Are You Living a Passionate Life?

This article appeared in the Fall 2002 issue of Spirited Solutions’ Newsletter.

Do you feel your life is more dull and mundane than uplifting and energizing? It is a smart practice to ask yourself periodically if you are living a passionate life. I’m not talking about sexuality here, but rather the energy and enthusiasm with which you approach your life. Do you experience more inspiration or perspiration in your life? Are you struggling and sweating to get your to-do list done or are you experiencing the flow and dynamism of life?

What are the signs of a passionate life? You are excited about getting up in the morning, you have a deep sense of purpose/mission in your life, you feel good about yourself, you feel strong and healthy, you enjoy fulfilling connections with others, and you RADIATE PERSONAL POWER!

So what if you feel blocked, as we all invariably do at one time or another? The good thing about passion is that it can be cultivated! I invite you to take this quick inventory to determine which areas of your life need more life and what to do about them:

  • How do you feel about your work? What is going well and what is not going so well? What can YOU do to make your work more enjoyable? (For example, work outside regularly, learn a new skill, get more sleep, schedule lunches with friends and colleagues you like, change jobs, refuse to work overtime, etc.) Be specific!
  • Are your personal and professional relationships fulfilling? Why (not)? What can you change about yourself that will make you a better friend, lover, spouse, parent, child, employee, etc.? Do you need to listen more, have more patience, or refuse to take care of people who can take care of themselves? Look for patterns that persist in several areas of your life and undertake counseling, coaching, or classes that can help you develop healthier interpersonal skills.
  • Do you take time to enjoy your life? Do you do something you LOVE doing—beyond your work—every day? If you had only twenty-four hours to live, what would you spend your time doing? Make whatever that is a part of your DAILY life!
  • What would you like to learn? What have you always wanted to know more about? How, where, when, etc. can you learn more about this topic? Make some calls, gather info, and get involved in learning something new—Your brain will appreciate the change!

Too often we put off what we most enjoy in life due to “external” circumstances that reflect our inner resistance. We deny ourselves the pleasures and passionate attitudes that can make our lives worthwhile, fun, and satisfying. The anniversary of September 11th reminds us that time is short and we are each responsible for the way we live our lives. How are you choosing to spend the 1440 minutes you have today?