After neglecting my health for years and then starting to heal two years ago, I’m still nowhere near where I used to be in terms of fitness levels and energy. Many days, I just can’t face moving my body even to do the things I love most. As a “Passions Priority Coach”, this rankles. There’s a nagging voice inside that tells me I’m a fraud if I’m not always passionate and active.
I do know better. It’s about prioritising passion every day, but it’s not about trying to force anything. If rest or self care are on the agenda, then so be it. I’ve learned to listen to my recovering body. There is, however, a difference between having an off day and letting things slip. It’s surprising how easy it is to return to a state of functioning through the tasks of the day and neglecting the things that light me up.
If joy is our natural state, as Wayne Dyer puts it, why is it such a challenge to stick with it? Why does it feel like constantly pedalling a bike uphill? I got curious and looked into the reasons behind this, and I also believe I’ve come up with a surprisingly simple technique to counter it: To surround yourself with the thing that lights you up. From talking to friends and clients, I know I’m far from being the only one struggling, so I thought I’d share.
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“Forgetting” your passion
It’s not like you really forget, is it? If anyone asked you what lights you up, you’d reply without having to think about it much.
Then why is it so hard to remember in your everyday life? Why are there not just days, but entire weeks and perhaps even longer periods, when you don’t even pick up your paint brush, write a single word, or go for a training session (or whatever it is you’re passionate about)?
I believe it’s because modern life doesn’t favour joy or passion. Think about it: A regular person goes to work five out of seven days, spends most of their day there, and in addition looks after a family and a home.
Our lives are designed to get chores done and secure our survival, simple as that. Our society doesn’t prioritise joy and passions, and that’s why it’s so challenging to remind ourselves. Besides, depending on how much an individual is caught up in society’s demands, it can be really difficult finding the time to dedicate to passions like art.
In other words, it’s time you let yourself off the hook and recognised that circumstances are working against you. You have every reason to be proud of pursuing your passion at all! See, this is why I do the work I do. I can’t think of anything more important than helping people prioritise what really should be at the centre of life: That which lights you up, your passion and your joy, every single day.
Surround yourself with your passion
How, then, can you counteract the pull of a society which keeps whispering in your ear to make a living, get a bigger car or house, and buy your children more expensive toys? How do you unearth that inner voice which tells you to create, to move, to do that thing which makes you feel alive?
One surprisingly simple way of keeping your passion on your mind is to literally surround yourself with it. The only problem with simple techniques is that they seem too easy to work, so people often dismiss them. I invite you to keep an open mind about this and put it to the test – it works like a charm!
For example, I keep my bow and my practice swords right next to my desk at home. I see them all the time and so I’m reminded to pick them up whenever I’m on a break. I’ve been neglecting my dancing a little recently, because my “dance room” is upstairs and out of sight. This is remedied in the house I’m moving to (more about this in this week’s personal update). There, I’ll once again have a space with wooden floors right in my office.
You could write reminders on post-it notes and stick them to every surface in the house. Leave your paint brush and easel in the middle of the room. You could place your sports bag where you practically fall over it on the way out of the house. It seems silly, but it works! Once you surround yourself with your passion, and your mind’s focus will shift.