You hear it every day. “Follow your passions,” or, “Live the life of your dreams,” or, “Do what you love,” or, “Live with purpose.”
You read how following your dreams is essential – an inspirational book hits the market every Tuesday highlighting how one person transformed their bleak life into the good life.
And you can’t help but ask, “Who Cares?”
Don’t you ever wonder why you don’t care?
Why does “follow your dreams” do little to nothing to inspire you?
Why can you read book after book on the subject and yet see your life drastically unchanged?
Why does something that seems to motivate so many sound like empty and hollow clichés?
Does passion for your life even really exist for you?
Do loved ones bury your passions?
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman,
Simple? You bet.
Easy? Not in the slightest.
A Very Sad Christmas Carol
Everyone loves my mom … including me.
When holidays come around she springs into action like the supermom she is.
She would have a long list of gifts she was getting for the family. She would even make lists for some of the other parents so they knew what to get.
Everyone was taken care of. She made sure of it.
Then my dad would ask her what she wanted for herself and he would receive a blank stare.
She literally had no idea!
You ask her what my third cousin on my mother’s side, Richie’s, favorite action figure was and she would tell you, “Stretch Armstrong,” without skipping a beat.
But when the time came for her to get something for herself, she did not even know where to begin.
Are you being selfish?
Why are we taught that being selfish is a bad thing?
We are trained that if we EVER want anything for ourselves it is wrong.
“Think of your kids first.”
“You must take care of your husband.”
“Giving is the most important quality.”
Have you ever taken a flight before?
You are about to take off and they run through all the standard safety procedures?
“In case of sudden cabin pressure loss, these masks will drop down. Put your mask on first before attempting to help others put theirs on.”
What a plane crash can teach you about your passions.
Put your own mask on first?
But what about your children?
What if you have 11 of them?
You would be celebrated as a hero if you died saving 4 of your kids before collapsing and dying.
Being selfish could save your life … And Christmas
But what if you take an extra 15 seconds for yourself?
You could save yourself and possibly even more. Your life would become more valuable because YOU decided it has value.
You prove its value by making it a top priority.
When you put others first, you are saying they are more valuable than you. You will soon realize you are living entirely for someone else. Then what happens when that someone else is gone?
You cannot begin to know what your passions are if you do not stop and take the time to be a little selfish.
Make it a habit.
Sure, some people truly come alive knowing they are giving to someone else.
If I asked you what you are passionate about and you said, “Dedicating my entire existence to be used by others,” this is not for you!
This is for those who are looking to “follow your dreams” and have no idea what that even means.
An easy way exists to know you are on purpose.
Discover your dreams without feeling guilty
Get in the habit of asking yourself, “What do I want”?
Start making decisions. And making them often.
If your spouse asked what you want to watch on TV, don’t say, “You pick, honey,” when you know you do not want to watch football.
If you are going to dinner with friends, YOU pick the restaurant this time.
You pick the movie.
You pick the vacation.
You speak up in your meetings.
No matter how little the decision may seem, you MUST choose for yourself.
Put Your Mask On First!
You deserve a life filled with passion. Whatever that means to you.
Only you can discover this.
Make the choice to start going after it.
Take the first step.
Put you own needs first.
Because, why not?
Don’t you deserve to be just as fulfilled as everyone else?
You can continue to contribute to the lives of those around you, but how much life can you give when you have none?
When you do come alive like I know you can, you can give so much more.
Finding your passion does not have to be this mysterious journey. You can start today by taking some me time.
Save your own life first!