Stop following your passion and live your life

In case you thought this blog was about keeping perfect health and balance, I thought a photo of a bad-ass fashionista enjoying a smoke would correct that assumption…or royally confuse you.

In any case, this photo depicts the confidence I want us to have about life. But there is a question that strips the confidence from just about any creative, and that question is: “what are you passionate about?”

Has anyone ever asked you this? As though by asking, you would experience a magical revelation of that thing you were created to do? This question is frustrating because it suggests passion should define us somehow, and really…

…it’s just the wrong question.

When we (Swissco) take on any new client, one of the first questions we ask is, “what problem are you solving for your customers?” If we can’t answer this question with specificity, more business development is needed before marketing can be effective. And this is the real question we are asking about passion:

“What impact are you making in the lives around you?”

You may not expect me to say this, but “follow your passion” can be bad advice when it comes to establishing a business or understanding which career may be most enjoyable for you, and here’s why:

Passion, defined as an intense desire or enthusiasm for something, is created not found…

What if right where you are, you could become passionate about some aspect of your work? Is is possible that if you knew how your role impacted your community and personal growth, that you could become passionate?

Consider your roles and the questions to follow:

  • What problem are you solving for your community or company (or family)?
  • What about your current role brings you joy or a sense of purpose?
  • Could you use your skills to contribute to something else you care about and if so, could you begin working on that while in your current position?
  • If you’re happy with what your doing, what areas can you bring more of your authentic self?

If you do make a living doing something you’re passionate about, it’s likely you experience days that you don’t always feel like doing the work. What’s important is that you give what is honestly yours to give to the world, even if it doesn’t pay at first…or ever.

When you decide to create, organize, launch, design…whatever…that super scary thing you want to share with the world for profit or not, know that you’re giving the greatest gift you can by being wholly you.

For a Practical Exercise:

Reflecting on Your Now:
*This is a super simple exercise, but it’s objective is to stir gratitude and awareness*
Start by writing out all the things you enjoy about your life, work, family, etc. Then, next to those points, such as, ” I enjoy creating an awesome guest experience” or “I enjoy cooking dinner for my husband,” reflect on how this helps you grow and what your giving to the lives around you.

Focused Living:
Write out all of your professional ambitions or things you’d like to accomplish. Pick one to five things that you want more than anything else and dedicate yourself to focusing your energies on those 1-5 things only. This exercise comes from the “Two List Strategy” by Warren Buffet. It’s by far one of the most clarifying exercises I’ve done this year. I hope it brings you as much clarity as it brought me.

Gratitude Leads Passion

You may already know what makes you come alive and what you are deeply passionate for. But if you don’t know, or feel like your passionate about several things, I encourage you this way: create passion where you are. You never know how that thing your doing now will lead to the next. And if you’re like me, taking 5 mins to make a list of my gratitudes will ignite passion to scrub my floors…lol. Passion is created through gratitude and focus on what’s right in front of you. Practice this. You’ll see what I mean.

You are beautiful and you are made for joy.

With Passion,
Samantha