Seven is a magical number. Someone once told me that seven years is a full cycle in terms of life phases. I don’t if that’s true, but the idea sounds intriguing to me!
Today, I’ll look back 7 years to see exactly how much and in what ways my life has changed through a focus on passion and finding my purpose.
Before I start: I know, I know. Here I am talking about passions and purpose, and you may ask whether getting financial security and organising the practical things in life isn’t more important. To which I say:
- These things are all part of building a life of passion and purpose.
- At the same time, they’re worth nothing without passion and purpose.
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Flashback to 2014
Holy smokes, I just looked for a picture of myself in 2014. Are you ready?
This is the only picture I could find, and that’s so telling. Here’s what my life was like:
- I was high-functioning but depressive.
- I had isolated myself and used junk food as my consolation.
- Consequently, I was overweight.
- I worked in a soulless job that required insane hours.
- I lived in a nice place but one I had no emotional attachment to.
- No time or energy to focus on my coaching.
- The only one of my passions I pursued was gaming.*
`*Honestly, it saved my life. The contact to and friendship with my gamer friends prevented me from becoming a hermit.
What did I do to change?
If you’re expecting a weight-loss story, then I’m sorry to disappoint. My story does involve weight loss, but that happened as a side effect, not because of any major focus on it. Instead, I’d like to list what I did to turn my life around.
- I moved to a place my soul resonates with.
- Quit the soulless job and got a work-from-home role.
- Got lots of rest and took long walks.
When I was healed (only then!), I added:
- Prioritised pursuing my passions above everything else.
- Started working on my business.
- Put the focus of my coaching on passion and purpose.
- Began to work out again (as part of my passions).
- Ate delicious food that made me feel alive.
How a life can change
Looking over these lists, I’m in awe. I hardly recognise the woman on the picture above and I’m overcome with gratitude.
I got this close to living out my life in limbo.
So close to working for a living but not having a life.
Where do I even begin to describe the changes in my life? Let’s try and summarise them into categories:
Life and happiness
I spent five years working a lovely job from home. It left me plenty of energy to build up my Coaching and my second business, my first love: working with language as a teacher and proofreader. 1 ½ years ago, I quit the job and became full-time self employed.
Both my businesses happen 100% over the internet, so I’m location independent and can spend a few months a year in other places I love. This hasn’t been possible recently because of the pandemic, but it’s still very much on the cards.
I’m rested, relaxed, and happy. Nothing gets me to rush around anymore. I’ve also just moved to a mountain village close to the Croatian coast and the peace here is indescribable. At the same time, I’m still close enough to the city to see my friends regularly.
True, I’m no longer as slim as I got in the first rush of happiness after “waking up” to life. But I’m nowhere near overweight and still a good 17 kg (that’s nearly 3 st) lighter than I was in 2014!
Passions and purpose
My passions are front and centre in my life. This forms the foundation of the above – being successful, at peace and relaxed with no time pressure or financial worries. These things are the direct result of my decision to focus on the things that light me up: Music, piano, dancing, archery, literature, making videos, and of course, coaching.
My life purpose became clear only months into focusing on my passions. It had been there all along, but suddenly it jumped out at me and became so obvious, I wondered how I had missed it all these years. Subsequently I shifted my entire life to align with this purpose, and that’s the connection between passions, purpose, and the happiness I described in the previous section.
How you can change yours
Here’s the good news: It doesn’t take 7 years to accomplish this. in fact, most of the elements of my current happiness were in place 5-6 months after I had started changing my life. I have since repeated the process – in different ways, because every person’s life is a different story – with my clients, over and over.
Basically, it can be broken down to two steps:
The outside circumstances
This is your job, your media habits, your everyday life, and it’s about simplifying and downsizing. Don’t say you can’t because you have three kids – I promise you, it’s possible, and my clients prove it. If you don’t know how, talk to me and we’ll do it together!
The passion(s) focus
Prioritising your passion does not mean to start earning money with it. You can do that if you wish, but if your passion is something you just like to fool around with, or in my case, some things you’re not even particularly good at, it should simply be a priority because it gives you joy.
To learn this goes against all our society teaches, and it’s hard. Make no mistake. It’s a process, but it’s the most worthwhile endeavor you could undertake because your life is going to fall into place. At some point, things become easy. And easier. Suddenly, joy and bliss emerge where you least expected them.
Life will be unrecognisable.