I feel so grateful to have the honor of sharing this motivational piece with you. If you like what you read, please comment and share this post with your friends.
Maybe you grew up in a working class home where you watched your parents dutifully put in their shifts at “the plant.” They worked Monday through Friday from 7am to 4pm, just so they could enjoy the weekend off and two weeks at the campground each summer.
Or perhaps you went off to college and studied law or sales or biology, and now you feel trapped in a job you don’t love. You’d like to change course, but what if you make the wrong choice? What else are you even qualified to do? And what about those student loans?
The truth is, there are millions of people out there who trudge off to work each and every day, wishing they were anywhere else, and hoping one day to find what really inspires them. If that’s you, then rest assured, you are not alone.
But know this, too: There is still time to discover your passion and start doing the work you love.
Let’s start with a little brainstorming.
Unlike boring corporate brainstorming, though, we’re not going to use a whiteboard (unless you want to) and we’re not going to be solving a big sticky problem.
Instead, set aside an hour or so of uninterrupted time. Head out to the park or a coffee shop, and take along your favorite notebook and pens. Find a quiet corner, and just let your mind wander. Do a little daydreaming.
Imagine that money is not a concern. You have enough to manage your day-to-day needs, with some left over for fun. You have the freedom to do anything you like with your days.
In your notebook, make a list of all the things you would do with your time if you could spend it any way you liked.
Would you shop?
Would you paint glorious watercolors?
Would you go back to college and earn a degree in computer science?
Travel the world?
Work with abused women?
Plant a garden?
If you get stuck, think about what you do on weekends and holidays. Nearly everyone looks forward to relaxing and enjoying their favorite activities after the workweek is done. What are the activities you most enjoy?
The purpose of this exercise is not to make a realistic list of business opportunities, but rather to make a list of possibilities, so don’t censor yourself. Write down whatever pops into your head without considering if you can make money with it, whether or not you’ll love it forever, or even if you have the skills or talent for it.
That is, after all, what brainstorming is all about. Unfiltered ideas. We’ll sort them out later.
Maybe you already do this, but I want to challenge you for the next 30 days to keep a daily, purposeful journal. Here’s how that works.
First, set aside time each day for journaling. This can be first thing in the morning (great for planning), last thing before you go to bed (perfect for gratitude), or even right after lunch. It doesn’t matter so much what time, but that you make an unbreakable appointment with yourself, and that you commit to doing the work—even when it feels hard or uncomfortable.
Next, rather than just random thoughts and events, try answering specific questions each day. This type of journaling helps you maintain focus, and will allow you to look back later and know exactly what works, what doesn’t, and where you might want to focus your energy.
Some example questions to ask each day include:
- What was the best thing that happened to me today?
- How did I make someone else’s day better?
- How could today have been better?
- What’s the one big thing I want to get done today?
- What’s one thing I did today just for me?
- Who made me smile today?
- What has been my biggest achievement this week?
- Fast forward to next year. What has changed about your life or your business?
Taking note of recurring themes in your journal is a powerful way to discover your true passion. If the best thing that happens to you every day is that you served a beautiful dinner to your family, then it’s clear that being a mom and a great cook is one of your passions.
On the other hand, if your day could have been better if you didn’t have to struggle with your accounting software, clearly bookkeeping is not something you want to pursue.
Another thing to include in your journal is gratitude. Every day, you’re surrounded with reasons to be grateful. It didn’t rain until after your son’s last baseball game of the season. You remembered at the last minute to take your new sweater out of the dryer and avoided disaster. That cold you felt coming on yesterday passed you by after all.
By noting the small (and large) things you’re grateful for, it will help keep your attitude positive, and when you’re happy, you’re more open to discovering your life’s passions.
One last point about journaling—embrace your creative side. Many people love to journal on a computer. It’s fast and with you everywhere. But it also tends to be cold and impersonal.
Rather than using a bland old Word or text document for your daily journaling, consider creating a pretty paper journal instead. Buy pens in different colors, and fill your journal with not just words, but pictures and doodles and anything else that makes you happy. Collect fun stickers to add to your pages, use sticky notes for important points, and even tuck a photo or two into your updates to remind you of what you’ve achieved.
Remember, your journal is for your eyes only, and you’ll be more likely to use it if it’s as colorful and unique as you are.
What Others Think
When it comes to finding your true purpose and passion, what others think might seem like the last thing you should consider. But the truth is, what others think of when they think of you can offer valuable insight into your unique genius. And once you find that, your passion won’t be far behind.
So think about the questions your friends and family and even Facebook acquaintances ask of you.
Do they come to you for assistance with their family finances? Writing a resume? Organizing the kitchen?
Are you a sounding board for dating troubles? Called upon for career advice? Consulted when the family dog won’t quit barking?
Whatever it is your friends and family rely on you for, they don’t do it out of loyalty or because they don’t want you to feel left out. They do it because they value your input and opinion. They know that you have not only a natural talent, but a passion for what you do.
Not sure what others think? Ask them.
But don’t just ask them what they think you’re good at. Ask them what your superpower is. Everyone has one, and when you discover yours, you’ll very often find it’s closely related to your passion.
Superpowers can be anything. Maybe you’re a good connector of people, with a knack for matching complimentary businesses. Perhaps you’re amazing at creating healthy meals even confirmed junk-food addicts love. Maybe you’re simply a great listener who’s able to help a friend through a crisis.
Ask your friends, family and colleagues what they feel your superpower is. The answer might just point you to your passion.
What I’ve share thus far is a great place to start to discover your ideal purposeful business by implementing Brainstorming, Journaling, and Asking Others What They Think. I share these strategies as well as a many more at the Visionary Insight Press Live Your Best Life & Biz Conference next month. You can sign up to the VIP Mailing List to listen for FREE at www.visionaryinsightpress.com and I am certain by the end of the full presentation you will have a complete tool box on discovering your purposeful business. I’m so excited to share it with you!
LISA HARDWICK is a Heart-Centered Publisher/Consultant at Visionary Insight Press and received a Top 12 Pick Spiritual Woman Award through The Spirited Women Association. She is known for helping others find their voice and has assisted 100+ individuals with their Publishing and Speaking careers. Throughout the year Lisa facilitates Multi-Author Book Projects, Publishing Presentations, Writer’s Workshops and VIP Speaker’s Conferences featuring some of today’s most sought-after inspirational teachers, healers, and spiritual leaders.
Learn more about Lisa at www.lisahardwick.com and www.visionaryinsightpress.com.
Copyright Lisa Hardwick 2016