Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Finding your Passion

In cleaning out drawers, I have also been into cleaning out computer files and came across the following, which I reread, and thought how it fits with the earlier post on fractals. There is a reason we function best when we are as organized as we can be. I wish I could give credit to where I originally got it but it's been many years and filed into the dusty backwaters of my C Drive and then transferred to a jump drive to wait even longer to resurface. The following is all from that article.


Discovering one's passion in life comes naturally to some, but for others, it's a vexing, lifelong hunt. Here is some expert advice for locating that certain joie de vivre.

By Jennifer Duffy
Clean up your life:
First things first: get your life in order. The nitty-gritty details of living can trip up the creative process, said life coach, Louis Abbott. It’s emotionally draining to have financial, emotional, or environmental nuisances – anything from a messy house to a mother that nags you for not calling her often enough.

Nothing can kill passion faster than a pile of papers or laundry in your way. But be warned: What works for some isn’t necessarily the answer for others. “There’s no blueprint. If (something) is not a problem for you, then why worry?”

She has people identify priorities in four categories.
Physical environment:
• Is your house clean?
• Are you organized?
• Does your car work?
• Is your laundry done?
• Have you forgiven people that have hurt you?
• Do you gossip?
• Do you make requests, rather than complain?
• Do you save 10 percent of your income?
• Do you pay your bills on time?
• Are your earnings equivalent to your work effort?
• Does your car work?
• Is your laundry done?
• Have you forgiven people that have hurt you?
• Do you gossip?
• Do you make requests, rather than complain?
• Do you save 10 percent of your income?
• Do you pay your bills on time?
• Are your earnings equivalent to your work effort?
• Is your will up to date?
• Are you at the right weight?
• Do you drink too much caffeine or alcohol?
• Do you take care of your teeth?
• Do you get enough exercise?
• Do you have any physical or emotional problems?

The idea is to deal with the minutiae, but to not become too hung up on having a perfect life.

Get outside the box. Escape your cubicle and experience the world. Forgoing routine and getting out of your usual environment are keys to finding yourself, said Lisa Kivirist, an entrepreneur and author of "Kiss Off Corporate America: A Young Professional's Guide to Independence" .

At just 26 years old, Kivirist, now 37, left a lucrative advertising job in Chicago to find her true passions: creative expression and independence. "It's easy to be reinforced by your surroundings," she said in a phone call from her farm in Wisconsin, which is quite the contrast from "the concrete jungle" of her previous home in Chicago. That's why she and her now-husband, John Ivanko, made a clean break from the advertising world and started living their passions. They had connected with the environment and small-town living on weekends, spending time hiking, biking and camping. Fast-forward to about a decade later and they're running an environmentally friendly bed-and-breakfast on a 5-acre organic farm.

If you want to make the leap, like Kivirist and Ivanko, here are some tips from the author and her book:
Try "experiential travel," which means putting yourself outside your normal environment, opening up to new experiences and changing your life perspective.
Dabble in possible passions with temporary jobs, if you decide to leave your current one.
Surround yourself with people who support you and "get the bigger picture."

Passion can be so elusive. It can get lost in routine, buried beneath unpaid bills, smothered by corporate culture, or even sidetracked by trying to keep up with the Joneses. But even beyond daily lifestyle hurdles, finding a true passion doesn't come easy for everyone.

"Most people don't know their passion," said life coach Louise Abbott. "So many people come to me trying to make something work that I know isn't their passion," she said. "Sometimes the passion is just not there."

If you've lost that certain joie de vivre, or never had it at all, here's a how-to from Tucson life coaches, enthusiastic entrepreneurs and the woman who wrote the book on living out your dreams.

Think of your life as a tree. All the things you are doing, like work, family and leisure time, are the branches, said life coach Karen Cappello. Deep down at the core of your existence are your roots, where your power and passion lie.

You may be too busy jumping from branch to branch trying to take care of things, or admiring someone else's thriving tree and trying to mimic it, she said. Instead, water and nurture your own roots.

Cappello asks her clients four questions to identify their roots and begin brainstorming ways to nurture them.
Remember a time when you were the happiest. What qualities were present?
What are the qualities of a person you admire?
Remember a moment when you felt very powerful. What were you doing?
What was present in that moment?

Then take a look at the areas in your life that already have these qualities. "Identify the successes and then expand from there," Cappello said.

Abbott suggests that you think back to your childhood. She often asks clients, "What were the things that your parents had to drag you away from because you loved them so much?"

It's the essence of those activities, whether it's creativity, interacting with people or creating something, that is the essence of your passion, she said.

Photo is of the Cascade Mountains from a ridge above Sisters.


Paul said...

My passion is Chess and Go-great games...I also love books...

Kay Dennison said...

My passion? I've been too busy metaphorically putting out forest fires in my life to think about my passion or if I really have one.

Annotated Margins said...

I copied this and put it in my electronic journal.

Parapluie said...

Interesting check list. I guess I have a passion. I think because when I was between 6 and 10 years, I asked for many art supplies and I didn't get them right away. But when I was in high school my parents turned a round and encouraged me. I have a pssion for art because in the 60's there was a recognition of the arts as being important and I believed in their importance.
I organize my life to continue making art. If I have a problem of any nature, I work through it proactively through art making.