Monday, December 17, 2007

The Success Principles ~ Principle 38

Principle 38 of Jack Canfield's Success Principles is Fuel Your Success with Passion and Enthusiasm. He describes how passion comes from loving and enjoying what you are doing, from doing what you are meant to do, from following your joy.
Canfield suggests you start with asking yourself, "Am I doing what I love to do?" If the answer is no, how can you get more of what you love into your life? For me, this doesn't only mean work. One of the things I've learned from working with clients is that so many people stop playing music or writing or dancing because they believe they can't make a living at it. And there's a part of their soul that's dying without that expression. So when you ask yourself, "Am I doing what I love to do?" consider all the hours in your days not just the one's you're paid for.

And maybe this question actually needs to be preceded by another - do you know what you love to do? Grab a sheet of paper and write down 10 things you love to do. (I'll put mine at the end) They don't have to be practical. They don't have to be things you can build a career on. Or they might be. They might be even if you they don't look like it right now. For now, they just have to be things you love to do. It's so important that we learn our preferences, our own peculiarities, the special things that bring us joy in this world.

If you're still not sure, don't worry. The answers are within you somewhere. For a great variety of reasons, we often turn off our awareness around what we love to do. Maybe we think we can't have it and that hurts, so we try to stop wanting. Maybe we've been told we're not allowed to love what we love, that it's selfish or self-indulgent or some other such thing. Trust me, your own special loves and preferences are still alive inside of you. They may get small and quiet because we asked them too but they're just waiting for us to let them out to play.

So if that's the case with you, start paying attention to the moments in your life where you feel particularly alive, joyful and like yourself to find clues as to where passion lives for you. Notice what makes you smile, what catches your eye, where you feel at home. Carry around a little journal and take notes like "My favourite moment today was sipping my bold coffee from Starbucks." Leave yourself a voicemail that says, "When the sun came out today, I couldn't help but smile." Send yourself an email that says, "This may sound weird but I just loved shoveling my driveway today."

When you start to orient your life around those things that light you up, fill your well, make your sparkle, passion will be right there guiding the way. Canfield gives a couple of examples of how people found their way and part of it was tuning in and trusting the signals they received. One guy felt a tingling in his tummy. One thing that works for me is the giggle test. If an idea makes me erupt with giggles, I know it's something I should pursue. It always indicates something I'd find joyful but that pushes the edges a bit, something I find a bit surprising and intriguing, somethingI find that kind of funny, rebellious and exciting - and that's where my passion lives.

What kind of signals do you receive that say, "Hey, come this way." What helps you listen to them?

10 Things I Love to Do
  1. Dancing
  2. Taking classes
  3. Going out for lunch with friends
  4. Learning about wine
  5. Making an event special
  6. Dressing up
  7. Playing with puppets
  8. Making collages
  9. Visiting museums and galleries
  10. Reading self-development books

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

A boost in energy--that's how I can tell. I lose track of time and think I could do whatever it is for HOURS. And doing it gives me even more energy (rather than leaving me feeling drained). That's MY signal. :)