How I found my passion in less than 30 minutes
We hear it all the time; “do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life”.
But let's be honest, it can be very hard to believe this type of drivel when we're overwhelmed in work, juggling homeschooling, trying to put healthy dinners on the table each night, entertaining our children and trying to stay away from opening another bottle of wine, after all, it's not even five o clock yet. Never mind putting on another pair of stretchy trousers because your dresses don't fit any more. So trying to find the joy in our lives, never mind our work, can feel like a huge ask, if not an almost impossible task.
And honestly, I get that. I've been that soldier. Trying to juggle the demands of a busy role in a professional services firm, while running my home and trying to be the type of parent I wanted to be for my son and daughter, rather than the exhausted, snappy, fed-up Mum I was slowly becoming. I didn't like who I had turned into and neither did my children. No one was winning. And it had all happened so slowly that the bad habits and ways of living had crept in and taken over in such a way that I hadn't even noticed. I found myself living a life that I didn't enjoy, acting like a person I didn't recognise.
Even though this was a few years ago, the problems that Mums are experiencing during the current pandemic are no less challenging, it's just that they're different. We might have less running around to do, getting to and from the office, picking up kids from childcare, organising lifts to and from sporting activities or weekend playdates. And let's be honest isn't it great not having to iron the uniforms on a Sunday? But we each face a different set of challenges and it's time to be kinder to ourselves and finally say that our best is good enough.
So what can we do to change the script?
It starts with stopping all that you're doing and taking time to be still. It makes sense, doesn't it? How can you expect your brain and intuition to help guide you when it's suffering cognitive overload right now. It needs a little downtime. And how can you find your passion when you're so busy 'doing' day in, day out?
So put on the kettle and make a cup of tea. Grab a pen and a piece of paper. You can even use the notes app on your phone if you prefer. Take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself "What do I like doing?" I know, I know it's far too simple a question and one we rarely ask ourselves, but trust me on this one. "What do I like doing?" Just go with whatever comes up and write it down. Let it flow.
When I did this simple exercise a few years ago, some of the things that came up for me where music, piano, singing, laughing, great coffee, listening to people, being by the sea, the stars, cooking a great meal, cream slices (who doesn't love a great cream slice?). And I started thinking about my work and my list went like this: listening to people talk about their careers, figuring out how to improve our CRM system, spell checking reports (I'm a bit OCD when it comes to spelling!), helping my colleagues on projects, meeting new clients, learning about new business sectors.
By taking less than 30 minutes to write down what I loved and was passionate about, it enabled me to see how much I already had in my work and in my life. I realised I already had a lot. I became more grateful. I also found that focusing my attention enabled me to create more opportunities to experience more of what mattered to me. I felt more joy. And finally, when you focus on those things that make you feel good, you are drawn to those things that instinctively are right for you. And you will do more of the things that are right for you because it feels good. It's like a light that guides your way. So let your light shine and be guided by how you feel, and you too will experience a more joyful life.