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“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown, author
- Is this really a passion or just something that might be fun or nice to do?
- Will you be extremely upset if you NEVER get to do “this passion”? If the answer is yes, what’s stopping you from finding the time to at least take the next step?
- What is the benefit of choosing in favor of your passions?
- How will you feel when you are doing something that you’re really passionate about?
Take Action …
- Understand that it’s YOUR choice as to how you spend your time.
- Be more conscious of how you are choosing to spend your time today.
- Spend less time on those things that you aren’t passionate about.
It’s not always easy to choose between mundane tasks and those things that “light your fire” but with practice, it can become a habit. When you’re fully engaged in doing a task that is truly important to you, time will appear to stand still and you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish. As an added benefit, you’ll reduce your stress level!
If you still don’t know what you’re passionate about, contact me, evelin(at)blueprints4change.com, so that I can take you through The Passion Test.
If I miss one day’s practice, I notice it.
If I miss two day’s, the critics notice it.
If I miss three days, the audience notices it.
— Ignacy Paderewski, Concert Pianist
Practice Makes Perfect!
It takes practice to follow your passions. We often get so caught up in getting the next thing done that we don’t stop and ask ourselves if what we’re doing is in line with our passions. Yes, you may have to miss a day’s practice but do you then remember to get back on track! Do you continue to ask yourself “is what I’m doing going to take me closer to, or further away from, my passions … those things that I say are truly important to me?”
Missing a day, or even two, of practice is not about beating yourself up and feeling guilty. It’s just information. It’s a message that you’ve taken a fork in the road you didn’t intend to. We all get lost from time to time. Don’t waste your energy on feeling guilty … use that energy to pick up where you left off and take the next step towards finding meaning and fulfillment.
Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
-Samuel Ullman (from “Youth”), businessman and poet (1840 - 1924)
Are you becoming disillusioned with your life? Not sure what your purpose is? Think you’ve found your purpose but it isn’t “moving you to tears”? These are some of the questions that participants in my classes grapple with.
Discovering what is truly important to you is an “inside job.” You can’t think your way there using your mind. Go within by focusing on your heart (it may even help to put your hand over your heart) and let the feelings bubble up. If you start to get excited about a particular path, follow it and see what else comes up. Some people find it difficult to connect to the heart so it may take some time. Don’t let impatience and the need to find the answer get in the way of allowing the journey to happen.
What ideals have you deserted?
In what area have you become less than enthusiastic about your life?
Action Steps …
Look at your ideals - to see why they have changed.
Become your own architect - create something that will make you jump for joy every time you think about it.
What one small step can you take TODAY to stop your soul from wrinkling?
From … To …
Life with Passion
Life without Passion
A 2005 Harris Interactive Study showed that only 20% of Americans are passionate about what they do. That leaves 80% who are leading lives somewhere from “quiet desperation” to “dull and boring.” Life without color!
This theme came through loud and clear in a movie I saw this past week – “An Education.” It’s the coming-of-age story about a young teenage girl in the early sixties in suburban London. Her parents, especially her mother, appear to be living lives relatively close to the “quiet desperation” end of the continuum.
Jenny wants something more out of life and finds it when she meets a playboy twice her age. Her “grey” life all of a sudden becomes filled with color. Her passion for the exciting new lifestyle leads her to experiences she could only have imagined in her dreams, at least for a while. I’ll leave the story there so as not to spoil the ending in case you see the movie.
The point here: passion for living, for doing those things that are truly important to you, will add so much color to each day. You will wake up with a new zest for life … joyful and excited, ready to take on each new challenge. Passion is the motivator that will help you achieve success.
If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, take The Passion Test™. The participants in my workshop this past weekend found it to be a real eye-opener! Contact me - firstname.lastname@example.org
“The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.” - Richard M. DeVos
Points to Ponder
What do I want from life?
What is standing between me and getting it?
How would I feel if I never achieved what I wanted?
How will I feel when I get what I want?
Do I believe getting what I want is possible?
If you don’t know what you truly want, take the time NOW to find out. Don’t leave this life with “if only I had followed my heart.”
Imagine the feeling of getting what you want – joy, excitement, enthusiasm for life, bliss, contentment. Focus on it as often as you can.
If you don’t believe it’s possible, ask yourself “why not?” The answers will undoubtedly be self-limiting beliefs that can be overcome.
Commit to taking one step, today, towards overcoming whatever is blocking you.
Last week I watched the first episode of the new TV show FlashForward. It’s a science-fiction program that begins with everyone on the planet blacking out for just over two minutes and getting a glimpse of their lives six months into the future. For some, it’s a distressing view, for others, a joyful picture and for one character, there is nothing. Definitely intriguing, particularly as you watch some of the futures begin to take shape in minor ways! Questions you tend to ask yourself – how did it happen … will the futures actually materialize … do we have a choice … can we change the outcome … why did it happen? Of course you have to watch the series to find out.
What came to my mind as I watched the show were issues that have arisen during my Passion Test workshops. For some people, creating a list of what is truly important in their lives (i.e. their passions) is a difficult task. If I asked you the question, what do you want your life to look like in six months, would you know? More importantly, would you be absolutely clear on the details or would your mind conjure up vague ideas such as “not having a schedule, “getting lots of money”, “working in a job I love” etc. Bringing your ideal life into reality requires absolute clarity. Only then will you have focus and direction. Only then will you notice those opportunities that will bring you closer to your goals.
