I’m excited to publish this guest post by Barrie Davenport. Barrie is a life passion coach, author, and founder of BarrieDavenport.com, a site devoted to helping people uncover and live their life passions. She is the creator of The Path to Passion Course (more on the course at the end of this post, affiliate link.) Today she shares terrific information from her Path to Passion formula, integrated with the framework of Six Simple Rules for a Better Life. Enjoy!
Did you wake up this morning feeling so enthusiastic about the day ahead that you raced to get up and dressed?
Do you feel so ecstatic about the way your life is going that you sometimes pinch yourself to make sure it isn’t a dream?
Do you love your job so much that it feels more like play than work?
Did you answer “no” to any or all of these questions? Most people do. Many people aren’t very satisfied with their lives and most are completely out-of-touch with their life passion.
But think about how it would be if you could answer “yes” — most of the time. What if you felt that level of enthusiasm and joy about life much more often than not?
Being on the other side of my own life passion search, and having coached and taught hundreds of people through the process, I can tell you with certainty that living a passionate life is possible. And uncovering your life passion is one of the most important, life-altering endeavors you will ever undertake.
Unfortunately, most people have no idea how to go about finding their passion. It’s hard to wrap your head around a search for something you can’t identify with no clear strategy or direction for finding that unknown something.
That’s why so many people give up on finding their passion before they even begin. In fact, I almost gave up myself.
Over the course of several years, I knew something was missing in my own life. In spite of all of the blessings in my life—a loving family, beautiful children, a successful career—there was a hole inside of me. Something vital was missing.
I’d spent over 20 years helping others reach their dreams and live their passions through my work as a PR executive. I’d seen how passion can energize and transform people. But I felt I was sitting on the sidelines watching but not participating in a passionate life.
My struggle and path to discovery was long and circuitous. I didn’t have a roadmap. I often found myself wondering if there was something wrong with me, if I simply didn’t have the capacity to be fulfilled and live passionately.
But after a lengthy process of self-discovery, including much research, reading, workshops, assessments, and coaching, I discovered that my passion was working closely with people as a personal coach and blogger, helping them define and create the best possible life for themselves.
After going through my own process of helping my PR clients with their passions, uncovering and living my own passion, and then coaching many people through this process, I’ve developed a successful formula which is the essence of more than 25 years of work, research, and experience.
Here are six simple rules, taken from my Path to Passion Formula, to help you get started on your own life passion journey:
Rule #1: Be Nice (to Yourself)
You deserve a passionate life, plain and simple. Everyone does. However many of us don’t believe it’s possible, or that we are worthy, or that it’s an important endeavor. Finding and living your life passion is life-changing.
Discovering the thing you love, the thing that makes you come alive with joy and purpose, will change EVERYTHING in your life for the better — your work, your relationships, and your general lifestyle.
So be nice to yourself and make this a priority in your life. Make it the #1 priority in your life. How do you do that? You commit and dedicate time to the process every single week (or better yet, every single day). Make this time non-negotiable.
Rule #2: Be A Leader (of Your Own Life)
Make the decision to stop reacting to what life throws at you, and become the leader of your life. Create your own personal operating system for your life based on what YOU want rather than what you “should” be doing or what others think is best for you.
Define what is most important to you by outlining your core values and creating a life vision for the next five years. Make a list of all of your skills and aptitudes, and then focus on those that really excite you. Think back to all of your previous jobs, hobbies, projects, and volunteer activities, and make a list of everything that gave you a sense of joy, purpose, and fulfillment.
As you gather this information, you are defining the qualities of your passionate life. How can you apply those qualities in a job or in your life otherwise through an avocation or hobby?
Rule #3: Be Organized (in Your Passion Work)
Approach this life passion work as you would an important work project. Make notes about what you are learning about yourself. Follow up on ideas and begin reading and researching your interests or possible life passions.
Set goals for yourself by creating a calendar of actions you will take each week to move forward in your search. If you don’t approach it this way, it will be easy to let this life-changing work slip to the back burner.
Rule #4: Be A Learner (About Your Passion)
The only way to know if a strong interest is really your passion is by immersing yourself in the interest. You can do this without committing yourself to it completely, but you must engage deeply enough that you get a real feel for the day-to-day activities and requirements of the passion.
This might include volunteering in your possible passion; shadowing someone who is already involved in this passion; taking a part-time job or internship; or pursuing it as a hobby.
If your passion is something that requires practice (music, learning a language, art, etc.), then spend enough time practicing your passion so that you become passably proficient. It is through engagement and proficiency that we really know whether or not we feel passionate.
Rule #5: Be Healthy (Mentally, Emotionally, and Physically)
It’s nearly impossible to find or live your life passion if your life otherwise is a mess. If you are coping with emotional difficulties, stress, too many life complications, or poor health, you simply won’t have the energy to pursue this important passion work.
You need to clean up the issues and distractions in your life so you can focus on your passion. This might mean seeking help from a counselor, simplifying your life, cutting back on commitments, clearing out clutter from your home, etc.
And it also means you need to pay attention to your physical health and well-being. If you are unhappy with your weight, if you’re sedentary or eating poorly, you won’t feel good about yourself. And poor self-esteem sabotages feelings of enthusiasm and passion.
Rule #6: Be Happy (With the Here and Now)
Even as you work toward finding your life passion, you CAN be happy with the here and now. Don’t forget to be grateful for everything in your life right now that is going well. Acknowledge the people and circumstances you want to keep in your passionate life vision.
You can plan for a more passionate future while still staying grounded in the present moment. In fact, the present moment is the only reality anyway, so you might as well choose to be happy in this moment.
If you would like to learn the formula for uncovering your own life passion with support and guidance from Barrie, please check out her 4-week online immersion course, The Path to Passion, beginning August 17.
And please, join the conversation with your comments…