Huhu and welcome to day four of the virtual self-development conference. If this is the first article you read in this series, I recommend to go back to the introduction and to day 1 where I kick off the conference and establish some ground rules.
We are at half-time and we are taking up speed. So far, we dove deeper into who we are and why we behave the way we do. We followed this up by identifying our values and also our strengths.
I think that a self-development process needs to be connected to something positive or must be fueled by positive energy. Speaking about how we envision our future and how we can use our strengths is a wonderful beginning. We will add some more positive energy today by looking at our passion(s).
What I can observe from myself and what I also recognized when talking to friends is that it is easier for us to use our strengths when we do something we are passionate about. Or we do see meaning in, but that is tomorrow’s topic =). This seems obvious but it interesting that we are not good at a certain task when we don’t like or enjoy it, despite showcasing a task-relevant strength in other areas.
For some people it is difficult to tell what they are passionate about. This can have different reasons. A reason could be that you are told all your life what is good for and/or you and living up to other peoples’ expectations all the while forgetting to live your life. It is also possible to lose your passion. That happened to me. And I know that is a long and strenuous way to find your passion again. So if you do know your passions, that’s fantastic, but if you know people who struggle, show understanding. And if you are struggling yourself, well there is always a way and you have all what it takes to find your passion(s).
This brings me to today’s exercise…
Materials needed: pen, blank paper or your notebook, friends and family, and enough rest and foot that make you feel good =)
As with yesterday’s task, it can be a good idea to ask family and/or friends to identify your passions. Ask them one or all of the following questions:
- when or during which activity am I most alive/full of energy?
- what are the things I am interested in/knowledgeable about?
- what are activities during which I lose track of time?
Again, you should also ask yourself the same questions and write down your answers.
Moreover, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- what can I do that always makes me happy, no matter the circumstances?
- what do I enjoy doing?
Before you dive right into answering those questions, please stop =). I want you to take your notebook or a blank paper, set a timer to 5 minutes, and when you start the timer, write down as many things that come to your mind as possible. It is not about quality but quantity right now. Also, don’t overthink. If a thought or idea popped up, write it down.
Afterwards, you can add things that you forgot. In addition, go back to your river of life and see if you can find other things you are passionate about there and add them to your list. It might also be interesting to have a look at your strengths, because, as I wrote earlier, we tend to use them during things we enjoy.
Then, I invite you to form clusters of the things you have written down. This might already give you a good overview of your passions. Finally, determine your top three things you are passionate about. A good way to check if you are on the right track is to read them out loud or intensely think about them (you doing the thing you like) and observing how it makes you feel. If you feel energized, warm, light, or just plain happy, you reached your destination =). If not, check whether you ate, drank, and slept enough today, or if something else is interfering with your emotional state and maybe repeat the exercise tomorrow.
That’s it for day four. I hope you enjoy the process and the exercises and if you have a question or a comment let me know =).
Have a wonderful day and take care, Stephan