've spent a significant amount of time writing online -- something I've discovered that I love to do. I used to love to write in my journal, to vent all of my feelings onto those blank white pages, but I've come to realize that I'm just as passionate about sharing my writing as I am about actually writing it. I used to be terrified to share anything I'd written, but the older I get, the more I want to share my words with whoever is willing to read them. It's a passion that both excites and terrifies me because I've never been much of an open person. I used to keep my childhood journals under lock and key, hiding them from my family and sometimes even sleeping with them underneath my pillow. I still have passwords of all kinds on my computer, annoying friends and family who will occasionally try to use the computer only to discover it's been locked. I'm still scared, in many ways, about putting myself fully out there, but day by day I'm getting better at letting go and really exploring my passion for writing in a more public way.

Passions aren't always easy. We may feel strongly about something, love it with all of our might, but that doesn't mean it's going to come easily to us. Some of the very best things in life take a lot of hard work and dedication. Some of the very best things in life requiring being brave and pushing ourselves beyond boundaries. For me, my passion is writing. It's the one thing I've always loved and the one thing I probably will always continue to do throughout my life. As much as I love it, it's not always easy to do and it's definitely not always easy to share it with others. Today I'm going to spend a little time talking about how I work to cultivate my passion -- and how you can too. No matter what you love to do, if you want to do it to the best of your ability you have to work on it. You have to push yourself and explore new things and challenge yourself. Here are my suggestions for how you can make the most of your life's passion:


How To Cultivate Your Passion

  1. Narrow your vision. If you're anything like me, you can get excited about something and want to take every little bit of it in. When I think about writing, for example, I get very excited. I want to write a book, want to write poems, want to write blogs and articles and journal entries. I want to do it all. It's a great feeling to be that into something and to really want to dive in, but one of the best pieces of advice I can offer regarding cultivating your passion is this: narrow your focus. It can be so tempting to try to do everything and anything associated with what you love, but if you do that you'll find yourself overwhelmed and probably not doing much of anything. Start small. Figure out what you're most interested in and zero in on that. In the future, you can always expand your vision, but start off narrow for the best results. Focus is so important and it can really slip away from you when you get excited about something. If you feel completely overwhelmed and don't know where to start, make a list of the things you love about your passion and rank the items. You'll quickly discover what matters most to you and you can then take that information and focus on it.

  2. Integrate it into your life.Passionate about something? Don't leave it in a corner of your house or apartment and hide it from the world. I used to say I was a writer because I was sitting at home in my apartment typing away on my computer. Yes, I was a writer, but I was a writer in hiding. I wanted to live this totally different life -- a positive life -- and yet I would sit alone and write most of the time. I still do this today, but I also work hard to share what I write with the world. I'm blogging three days a week. I'm writing guest posts for others' sites. I'm online on social media sites trying to get the word out about what I'm writing about. I'm telling friends and family about my blogs. It can be hard work (and, in my case, pretty intimidating) to share what you're passionate about with others, but the more you share and put yourself out there, the more opportunities you'll have to make your passion a big part of your life.

  3. Work as hard as you can. Just as nothing great was ever accomplished without passion, nothing great was ever accomplished without hard work. If you love something, you have to work at it. You have to do it as often as you can and in as many different ways as you can (without broadening your focus too much). As much as hard work can be daunting sometimes, if you really feel passionate about something, all of the work you put into it will be worth it. For example, it takes a lot of time for me to write my blog posts and respond to comments and emails, etc. A lot of time. This sometimes takes away from other things I could be doing, like hanging out with friends or just laying around with a great book. Sometimes it's hard to put in the work, even when I love doing it. But you know what? At the end of the day, it really is worth it. When I get an email in my in-box from someone telling me that I've changed his or her life, I cannot help but be filled with happiness and pride. Nothing can compare with that feeling and it makes every hour of hard work worth it.

  4. Make it tons of fun. Sometimes when people are passionate about something, they become so focused on it that they lose sight of the fun of it all. It can be easy to forget that something is actually a lot of fun if you find yourself so engrossed in it that you can think of little else. Take a step back from your passion and figure out how you can make it fun. If you become too focused, you may forget what it was that really inspired you in the first place. You love your passion for a reason and whatever it is that you feel passionate about, there has to be a way to make it fun. You have to be a little creative in some cases, but there is always a way to make something you love to do even more enjoyable. One idea would be to figure out a way to include others in your passion. Whatever you love, there are probably others out there that love it too. Find them and start a group or club. Or, even if you don't have people around you who love what you love, find a way to share it with them in a way that they can enjoy.

