I’m taking the day off from blogging, but in the meantime, here’s a 2007 morning show interview with Janet and Chris Attwood, authors of the Passion Test.
Posts Tagged ‘passion’
I read somewhere that four out of five Americans are unhappy with their lives, and especially with the work that they do. Just surveying the people around me, I can see that even if it’s three out of five, it’s all too true. And it’s not even that they are not passionate about what they’re doing…they are downright unhappy and frustrated, and don’t believe that anything can change their circumstance.
That makes me crazy! Change is always possible, regardless of your circumstance. The key is to 1) know what you want, 2) eliminate any obstacles (actual or imagined,) and 3) choose to take action. My experience with clients tells me that folks can get stuck and any one of those three steps.
Knowing what you want means knowing what you value in life and tapping into what you’re passionate about. Before our call last night, my friend Janet Attwood, co-author of Passion Test, asked me to email her the 10 things I was passionate about, starting with the phrase “When my life is ideal, I am… “
Last night on the phone with Janet, she had me refine my statements to separate what I want from how I can get it, and then compare their relative importance to me until I came up with the following top five:
- When my life is ideal I am living a healthy and balanced life..body, mind and spirit
- When my life is ideal I am laughing a lot…traveling, playing, and collaborating with my friends and family
- When my life is ideal I am enjoying my creativity in collaboration with others
- When my life is ideal I am taking time off to nourish my mind, body and soul
- When my life is ideal I am feeling, giving and receiving love from my family and friends
I’m still going to play with these until they are exactly right, but they are close. And I just might share Janet’s number one statement “Being in the moment and loving what is.”
The interesting thing about the Passion Test, is that it’s not about “finding your passion” in the sense of making money, or becoming famous, or any number of things that people think that they want. As I do with my coaching clients, the Passion Test asks you to dig deeper, and figure out why you want those things…what would having more money or being famous allow you to do? (It’s like the story of the CEO and the Fisherman.)
The next thing she asked me to do is to come up with what she calls “markers” or “signposts” that let you know when you are really living your passion. These are the things that happen when you are living your passion full out.
She said it’s important not to think how you will achieve those markers, just to write them. So, for example from my number 1 entry above, my markers might be:
Others remark on my state of mind and ask for my advice on how to achieve it;
I wake up peaceful, happy and energetic each day;
I am able to run up and down the stairs with no effort.
That’s as far as we got…but the book is on it’s way here, and I’ll be working through it — creating my markers, vision board and passion pages–when I am done with Sonia’s book.
In the meantime, I think it would be helpful to also revisit my values with the TruValues assessment. And because I appreciate your sharing my journey with me, I share TruValues with you here. Because when you live your life in accordance with your values and your passions, you won’t be one of the four out of five that lives in frustration. And I want that for you.
Passion is the driving force that has you doing things without any thought to whether or not you will fail. It’s the force that compels and inspires you to go after your dream, to commit and follow through to taking action and making changes. It’s what causes photographers to stand on a rocky ledge to get that perfect shot, actors to go from audition to audition in search of a role, writer’s to withstand countless rejections and keep on writing.
My first two “assignments” from the preliminary work prior to The Passion Test and in Your Heart’s Desire start out by asking basically the same question: Think about all the areas of your life and list the top ten passions or priorities. Each asks you to write it down with slightly different phrasing, but essentially the exercise is identical. And…very similar to coaching homework assignments I use with my clients. Essentially, tap into the major focus areas of your life and state the most important element that would make that area perfect. Those focus areas, or environments include (with slight variations– not all of these are included in each program or coaching homework):
Relationships (family, friends, peers, close colleagues)
Your surroundings (home, car, nature)
Your body, health and physical appearance
Your Self (skills, strengths, talents, character, the “essence” of you)
Your Spirit (connection to the universe, spiritual practices, faith)
Your Memetic environment (ideas, learning, beliefs, what you read and watch)
Networks (Professional Connections, Community, Social Networks)
Travel and adventure
Most pundits say (and I agree) that the first step to change is embracing exactly where you are today. So start with where you are and then (in the areas you choose from above) decide which of the areas are your top priority to change? What are you finances? What shape are you in? What do you like about your self? What puts a smile on your face? Where does your creativity show up?
Next, for each of the areas you are choosing to work on, write down what you want to change…in other words: how you intend for it to be. Take relationships as an example. It may be that you already have a great relationship. Still…what might it look like if you kicked it up a notch? Or perhaps you don’t have one, or have one that could improve.
Sonia says to write three powerful and very clear intentions. The Passion Test asks me to list ten items, beginning with the phrase “When my life is ideal…” and to phrase them in the present tense.
I recognize that for many, that may be easier said than done. What I know to be true (thank you Oprah) is that while many people can easily whip off a list of clear desires or intentions, there are an equal amount of folks who haven’t got a clue. Many of the clueless (no judgment intended here) know very clearly what they DON’T WANT, and that’s a great starting place too. But there are a large number of people who are totally blocked from telling themselves the truth about their life. For those folks, I offer the following questions to begin tapping in to what you want for your life:
What brings you great joy? What are you doing in those moments when you feel happiest or your heart swells to overflowing? When are you at your most creative? What are you doing when ideas flow effortlessly and time just zips by? Is there a particular topic you like to read about? Talk about? Watch movies about? Internet surf to learn more about? Do you have a hobby you are passionate about?
I write my intentions/goals for the year annually. I’m going to update mine, and I’ll share them with you when I do.
Anthony Robbins says “Passion is the genesis of genius.” Isn’t it time to find yours?