“To thine own self be true,” wrote Shakespeare. Yet, how many of us are living a life being true to ourselves?
In fact, how many of us actually know what that means?
We start out as youngsters with dreams, passions and aspirations that often become stifled by well-meaning family members, teachers, friends, limitations of resources, or our inability to find our true path. We complete our studies and training and then find ourselves in jobs, careers and situations that seem right at first, but later fall flat.
We can always find a fork in road, though and an opportunity to re-align with the “Real You.” While there are many pathways to accomplish this, one is to uncover and engage your true passions.
It’s never too late to re-generate that spark of aliveness we have when we engage with what and whom we truly love. Identifying your true passions aligns you with your life purpose and what gives meaning to your life.
Passions get your inner fire burning and motivate you. They help you develop an inner compass that guides you to making better life choices. Following your passions is following your heart and connecting most profoundly with the Real You.
In my work as a life coach I frequently engage with clients who may be good at what they do, but are not fully living their passions. Often, your relationships may be great but the job is unfulfilling – or vice versa. Sometimes neither is satisfying.
For one of my clients, his family encouraged him to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a trial attorney. He became very good at his profession, but his compassionate caring nature was being stifled. For many years he had been taking time from work fulfilling his true passion by volunteering with communities and disadvantaged children both here and abroad. Finally at midlife and in a loving and supportive relationship, he started examining his life and passions. He decided to go back to school to train to become a special needs teacher and move to an area of the country that fed his spirit.
But I have no passions!
I commonly hear this from my clients and students: “I’m not passionate about anything.”
For some people passion is too strong a word.
Another way to view passion is to reflect on the things you care about – what you truly value and what provides meaning. When you feel in the zone, when you ask, “where did the time go?” you’re doing your passion.
It’s what gets you up in the morning
– or would if you were living your passion.
Your passions can be found in aspects of your work, projects you do, talents you engage, play, hanging out with friends or family, caring for others, being in nature, your faith or spirituality, volunteering…what brings you joy or inner peace.
There are a myriad of potential passions inside waiting to become fully embodied. Your job is to identify the strongest ones and take steps towards bringing them fully to life.
What’s inside the real you?
We’ll explore this in our next issue.