  5. Be innovative and creative. As you're spending time on what you feel passionate about, remember two things: innovation and creation. You already have the drive and desire to talk about, think about, and work on your passion. Now you need to take it to the next level. You need to be creative and innovative. You need to think about how you can push yourself out of you comfort zone and try new things. You don't need to reinvent the wheel here. You just need to find some way to do things differently -- and that may mean differently for you. For example, I've always been interested in writing. I've done it every day for as long as I can remember. But one day I decided I was going to share it. It wasn't the most mind-blowing discovery and it probably didn't mean all that much to the few early readers of my blog, but to me it was HUGE. It was life-changing. It caused me to break out of my routines and to push myself way out of my comfort zone. It was challenging and it was (and is!) still scary, but it's been worth it. It's made me better at what I love to do and, importantly, it's held me accountable for what I do. I know there are people out there reading and that makes me want to work harder and be more creative than I would be if I were still hiding amid the documents on my computer. You can find ways to break out of your own mold. It doesn't have to be some crazy never-done-before thing. All it needs to be is something that challenges you and helps you become even more passionate about what you love.

  6. Share your ideas with others. Tying in with my example above, you should know that it's really important to share what you love with others. It may be hard to do (plenty of people have quirky things they're passionate about or, like me, have some trust issues that prevent them from really wanting to share their work), but it's one of the best ways you can cultivate your passion. When I first started blogging, I was scared that no one would want to read my blog or, worse, people would read it and hate it. I never imagined I'd have the kind of positive feedback that I get constantly. I never imagined that some of the people who were reading my blog would become some of the most important people in my life. In so many ways, this blog has changed my life and if I hadn't taken a leap of faith and put myself out there, I never would have experienced some of the great things I have over the past year. It still scares me to death sometimes when I think about people reading my posts, but I do it anyway. I push myself to be better than I think I can be, even when I'm scared. And you know what? It feels good. It feels good to break out of my comfort zone and to be rewarded with such inspiring feedback. It feels good to share my thoughts with my readers and to know that somewhere out there people are reading and caring about what I have to say. You may not want to share your passion, but it's a great way to make the most of what you love.

  7. Give yourself a break. Now, as much as I love to write and pretty much want to be doing it all the time, one of the best ways I've found to making the most of my passion is to take a break from it. When I first started blogging, I was online 7 days a week, blogging a new post almost every day. I was super into it and super excited about it and as the number of readers grew, so did the pressure. I felt like I had to post all of the time and I was overwhelmed. And then I realized that I needed a break. I created a new schedule so I was posting only three days a week and instantly I felt more relaxed and more able to really enjoy writing (instead of feeling pressured into it). Keep this in mind as your exploring your passion. As much as it means to you, you don't have to be doing it 24/7. You can take a break. You can take lots of breaks, in fact. And, honestly, it's important that you do so. It can be tempting to work nonstop on something you're into, but one of the best ways to make the most of your passion is to give yourself a breather and take a step back every once and awhile. You'll return refreshed and even more excited about what you love to do.  


In general, passion is something I feel passionate about. I believe everyone should have something that makes them so excited that they can't wait to do it or talk about it or share it with others. A lot of people don't have this -- but that doesn't mean they can't. I really do believe that almost everyone has something he or she is passionate about it. It's just a matter of figuring out what that thing is. One you've figured it out (and you may already know), use the ideas above to help take your passion to the next level. One step at a time, you can travel down the road of passion and bring yourself that much closer to what you love to do.

[Note: Today's post is part of Random Acts of Kick Arse (RAOKA), a group I'm very fortunate to be a part of. The group joins together every month to take part in committing random acts. Each month we have a different theme and for the month of February the theme was "passion." Check out the other members of the group here: Jungle of LifeJane Be NimbleGazehound's Animal CommunicationsPositive Provocations, and Life, Laughs & Lemmings.]

 

Comments

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I used to not want to share my passions with anyone. Skateboarding,Self improvement and blogging seemed as if it wasn't what i should be doing. But as i continued doing it its what i wanted to do. They have became more and more of my passion. So therefore i'm having loads of fun doing all of them. Being Creative while doing so. Great post

Sweet post! I actually just posted something to the effect of finding myself where I'm accepting more of my creativity as my passion and purpose. I, like you, enjoy expressing myself through my writing and blogging however I'm in a place where articulating my experiences in a provocative and passionate way along with a lesson attached brings me a great sense of fulfillment.

