How to Change the Way You Pursue Your Passion and Get the Life You Want

We can be anyone we want these days. How do I know? The internet tells me.

The never ending feed on social media, the latest news web site or the hot trending fads on Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram tell us exactly the kind of people we can become. We can get results in as little as 30 days all for a small investment of $99.

Choosing a trend and pursuing a passion are a dime a dozen these days. Overnight, we get worked up about the latest and greatest. Our access to the largest amount of information in history has caused us to burn out on how to pursue passions.

Passion doesn’t work the way you and I have been told it does. It isn’t a flash in the pan, overnight and a quick fix.

True passion looks different. Passion is desires, and a change in lifestyle developing over time.

In her book, Grit: The Power of Passion & Perseverance, Angela Duckworth describes passion based on years of research in a field where she studied the “grittiness” of those who pursue action towards something over long periods of time. It not only brought them success but great fulfillment. She contends passion is something that develops over years.

Passion isn’t like fireworks, which explode with excitement and fade over in just seconds. Instead, passion is more like a compass, delivering direction over time.

When we can learn to adjust developing our passions from a moment of joy and excitement to an investment, it will directly influence the impact we can have on the lives of others. But we have to go there. We have to begin deliberately viewing, operating and using passion as something to be developed over time.

Here is how we can better understand passion as a compass:

Passion takes time

Your passions are associated with how you live your life. For most of us, these habits and practices of what we are passionate about won’t become evident overnight. They happen over time.

The greatest life you will live will come from the greatest passions you develop, which happen over the pursuit of them in your lifetime. Get used to the long haul. This will lead you to the life you want.

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This is very true of my passion developing about writing. I have been at it for just over a year. In the span of my life, this small amount of time is nothing. But, year after year, investment after investment in this passion will pay dividends.

Begin giving more time to what sparks your interest. There’s a good chance this passion may turn into your greatest achievement.

Passion takes work

Work is why fireworks seem more appealing. People begin getting off the bus and quick fixers start hating when work is involved.

The life you desire happens because you develop and work through passions. This is what Duckworth calls deliberate practice.

In her book, she uses the example of National Spelling Bee participants. There is a difference in work ethic from those who make the final rounds and those who barely make the cut.

Those who make the finals practice deliberately, with great purpose for hours on end. They put in the work memorizing, learning root languages, and discovering correlations between different words. For them, it’s focused, intentional, work.

For those who stick it out, in the end, they reap the benefits. There is joy spilling over on the back end of all their work. It’s both hard work and enjoyment.

Passion takes adjustments

Here’s the frustrating part about true, compass driven passions. You won’t always get it right the first time or the second, or third. You’re going to have to fail.

You’re going to have to make adjustments as you move along. This is why fireworks don’t work for passion. A compass allows you to course correct – to make adjustments to previous movements and keep you going in the same direction. Fireworks can’t offer this correction. They are too quick and gone.

Adjustments in our lives aren’t easy. If we are honest, we don’t care to make them. But if there is a life you want you have to make the adjustments. You have to set challenging goals and pursue them. Go all in and make the adjustments as you go.

Passion will get you where you want to go

The science and research about passion is important in giving us clues in how we are wired, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. The results are what matter.

When you can learn to put in the time, work and make adjustments as you go along, you will get the life you want to live. You will have come to a place having become a truly passionate person, going where you need to go.

Passion begins here:

Don’t ask what are you passionate about. Ask these questions: What are you working on? Where is your time going? If you answer those questions I will tell you what you are passionate about.

Call To Action

  1. Take some time this week and consider where you are spending your time. Do you want the return (or lack of return) your time and energy will offer to what you are doing? If not, change it. Do something worth working towards.
  2. Do you need to make some adjustments to what you are currently doing? Don’t be afraid to make them.

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