Have you ever wondered where all that passion you once had has gone? Let’s explore where it went and how to get it back!
Lost Passion: Where does it go?
As children, passion invigorates our minds. As we get older these endless pools of passion have the potential to dry out as adulthood sets in. The weight of daily life can be taxing. Circumstances, experiences and influences all have the potential to rob us of our zest for life. The loss of passion can manifest for a variety of reasons but there are three that are most noteworthy:
- Loving Misguidance
- Deliberate Misguidance
This is a common reason for the loss of passion we encounter in life. These sorts of misguidance originate from a loving source (parents, teachers, friends, peers, etc). In this scenario, the influential figure has no idea of the misguidance. Consider high school graduates. At this point in life, kids are often confused. They’ve got all these interests, curiosities and passion driving them, but they have no idea what to do with them. They need encouragement, but sadly, parents may not deem their interests to be viable career choices. There can be pressure or unexpressed expectations; career paths that are deemed to be more practical. Parents are not wrong – they just want the best for their children. After all, there is the ‘real world’ to consider. Everybody has to earn a living and support themselves, but still, there is more to consider. Where would we be without all the brave people who dared to stand apart from the crowd so that they could go off and do wondrous things? Entrepreneurs and inventors help change how we experience our world. Entertainers keep us smiling. Artists provoke thought.
Loving misguidance tends to put us on the predicable path but the predictable path may not always the right one. We all have a unique purpose in life. Predictability does not always fit into the mix. Everyone should be encouraged to follow their passion. It’s there for a reason… Our world needs creation and innovation in order to thrive and it can only come about when passion is honored.
Some examples of loving misguidance…
- A young child expresses an innate skill but a teacher, peer or parent believes they have other (better) skills that they should develop.
- An employee finds that her ideas are met with enthusiasm in her workplace, though they’re never implemented. Eventually, she grows discouraged and stops expressing herself.
- Two siblings have a similar passion but one shines and the other struggles. The struggling sibling does not get encouragement and eventually gives up, pursing other things.
- Two friends compete with each other, though they’re not even aware of it. Although they’re the best of friends, they somehow end up discouraging each other.
It’s a shame to see passion get lost in the mix.
Failure and life experience are other common reasons for the loss of passion we encounter in life. What do you typically do when you try something (wholeheartedly) and fail miserably? Usually, in the face of failure, many people give up. The few who persist and work through their failures are the small group of individuals who find success. Perhaps a handful of failures may not be cause enough to quit at something, though a string of failures can deter the most vigorous of passions. Failure should only be a pit stop on the way to success, but most people get dragged down by it. Passions then fall by the wayside.
Deliberate misguidance is another major reason why passion is lost.
In the movie Bend it like Bekham, the young female lead has an intense passion for soccer. She’s extremely good at the sport, but her Indian cultural background essentially deems it inappropriate for her to play a sport for a living. She struggles to manage her own passions and that of her parents and ends up disobeying them, playing soccer behind their backs. Her parents’ opposition serve as deliberate misguidance, thwarting passion. They have their own (selfish) reasons for keeping her from playing soccer. If she were guided to follow her passion, the young woman would have the potential to become a professional soccer player. Born with an innate ability to play soccer, this young woman deserves the chance to live out her passions.
This form of misguidance is perhaps the worst kind. When others burden you with their own agendas, causing your passion to be lost, not only do you lose out, but society loses out as well. We all have gifts that we’re born with and these abilities ought to be exploited for the greater good.
Reclaim Your Power
Whatever your experience has been (failure, loving or deliberate misguidance), know that your experience is normal and to be expected.
Parents guide their children to the best of their abilities and failure is a necessary part of the process of life. Loving misguidance may not be fair, but it happens and we’ve all experienced it in some form or another. It almost doesn’t even matter how we lose our passion. What matters is that we get it back.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Lie down, close your eyes and let your mind drift… Think about all those times in your life when you were driven by joy and wonder. Pay attention to what drove you. Allow yourself to dwell in the moment.
- Record a list of everything that inspired you onto a sheet of paper. These are your passions.
- Spend the following week thinking about ways to turn you passions into a career.
- For things that do not fit as potential career paths, indulge in them anyway. Hobbies help to unlock the mind and restore a wonder and zest for life.
- For the things that do fit as a potential career, start getting busy! Your new path in life awaits your arrival.
The above exercise will help you stumble upon an entirely new path in life. Look at all the vibrancy unfolding around you. People change careers every day. Businesses are being born. Things are being invented. Creation is constantly happening.
Wouldn’t you love to be a part of it?
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