“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” ~Vincent Van Gogh
I unlocked my phone to see 78 new emails in an inbox that was empty when I went to bed last night. (This is after unsubscribe from about 30 junk mail subscriptions just last week).
I locked my phone and rolled over to go back to sleep-I would face this crazy email world in an hour.
Then I thought to myself about the days when Project HEAL was getting off the ground, I had just started May May Paints, or had just enrolled in the social work college. I was THRILLED to get emails regarding these things, and wouldn’t hesitate to respond ASAP.
When did my passions become something I rolled my eyes at when I woke up? Granted-when they all come bombarding in at once this can be a little overwhelming. But I knew there had to be a way to keep my life loves and treasures from eventually becoming burdens.
I love days when I can hop out of bed with mounds of energy and begin to tackle my to-do list. But let’s be real…these days are like a needle in a haystack sometimes.
Here are the five steps I followed to rekindle the passion for what I do. This process worked for me, and it might work for you, too.
1. Take a break.
Although it may seem that your busy schedule doesn’t leave room for a break, it is possible to fit in a small one here and there. Research actually shows that working for an hour and a half followed by a half an hour break will help you to be far more productive when you return to work than if you just worked straight through without a break.
Treat your break (as your self-care) as a priority, and make time for it. Think of it as a time to gather new perspectives on your day; what you want to do, how you want to do it etc.
It’s even great to schedule the weekend like this too. If Friday is your night off, and Saturday is your work day, then Sunday can be a leisure day. Or vice versa-if you like to procrastinate [like we all do] then take a leisure day Saturday but get straight to work on Sunday…However, I have found that getting the work done first let’s your fun time be a lot more fun.
2. Go back in time.
During your break, bring yourself back to the beginning of your current task or job.
What excited you the most? What did you want to learn? What kind of future did you envision? What new experiences did you have and what did you learn from them?
3. Figure out what’s different now.
Now come back to the present time, and compare it with yourself, your thought processes, outlooks, and experiences when you first began. If you’re currently lacking motivation, it’s probably from one of the following:
- What used to challenge you, you now do so often that you could do it in your sleep.
- There are many more responsibilities than before, and now you are overwhelmed with endless tasks.
- You’re realizing that your previous goals you set were a little too ambitious, and that they might be harder to achieve than you initially thought.
- Not learning anything new anymore, and just doing the same things over and over.
- Interests or values have changed, and what you’re doing is no longer a good match.
Is feeling overwhelmed killing your inspiration? Are you spreading yourself too thin? Do you need to set some new, more realistic and attainable goals? (Remember to always set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound). Are you ready for something more challenging? Have you changed as a person, and need to find a new, more inspiring, lifestyle?
Once you have figured out what is different-you can start to develop the changes to implement that will turn this around!
4. Introduce changes.
You know what you want. You know what is missing. Now you must take action.
- Know Your Options
If you have the ability, try delegating mundane tasks so that you can focus on your skills. If you have the potential opportunity to move up the ladder, think about ways that you can display your skills so that your strengths will be recognized-are there areas in your current situation that you could improve to help you get a more fulfilling situation?
- Learn Something New
As humans, we are always striving to learn and grow-it’s in our nature! So think about some skills that you could learn that would help you to work towards your ultimate goals.
Becoming more organized can help your productivity-so read up and learn about the best way to organize what you have!
Being healthy can help us feel better in general, and about ourselves! So maybe try to learn a new sport, or learn some more about nutrition.
The great thing about this technological era is that with YouTube, you can learn just about anything right at your fingertips!
- Find Guidance
Whether it’s talking to a friend or loved one, beginning some regular therapy, or reading up on relevant books and blogs, finding guidance in your life on the issues you are struggling with from experts on the issue will help you so so greatly.
Having a supportive community of like-minded people to encourage and push you will help you to really reach your full potential.
~In the beginning, making any of these changes will be hard and uncomfortable. So try to remember that this initial discomfort will eventually be replaced with a sense of excitement and more of the passion you are striving for!
5. Schedule your next break.
Fuel the passion for what you do by scheduling regular checkpoints where you’ll take a step back and plan new changes if necessary.
In time, you’ll experience a steady feeling of satisfaction and wellbeing. You’ll get out of bed every morning knowing you’re making a difference and following your passion!