Misplaced your Passion? Here are Some Great Ways to find it!
People are watching us; how we react to criticism, handle a problem or enjoy our day. It’s what we model to others that matters, not what we’re saying. And Albert Schweitzer said it best when he asserted that example is not the main thing in influencing others, it’s the only thing.
Which is why passion is so important. Think about it, what makes us want to work with someone? Probably their enthusiasm and passion for life. They’re fun to be around; it’s as if every day is a celebration and they take advantage of every opportunity to have a good time, no matter where they are or what they’re doing.
When we are feeling good then pleasure chemicals such as endorphins, oxytocin and norepinephrine surge into our synapses and strengthen the neural circuits, making them more likely to fire again. So our pleasure systems highlight whatever triggered it, making a crazy loop of positive energy that others can feed into.
On the other hand if you’ve ever had an off day or woken up and just couldn’t find your passion, here are some thoughts to recharge, regroup and reach everyone with your great attitude and positive energy:
- Stay in the “now.” There is a lot being written about mindfulness, a present-centered attention and awareness that originated from Buddhist philosophy and helps us keep consciously focused on what we’re doing now. One study says the human mind wanders roughly half of our waking hours, and with my short attention span I feel my mind is always thinking about the future, the past or anywhere but where I am this very second. When I take a second to look, I’ve missed the present and all the richness it may hold.
- Link something you like with something you do. What do you enjoy about your job? The people? The challenge? If you could get up 30 minutes earlier and use that just for yourself, what interesting or fun thing would you do? If you could do anything you want today what would it be, and how can you then add a piece of that to your current day? Too many people wait for weekends or holidays or vacations to really have fun, which means we throw away all that valuable time in between.
- Passion is contagious. I’ve mentioned mirror neurons in the past which means that one person’s attitude can literally change another’s brain by how our neurons mirror each other. A neuron fires both when we do something and when we observe the same action by someone else, so the neuron mirrors the behavior of the other as though we were doing the action instead of just observing. Kind of a no-brainer that if you are feeling good everyone around you will feel better as well.
- Decide to “act as if” today. You may not feel as joyous as you’d like, but what if you act as if you do? You’ll be amazed at how the upbeat attitude slips in, even if you’re only playing the part initially. Add to it by pulling up a memory of a great time when you felt as excited or passionate as you would like to be. When I’m feeling low energy I recall a memory of landing in Paris with my daughter for the first time and seeing the Eiffel Tower out the window of the plane. I was thrilled, and can still pull up that feeling when I need more energy.
- Ask yourself what belief is holding you back from having more fun? Did someone tell you FUN is not a corporate word? Try smiling more or bringing in food more often or decorating your office. We don’t help the world or grow our businesses by being more serious. Have you ever watched a group of five year olds play? They don’t analyze or judge or plan, they just are, and they’re loving it.
Keep track of how many times you smile or laugh this week. Find ways to brighten the lives of those around you and give yourself permission to feel all the emotions that have made you the passionate, interesting person that you are. Remember it’s all about choices, so we might as well choose to make today amazing!