Serving others through my experiences is a ton of fun and very enjoyable. Even if the process sometimes is hard or difficult.

Timely post my friend. Thank you!

Hi Dani,
Wonderfully written! I love especially how you have touched upon passion not always being easy. It's not...sometimes. And sharing that passion "with the world" is also not easy always. Sometimes it feels like I am stepping out on that ledge, all by myself...and that can be a bit scary. I've always found that when I do this, and when I take that jump...and really "go with it"...the net does appear. Still...not always easy. Anyway, know that I appreciate very much your touching upon this. So, so good to read.

Great post, Dani! I too am passionate about writing. It's an amazing feeling to know something you wrote changed someone, even if it's in a small way. But sharing your passion, that takes a lot of courage.

great post! :)

I think #2 is absolutely key.

I'm a fan of baking it into your life ... live your values, drive it at work, and make it a part of your day. It's the fuel that feeds the fire.

This is an absolutely marvelous post! I felt the same way about sharing my writing. Sometimes, I still do!

Nice post Dani. My passion is writing too and I could totally relate with your on your experiences. In high school, I liked to write in journals and explore ideas in which the world works. It's just something that I find passion for, and that's one of the reasons that helped me choose become an English major and a creative writing minor in college.

Thanks Dani, for sharing. Great post.

I too used to write in solitary confinement, but for me now half the joy is sharing with others - getting my voice out there and connecting with people around the topics I write about. Blogging has done that for me in a way that nothing else had before.

I also appreciate that you are bringing together passion and hard work in this post. Sometimes in the "do what you are passionate about" message, it gets lost that we also need a ton of persistence and hard work to realize our vision, make a living at that passion, or become very skilled at it.

Thanks for sharing your voice!

Serendipity Dani!
I am part of the ABS (Art Bead Scene) Blogging Carnival and this month the subject is Passion. I just posted on this subject today! You have a marvelous way with words and I love that you are passionate about it. I agree so much with your planned passion and I will be referring back to this. I believe that if we find that thing we are passionate about that we need to share that with others and let that passion live. There are so many opportunities to inspire others to find their passion just by living yours.
Thank you for inspiring me today, Dani!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Hi Dani, loved this post. Passion seems to be a hot topic just now and I bleieve rightly so. I also love writing and totally get where you are coming from from that respect.

I liked that you said about hard work. too many people, in the internet age, think that everything can be accomplished overnight. Hard work is the key to living life.

Hi Dani,

I'm glad you are spending time pursuing blogging and writing for others. Your passion for writing flows through you and is evident by your words. Something I also very much enjoy about your blog is the graphical elements. I enjoy seeing your posts both from you words and just as much from the graphics you choose for your posts.

I can tell you are a visual thinker, in part, by your attention to this, and I think it's beautiful.

And to see your passions come alive through your words, Dani, that is absolutely beautiful and it brings me much joy. Thank you for being in my world. I'm honored to be a part of RAOKA with you.
~xo

you always have such amazing posts. thank you. inspiring :]

I'm doing all 7! :D
I'm passionate about LIFE, ART and PHOTOGRAPHY! <3
Great post, I can feel your passion!

Awesome post Dani! Making your passions fun really resonated with me. And as for your writing, I absolutely can tell you're passionate about it. It comes through big time!

This is one my favorite posts! It's also the exact advice I needed today.

I'm passionate about flute and music in general. <3

Thanks for the post!

I like your tip on making things fun! With passion, it also makes it easier to be innovative and creativity. I enjoy challenging myself and adding new spin to things. Great post! Twittered!

Greatly inspiring post.. I'm going through a phase where I need to rediscover my own passions and let go of the things that kept me from living it in the first place.

Thank you, it's exactly what I needed to point me into the right direction! Point 6 remains the biggest challenge, however.. :)

Josten - It can be really difficult to want to share your passions (I know that first hand!), but it's a great feeling when you are able to share what you love with others. It's also really exciting when you find you have new passions, as you've found with blogging and self improvement.

Tony - Thanks! I'm glad you liked the post and found it timely. It's exciting to be able to share your passions with others, even when it's difficult. I'm glad you could relate!

