Who’s your designated driver?

I want to give a HUGE shout-out to my husband. Why is he so deserving of an entire topic? Because right now, as I write this, he is in the basement where he goes when he has free time, writing and practicing his new songs. Did I mention he has a terrible cold, hasn’t slept, and feels like crap? But apparently that setback isn’t preventing him from what he loves to do more than anything.

And here’s why I am so proud of him. He works a fulltime job, and for the past 2 years has religiously woken up early every single day to working on his music. Last year he wrote, played every instrument, sang and recorded an EP. And now he’s working on his second. Why does he do this? He lives for this – this is his passion.

So, let me ask, what’s driving you?

If you had asked me that question a few years ago, I would have shrugged and said, “I don’t know. My job? The gym?” I didn’t have a passion that was exciting to me. And that was okay, until it wasn’t. I started questioning what the heck I was doing. I lost my joy, my drive, I was depressed and searching. To make a long story short, I hired a coach and through the process I discovered that coaching was my thing! I had always loved listening to people’s stories and wanting to help them. And now I get to do that! If you want to hear more about my journey, read The Other Side.

Some people are lucky to be born with their life path laid out for them. You know them. The ones in high school whose do-or-die career is a surgeon, lawyer, or rock star. Maybe you too don’t have your Thing defined yet. People live their whole lives with various interests on all levels without an enthusiasm for just one thing. Maybe they’re not driven with a passion and they’re satisfied with how their lives evolved. Or maybe their passion is their family or a weekly or daily religious practice, or, their dog. And that’s good enough for them.

It becomes an issue when you’re bored with your daily life and you begin doubting yourself and your self-worth, that maybe it’s time to find your identity. What drives you? What excites you? What motivates you?

If you would like to begin finding your passion, here are some tips that could help you along the way.

1. Get the energy going. It’s much easier to try new endeavors with a positive attitude. First, do something physical to get pumped up (25 jumping jacks? A neighborhood walk?). One thing that’s a natural mood-lifter is endorphins, and it doesn’t take much to stimulate them. You’ll see that just by doing a little bit, will elevate your sense of self.

2. Now that you feel a little more positive, try doing something that you’ve always said to yourself, “I’ve always wanted to _____.” It could be so simple, like, knitting, baking, learning to ride a motorcycle, learning the mandolin, etc. Just take a deep breath, decide you’re going to do it, and just do it!

3. So, you decided to learn the guitar and now you’re completely frustrated and want to give up. Do Not! Think about the reasons why you wanted to play the guitar. What about it was so intriguing that you just had to do it? Now that you are, and it’s challenging, keep going and remember that thought. The old saying “the more you do it, the easier it becomes,” is so very true, with almost everything you’re striving for.

Then, after a frustrating session, do a task that you like and is easy to you. This way, your ego isn’t completely shattered.

4. Be aware of your surroundings, and people you talk to. Everything you do, including meeting new people, presents opportunities. Maybe someone tells you about a class they’re taking and how they love it. Maybe you can try it too. Or a garden they visited. If you go out on a limb and try these things, you may be interested too.

5. Write down qualities you like about yourself. (In fact, you should do this every day.) How do you express these qualities? I know that one of my strongest qualities is empathy. And I express empathy through listening to people and then helping to inspire them. Doing this makes me feel good about myself. What about you?

6. And last, and certainly not least, listen to what your heart is telling you. If you have a little stomach flutter, or heart beating, pay attention. It’s trying to tell you something.