Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Find Your Passion and Give It A Big Hug

If I had a dollar for everytime I heard someone say, “I don’t know what my passion is.” or “I can’t find my passion.” I wouldn’t need to work anymore. (But I still would, because my work is my passion and I love doing it).

Those statements are perfectly valid. However, there is usually more behind that feeling of not knowing what your passion is than you might think. You see, when it comes to people and their passions, there are 3 basic possibilities:

1. You don’t know what your true passion is.
2. You know your passion but have not acknowledged it.
3. You know your passion and live by it.

Interestingly enough, most people feel they are in group 1, but once they explore things a bit they realize they are in group 2.

If you are truly in group 1, you are in a tough spot. I completely admit it. If you honestly have no idea what drives you and makes you happy, it means that you haven’t experienced it yet. After all, if underwater basket weaving is your passion but you have never been in a situation where you had to do some weaving at the bottom of a pool, how would you know that it would get your blood flowing? So what do you do if that is the case? Jump off of your chair and go live life! Go to the places in town you haven't been. Talk to people you normally wouldn't. Sign up for classes that you have been embarrased to join (go zoomba it up gents!). In short, if you really don't know your passion, it means that your life is being lived in the wrong realm and you need to step into a different realm and explore. Eventually you will find that activity, cause or idea that fires you up like nothing else does. That is when you have to avoid falling into the trap of group 2.

If you are in group 2, you are with the majority of people. This means that you know what fires you up and makes you feel all tingly inside but, for whatever reason, you choose not to pursue it. The reason may be that you don't know how to build a business around it. Or that you feel you aren't good enough at it. Or that your friends will think you are weird if you pursue it. Or that every time you think of it you hear your dad's voice in your head saying, "Wake up and smell the liniment! Get a haircut and get a real job!" Whatever your reason for not pursuing your passion, I offer you this response:

"Wake up and smell the liniment!" (insert shocking, yet caring, double handed shirt grab so you can't escape while I excitedly yell in your face here) "If you know what it is that makes you happy (or at least have an idea of what area it is) OWN IT! Grab it and make it yours! This is the answer to the question you keep asking about what else is there to life! It's is right in front of you! Take it!!!!! ROAR!!!!!" 

Phew, I'll calm down now (insert polite readjustment of your shirt here)

It is completely possible that your passion may not be able to become a business, or that your friends might think you are weird. But if you know what makes you happy, accept it and try to make it a part of as much of your life as possible. This is where happiness dwells! It might make you rich, it might not; but it will give you a sense of fulfillment and happiness that you won't find anywhere else. 

Imagine waking up every day knowing that you have built what you love into every possible part of your life! It is very possible if you commit to doing it. That is when you become one of the people in group 3. Those who know their passion and follow it. That is when you stop feeling like life is empty and start feeling like you are doing what is is you were meant to do.

To help with finding your passion, take a look at my previous blog "6 Questions to Help Your Find Your Passion" or attend one of my "Discover Your Passion Workshops" (The next one being July 30 in Edmonton.

Now, get out there, find your passion, give it a big hug and bring it into every part of your life that you can!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Business and Fantasy = Oil and Water (?)

When I was a kid, I used to watch "Fantasy Island" with my grandma every week. Even then, I knew that my grandmother had a crush on the main character, Mr. Roarke; but my favorite part was when his sidekick, Tatoo, would run up to the bell tower and yell, "Eh Boss!! Zee plane! Zee plane!" as the island's latest guests flew in.

The premise of the show was that people could pay a fee to spend a vacation on this island and live out their fantasies. They would describe their fantasy in the beginning and then we would watch them experience it. Often it would go in a direction the character had not intended and we would smile smugly and say, "That'll learn ya."  (We didn't normally talk like that, but this show aired right after Beverly Hillbillies and we tended to get a bit wrapped up in that show too).

We all have fantasies rolling around in our brains. Some are impossible, some are inappropriate but some are within our grasp! As an entrepreneur, I am sure you have a fantasy for your business. Maybe it is owning the skyscraper in which your office is based. Maybe it is a change to the world due to your efforts. Maybe it is a feeling of a wonderful and fulfilled life provided to you by the business you have built. Each of us is different and each of us will have a different fantasy.

Too often, though, we view our fantasies as a completely unreachable world. We say things like, "Well I would love for all these things to happen, but I need to be realistic. Here in the real world it just isn't going to happen."  !!!!WHO SAYS!!!!

Your fantasies should not be brushed aside and treated as fluff. They are your brain telling you what you really want! Pay attention to them and use them as a tool that will help you reach your goals. 

Fantasies are more than substitutes for unpleasant reality; they are also dress rehearsals, plans. All acts performed in the world begin in the imagination.
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

Here is an exercise that may help:

  • Take out some paper and start writing out your fantasy for your business (or personal life, or family or whatever area you want to cover).
  • Let your mind wander and dream. Don't judge or analyze your thoughts, just record them as they come. (If it is easier to do this by recording yourself talking, go for it. Whatever works for you.) 
  • Set that list aside for 3 days and add to it if anything else comes to mind. 
  • After the 3 days, review that list and start asking yourself what parts of your fantasy could be a reality now. (You may be surprised at the answers)
  • Then ask what parts of your fantasy could be possible in the future. (Trust in your abilities at this point. Hard work and passion can create amazing results.)
  • Transfer these items out of your fantasy and into your "real life" vision for yourself and your business. Write them down.
  • Then ask yourself, "What can I do TODAY to get me a step closer to making these fantasies a reality?" 
  • Ask yourself that last question every day.
  • Most importantly ... ACT ON IT! Do those little things each day that will make those fantasies a reality for you in the future.

Don't ignore your fantasies. Explore them and use them as a tool to guide you toward what you really want. Take items out of them that could be a reality and then work toward them.

Don't let society and the wants of those around you dictate your personal and business goals. Look within YOU to find what YOU really want. Your fantasies will tell you what that is.