Lance - Thanks for the comment. I know what you mean about stepping out on the ledge. I often feel that way when I put myself out there with my blog. It's scary, but the rush of positive response is so worth it!

Liz - Thank you! It's cool to read that a fellow writer shares some of the same experiences I do. It can definitely be a challenge, but, as I said in the post, great things are usually the things that take the most work (and risk!).

Whitters - Thank you so much. I appreciate the comment!

J.D. - I agree. If you're passionate about something, you really need to incorporate it into your life. That's not always the easiest thing to do, but it's so important to find time to do what you love to do.

Mama Zen - I'm so happy to read that you enjoyed the post and could relate to what I wrote about writing. Thanks for the comment!

Hulbert - I was an English major in college too, but I actually had a hard time coming to that decision. At first I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do that would allow me to be successful, instead of thinking about what I loved to do. I'm so happy I chose to be an English major because I got to spend four years studying my passion.

Tara - Thank you for your comment! Blogging really is an exciting experience and allows writers like you and me to put our words out there in ways that were never available in the past. As you said, people often forget that following a passion actually takes a lot of hard work and I'm glad you recognize that!

Erin - We're on the same page! I'm so glad you enjoyed what I wrote about passion and I really appreciate your comments and compliments. Being passionate about something is awesome, but it's also so great to hear that others appreciate what you're passionate about as well so thank you so much for the comment!

Steven - Thanks for your comment! Hard work is definitely something that goes hand-in-hand with passion, though some may not always see that. As you said, many think that things happen instantly, but most great things take a lot of hard work and dedication.

Lori - I really appreciate your thoughtful comment. It was so well-written and really conveyed what you think about this post and the blog as a whole. It makes me happy to know that you enjoy visiting Positively Present and it's a great reminder that all of the hard work I put into the blog and my writing is worth it.

Sui - Thank you for the comment! Comments inspire ME! :)

Zmajeva - That's so great that you're doing all of these things and embracing your passions. Keep it up!

Sami - It's so great to know that you can feel my passion for writing. It really is what I love to do most and it makes me happy to know it shines through in my blog. Thanks for the comment!

Zoey - I'm so happy to know that you enjoyed the post so much and that it really spoke to you today. Thank you for reading. And keep being passionate about music -- it's awesome!

Evelyn - Thanks! Exploring your passion can be a lot of hard work sometimes, but it's also a lot of fun. Sometimes we can get wrapped up in all of the work and forget to take time out to have fun with what we love. Thanks for tweeting it!

Marygane - Thank you for your comment. It's great that you know you're in a spot where you need to rediscover your passions. A lot of people are not that in tune with themselves and it's a great start that you are aware of what you need to do. Good luck with reviving your passions! (I struggle a lot with #6 too, so I totally understand that!)

finding and doing our passion I believe is the most important thing we can do in life. great post, Dani ! I've really been trying hard to narrow and simplify my passion of writing in order to really experience it.

Rocky - That really is true, Rocky! For some people, finding out one's passion can be hard. If you know what it is, you should pursue it with all you've got. Thanks for the comment!

Excellent tips! I was due for these reminders, so thank you for this post. For me, keeping the focus narrow is a constant, uphill battle. I have so many passions! How do I choose just one (or three or five)? Also, I find that taking the occasional break helps remind me that I do what I do because I love it and it's fun. Great post :)

First time here...and wanted you to know that this post seriously rocks. Thank you!!

Melissa - Glad you liked them! I know what you mean about keeping the focus narrow. There are so many things I want to do -- so many things I get excited about -- and sometimes it's hard to pick and choose. Making pro/con lists usually helps me decide which things I really enjoy the most.

Katrina - Thanks for the comment and for reading Positively Present. I'm so happy you found the blog!

I have so many passions. I think that it is so important to have something that gives a spark to live. I like to do those activities that get me out of my head and into a spiritual realm.

Syd - I really agree that it's hard to imagine a truly fulfilling life without having something in it that brings a spark to our lives. I think it's awesome that you engage in things that take you out of the everyday world.

Beautifully written and expressed! This is the perfect "how to" for all of us to follow. I'm lucky to have a few things in my life that I'm passionate about. I'm even passionate about this RAOKA journey we're own. March is for Laughter! Come and see my RAOKA post

www.thatgirlisfunny.com

Cheryl - Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post and I'm looking forward to checking out your RAOKA post.

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