Monday, February 10, 2014

Unsure about your Passion? Start Small and Choose Joy.

My last post on giving yourself permission to follow your passion touched a nerve. Some really loved it, which I appreciate. And for many readers, it also prompted some tough questions, namely:

What if I don't know what my passion is?
What if I'm not sure what I really want?

If you are asking these questions, then the time to answer them is NOW.

Let me explain: Ambiguity is perhaps the most dangerous mindset of all. You can get stuck here for years, vaguely aware that you're unhappy or uncomfortable, your passions and dreams dormant within you and yet…you don't do anything.


Because at least the pain you're in is familiar.
At least that job you hate pays the bills.
At least you're not alone.

It's tempting to stay here at the corner of unhappy and status quo.

But you can't.

Life is constant evolution, constant change.

Things end. Things begin.

When you stay stuck, you're denying yourself the richness of life that makes it worth living. Stagnant water kills fish and plants. Stagnant lives kill dreams and passion.

So how do you get unstuck? You start by choosing joy.

My sisters bring me joy. 
Ask yourself what makes you happy.

Perhaps it's playing the piano.
Perhaps it's writing in your journal - the things for which you're grateful or the things you'd like to accomplish that day.
Perhaps it's enrolling in a cooking class.
Perhaps it's taking a hike this afternoon as the sun sets.

Small choices. Small actions. But if they bring you joy, they bring you closer to a life that truly makes you happy.

When I left news, I didn't have a totally clear idea of what was to come. I was scared. I was uncertain.

So I started small.

I enrolled in salsa dancing classes because nothing puts a smile on my face like dancing (well, maybe cats). I'd always felt insecure about salsa dancing because I'd never properly learned the steps. And yet from the first class, I fell in love. I loved the way it felt to step in sync with my partner, to execute a turn well, my hair whipping around in time to the beat. We'd wrap up 2 hours later, sweaty, laughing and joyful.

That class made it much easier to do the kinds of things that made me happy because well, feeling good  feels good! So I wrote stories and then a book. I volunteered. I travelled. I kick boxed. I wrapped up ambivalent situations that weren't serving me and made decisions to pursue the things and partnerships that do.

The more I choose what makes me happy, the more I feel empowered to take risks for what really brings me joy.

Now I'm poised to launch my first ever business.

And I swear I am not lying when I say if I hadn't started my salsa classes, I don't think I would have had the cojones to start a company. I didn't know how to dance but I was willing to make mistakes and missteps, to learn and laugh at myself. And I will undoubtedly do much more of that in learning how to be an entrepreneur.

So take those first steps toward a more joyful life. Heck, sashay, shimmy, twirl, whatever makes you smile!

Choosing joy is the key to killing ambiguity and putting yourself on the path to your true purpose.

Flow freely and live joyfully, my friends.


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