Coming back to FlashForward, we don’t know what our lives are going to look like in six months, but if we’re not satisfied NOW and don’t start making changes, we’ll end up with more of the same. Isn’t it time to give yourself the gift of grabbing your future “by the horns” and taking the first step towards the life you visualize in your dreams!
If that sounds exciting to you and you are motivated to find focus and clarity, contact me (evelin(at)blueprints4change.com) and let’s discuss beginning your Personal Strategic Plan.
For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel, looking, looking, breathlessly.
–Don Juan, in Carlos Castaneda’s A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (Don Juan’s Teachings)
- Am I passionate about the path I am on today? Is my heart in it?
- Am I committed to following the path in its entirety?
- Am I so involved that it takes my breath away?
- If you need to change the path, take the first step and do so, RIGHT NOW.
- Look at the path from ALL sides … engage in “out of the box” thinking.
- Choose to be FULLY on the path
If you’ve hit midlife and still feel that you haven’t experienced life to its fullest, now is the time. Don’t wait until you’re at the “Bucket List” stage and time is running out.
A key ingredient to living a fulfilling life is following your passions. If you don’t know what they are, take the time to discover them NOW. Don’t give up on your dreams because you only have some vague concept of what they are. Do whatever it takes to get clear!
If you’re giving up because of obstacles you’ve encountered, remember that it took Edison thousands of tries before he invented a working light bulb. Believe that you will achieve your objectives and you will.
Let your passion lead the way and persevere. Living your purpose, your passion, is the true joy of life.
True Joy of Life
This is the true joy of life.
The being used for a purpose
Recognized by yourself as a mighty one.
The being a force of nature
Instead of a feverish, selfish
Little clod of ailments and grievances
Complaining that the world will not
Devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life
Belongs to the whole community
And as long as I live,
It is my privilege to do for it
Whatever I can.
I want to be thoroughly
Used up when I die,
For the harder I work the more I live.
I rejoice in life for its own sake.
Life is no brief candle to me.
It is a sort of splendid torch
Which I’ve got hold of
For the moment
And I want to make it burn
As brightly as possible before
Handing it on to future generations
— George Bernard Shaw
I recently went to see the musical Gypsy at a local theater. It’s the story of the vaudeville stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, her sister Louise and their overbearing mother as they traipse across the US in the 1920s looking for fame and fortune. Actually it’s only Rose, the mother, who’s doing the looking. Her two daughters couldn’t care less. They would much rather stay put somewhere in a house with a white picket fence enjoying life with family and friends.
Are you someone who is living a life based on what your parents wanted or what you thought you SHOULD do rather than following your passion? Perhaps you followed a path because it was secure and would provide you with a pension when you retired? It’s easy to do.
Now at midlife you’re wondering if it’s too late to follow that dream. Don’t be one of those people who reaches the end of life saying “If only I had….” These are words that my mother has spoken many times. It’s heartbreaking, both for her and for me. Don’t put yourself in that position.
Ray Kroc was 52 when he took over a small-scale McDonalds Corporation franchise and built it into the most successful fast-food operation in the world. Grandma Moses was almost 80 when she began creating the paintings that have made her famous. Ronald Reagan was 61 when he became Governor of California. Frank McCourt, the author who wrote the bestseller “Angela’s Ashes” first began writing when he was in his sixties.
So start now. Take some time, figure out what you’re passionate about and then go for it! If you need some help with uncovering your passions, The Passion Test™ is an excellent tool. Contact me, evelin(at)blueprints4change.com, and let’s strategize together.
Remember –It’s never too late to be who you might have been (George Eliot, English novelist, 1819-1880)
Are you Climbing the Wrong Tree?
Many Baby Boomers hit midlife only to discover that real happiness is still elusive even though they are successful and appear to have everything they want, or at least that’s the way it seems to everyone else. They are suffering from Passion Deficit Disorder.
Without passion they are “climbing up the wrong tree.” Many people get into jobs, careers, businesses and relationships because “they fell into them”, “it seemed like a good idea at the time”, “my parents said I should”, “I didn’t know what else to do.” They can come up with numerous reasons for where they are in life but none of them involve ”it’s my passion … my purpose … my destiny.”
If you’re climbing up the wrong tree, the best strategy at this point is to get down. That makes a great deal of sense but we sometimes forget the basics and continue climbing, either in a career situation or in personal circumstances. Instead of getting down and heading in a new direction (i.e. a different tree), we unfortunately attempt to develop other strategies to try and make sense of a continued climb up the same tree.
Some of these “strategies” could be described as:
- Buying a longer ladder
- Forming a committee to study the tree
- Arranging a visit to other groups to see how they climb the wrong tree
- Lowering the standards so that the “wrong tree” can be included
- Hiring an intervention team to feed the tree and give it a new lease on life
- Reclassifying the tree as “the right tree”
- Hiring a partner to climb the wrong tree with you
- Buying a more sturdy ladder for greater speed in climbing the wrong tree
- Rewriting expectations for the tree
- Adding a second ladder on the other side of the tree for a different perspective
- Declaring that this smaller tree requires less of a cash outlay
If you would like to climb the “right” tree, the one that is perfect for you, contact me at evelin(at)blueprints4change.com and I’ll help you discover where that tree is and how to start climbing faster than you ever thought possible!