By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
You are told you should find your passion – but how?
Repeatedly we are told that to be successful in life we should pursue our passion. But how do you discover that passion, and once you have found your passion how do you decide if this is a healthy direction? It’s not unusual for someone to get extremely interested in something and for a year or two pursue it with undivided attention only to drop that activity for something else. Some passions are passing fancies. How do you know if this passion will come and go or does it have the substance that can give your life meaning and purpose?
Pursue something you love doing, not something you’re obsessed with.
An obsession is something which intrusively forces its way into your mind when you’re trying to concentrate on something else. It’s an obsession if you’re preoccupied with the activity to a troubling extent.
To find your passion examine your current interests. Is what you are doing things you love doing for their own sake. Is the practice of the skill it’s own reward or has an obsession taken over your life, trying to lead your mind off in another direction? Successful people often make substantial investments in the training, skills, and practice, that leads them to success. You may need to give up television or taking days off to devote yourself to the education and skills development necessary for success. Will this goal be worth the sacrifices?
Make sure that in the process of pursuing a potential passion you don’t neglect other essential parts of your life. Don’t give up relationships, time with your children, or ignore your physical and mental health while pursuing an obsession. The search for your passion is an area where getting outside opinions from people you trust can be helpful. Don’t let naysayers deter you from reaching your goals, but if several people warn you that you’re headed in a dangerous direction heed their warning.
When your purpose calls answer it.
The unhappiest people are those who feel they had a calling they didn’t answer. Neglecting your calling is worse for your mental health than never having found your purpose. If you discover something which gives your life meaning and purpose, and that you would be happy spending your life doing regardless of the outcome, this is probably your life purpose come knocking. Don’t let fear or trivial things get in the way of dedicating for yourself that something is worthwhile.
Persistence without passion will grind you down.
You probably heard that to become skilled at anything you need to put in thousands of hours of practice. The more you practice something, the better you become at it. Repeatedly doing something that brings you joy takes more dedication than effort. Practicing something when your heart is not in it is likely to wear you out rather than build you up.
Be careful that someone else has not selected your passion for you. The long hours of practice required to fulfill someone else’s dream will rob you of your own life.
What you put effort into may become your passion.
If the goal of what you’re doing is worthwhile, do it wholeheartedly. Doing important things can help you discover what matters most in your life. Whatever you do, seek to do it without reservation. If it’s not worth putting in your best effort try to cut it out of your life. Over time you will find the things that are easy to devote your energy to are the things which you’re passionate about.
Do what you believe in, and you may come to love it.
Just loving something is not enough. Many things in life are enjoyable for a season. Beyond temporary satisfaction, you need to have the belief that this is worthwhile. Approach every task in life as if what you’re trying to do matters. The things you put the most effort into are likely to turn out to be the things you become incredibly passionate about.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.