Have you been thinking about the coming year? Even thought the future is unclear, it’s a great time to anticipate what’s to come as we march into 2016. May we be filled with passion for our lives.
The older I get, and the more funerals I attend, the more I realize that I need to act on what stirs inside me to be “done.” It’s now—or never. In his book Bless the Space Between Us, John O’Donohue, one of my favorite poets, writes about passion. He says, “Indeed, the prospect of death is probably the greatest single inspiration of human creativity and passion.” So true. I like to think of passion as a wrapped gift each of us received before birth, to be discovered and harvested in our lifetime.
But what is your passion? Can a person have more than one? Probably so. Let’s call the passion you were born with the IT. Here are seven ways to recognize IT:
- You do IT all day long and you don’t notice the time. It could be writing or painting or working in the shop on a project. Time disappears when you’re in ITS zone. Is that familiar?
- You sound different when you talk about IT. A few months ago, my friend Jackie explained her new organization to our group. We’ve heard her speak formally, informally, over coffee, and in training sessions; but when she explained Elliott’s Closet, her voice sounded different. I realized that she was speaking with the voice of passion, which always comes from an entirely different place in the body. Her soul was speaking. Which topics bring out your soul?
- You care about the result and want to make IT perfect/or you don’t care if you’re proficient, you just want to do IT. The main character in the movie Burnt was obsessed with perfection. Creating a dish that brought pleasure to those who tasted his food was everything to him—and he got a little crazy in the process. On the other hand, years ago, I practiced the martial art of Taekwondo. I wasn’t good at it, but for the first time in my life, I didn’t care. I just wanted to move my body, to feel the gym floor on my bare feet and to push myself beyond the normal realm of a woman my age. Does either scenario describe you?
- All roads lead back to IT. Your friends and family will notice this before you. Your conversations usually end up talking about IT. You may be reading a novel or the Bible and think, Yes, it’s just like IT. My son Scott used to say, “My mom can’t go ten minutes without talking about Taekwondo.” Even though I hated to admit it, he was right. Where do your roads lead you?
- You think everyone feels the same way you do about IT. We used to shop at Phelan’s, a furniture and design studio. Their paint man could mix anything you needed—even making a house call to make sure the blend was perfect. He was fascinating to watch as he described, in great detail, the various aspects of the paint, going on and on—not realizing others didn’t feel the same way. When we’re in our passion, we don’t see any other point of view. Which topic inspires you to“talk someone’s leg off”?
- You get good at IT but don’t value IT in the market place. Sometimes, IT seems too simple, too natural to assign an asking price. Have you ever gone to an art fair and found that someone else, besides the artist, does the selling? More than once I’ve heard, “She would more likely give away everything she makes.” For some, it’s counterintuitive to put a price on the art of their soul. Have you ever devalued your work?
- IT becomes the grand analogy guiding all other parts of your life. The best reason to identify your passion is that IT becomes an anchor of sorts. Life is a microcosm, and so understanding one thing very well gives you the wisdom to understand many things. My husband used a football analogy to encourage his grandson to practice his social studies speech. A nine year old doesn’t have a huge frame of reference—except for sports. Ross said, “You know how important it is for the football team to practice the plays before the game? Well, it’s just as important to practice your speech so you know what you’re going to say ahead of time.” It worked. His grandson practiced with the purpose of being prepared. What analogy do you trust?
Let’s all awaken to what makes us feel passionate. Color 2016 by identifying your current passions and then immerse yourself in them today.
May Trust Build Your Confidence,