This is the third article in our series all about passion and its role in living. Read the first two articles in the series:
- Is Personal Passion Our Real Energy Source? Here’s Surprising Proof
- Is Finding Your Passion the Key to Happiness? Here’s How to Start
When you’ve defined what you do and don’t like, you’re almost there. You are close to being fully confident to let your passion fulfill your life.
Wait wait, slow down! This is where many people hit speed bumps—and they hurt. In this article, we will discuss a few things to look out for to make sure you can truly lead your life with passion in a sustainable way, and succeed doing it.
1. Falling into the “grass is greener” trap
This is our first common trap. So you’ve done the introspection, you’ve identified something you love to do—like computer programming, knitting, or writing—and you are ready to make it your full-time career. Many people start down this path and after a while, their passion starts to lose its spark. They are losing the boundless energy they once had to engage in their passion. They realize that pursuing their passion full time is actually ruining their enjoyment of it. They loved it way more when it was just a hobby!
For example, let’s say you love to write stories. You’ve decided to shift your whole life around trying to become a writer. A few months in, you start to lose the energy you used to have when writing. You have two options: Find another way to get motivated in your writing, or go back to doing something else full-time so you can enjoy writing again.
This trap can easily be avoided by building in a “trial period” at the beginning of any big lifestyle change. Take a one-week vacation and just try to write the entire week. Still like it afterwards? If yes, you can be much more confident that your passion will stick when you take the dive.
2. Being sunk by loneliness
You might be doing something you love, but if you’re doing it all alone, day after day, you are going to get burned out. I don’t care how much you love something, if there is no one to share your love with, then a lot of the reward can feel hollow.
There is a simple way to remedy this one, too: Find and connect with people who share your interests! I know I said “simple”, but that doesn’t always mean it’s easy. You might not feel comfortable sharing your work with people, for instance. Or you might not know where to find others interested in the same things. But chances are, you already know where people like you hang out. Go there, and contribute to the community! Be a part of things. Share your work, and help people with theirs.
You’ll be amazed by the amazing community you can build if you just take simple steps each week to reach out and start to build relationships. If you already have some relationships in your area of interest, don’t let them lapse! I know it can be easy to get lost in the work, but you’ll be happy and grateful there are others who “get it” as much as you.
3. Misaligned short- and long-term goals
This is the most sinister of the passion speed bumps because it can be so hard to see, so that you often don’t know you’ve hit it until it’s too late. That’s why it is imperative to keep in mind as you consider jumping into your new life of passion.
Often, passionate people can get so carried away with how great it feels to produce their day-to-day work that they forget to look up once in a while to look at the long term. The classic example of this is the artist who shows zero business sense. They got into art in order to do art, not to do business. So they end up producing a lot of work, but not doing enough to earn money from their passion—so they end up getting distracted from their work when money matters go south. But if they took just a few hours a week to focus on long-term, practical goals, they might find themselves in a much better position to focus on their art long-term.
The key to avoiding this one is to keep the long-term top-of-mind. Think hard about what your long-term goals are, and be sure to schedule sacred time every week to focus on them. Otherwise, you might let them slide… and you might not realize what has happened until you’re stuck in a pickle.
4. Disregarding health, wellness, and relationships
One of the saddest speed bumps we see is people who get so absorbed in their work that they ignore the things that matter most in life. It can be so easy, amid the day-to-day rush, to put off preparing a healthy dinner, going for a run, or calling your family and friends—there’s just one more thing to do!
But if you get into a pattern where you find yourself doing this repeatedly, it might be a sign that you need a break. Your body, mind, and social support network are the platform on which the rest of your life operates. So if you make investments in the platform, everything else gains, too!
Put your health and relationships first, period. That’s the stuff you’ll remember when you’re 80 and looking back at your life. Believe me, there will be plenty of time for your professional accomplishments in between!
5. Undervaluing your work
Finally, this is the speed bump we see so many people hit who have just started pursuing their passion. When you’re passionate about something, enough to want to jump into it head-first, you’ve probably been inspired by a lot of people in your field. It can be easy to compare everything you do to them, and focus on how you come up short.
But remember: You’re just getting started. You have a long way to go, but isn’t that the point? If this is really your passion, you will love doing it for the sake of it, and you won’t worry about measuring up to others.
And if you’re setting your prices too low, stop it! You might know that you would do this work for free, but you still have to eat. Don’t let your passion get in the way of being paid a fair price for the product of your blood, sweat, and tears. The fact that you are so passionate about it likely means that you should be paid more, not less!
There you have it, the top 5 speed bumps to avoid as you start down the road to living a life of passion.
If you want to share your passion, we have the perfect way: through Amazon Alexa’s voice! You can connect with your audience in just a few clicks, right from WordPress—so you can get back to the work that really matters. Try Shoutworks free today.