When did you last feel passion? I’m not talking about steamy passion, although that has its place too, but real zesty passion for something you were doing, aspiring to, feeling, or being. Without passion, we are almost automatons, we get by, we exist, we know we are breathing and time passes day to day, but is that enough?
Reconnecting with passion
Positive psychology as a discipline has always promoted the theory through things like savouring, zest, flourishing and many other ways and we know it’s good for us…but do you live it? This may be a little too new agey for some, but I recently went to a gong bath, which involves using sound waves from singing bowls and gongs to promote or induce various states. What it did for me was create a huge wave of the thing we call passion in so many ways. I’m reconnected, inspired, and ready to go and chase some of what I love doing but have allowed to take low priority due to time constraints and family commitments.
I’m not advocating everyone go out and enrol on a gong bath session, but I’m suggesting that perhaps if you aren’t already, you should reconnect with your passion. What do you love to do? What stirs your soul? What induces a state of happiness within you? Visualise some of this and then go and chase it like you are the dog and whatever it is, that’s the postman!
When you connect with passion, it’s infectious, so you also inspire others to go and chase whatever it is that induces this state in them. Call it your bliss, call it your passion, call it whatever you want to, but name it and pursue it.
Neglecting your passion
When we don’t do this, the flip side is that we languish, we are on autopilot and we exist. I know for me, when I recognise the difference, I hold gratitude and it makes me a better person. I notice the good, and am indifferent to the mediocre. When I’m not feeling passion, life is less than it can be. I’m a Monday to Friday kind of girl, and I get by. When I’m living my passions, I live experientially, in the moment, with enthusiasm and grit and I’m happy.
Passion may require some sacrifice, heck the term was originally coined to describe the suffering and enduring that Jesus Christ went through, but theorists like Peterson were not alluding to this when bringing this term into positive psychology. The sacrifice might be time away from other goals, or time away from family and friends amongst other things.
The term is also used by Vallerand (2008) who describes “a strong inclination toward a self-defining activity that one likes (or loves).” Pursuing this is how I would also suggest you bring this into your life. Find what moves you, find what draws you, find what stirs you and then go get some of that. This is nutrition for the soul and will feed you better than anything money can buy.
When you find that which brings you a feeling of passion, embrace it and see the difference it brings to your overall wellbeing.
About the author: To find out more about Caralyn Cox MAPP, please click here.