Life-Changing Ways to Find Your Path, Passion and Purpose
What do you want? Not just right now, what do you want ultimately in life? I’ve spent a lot of my life struggling with this question. Shoving my desire for my passion way down into the pit of my stomach to pursue what was practical. Not listening to my gut. And you know what? I’m done with that.
There are a lot of things I want in life, and very few of them fit into the neat little box I wish they did.
But I do know one thing: I want to love my life. I want to enjoy every minute of it so much that I burst with joy and inspire others. I want to be one of those people that makes others feel driven just by being around them. And I’m not one of those people naturally.
Nope, I’m a complainer, in simple terms. I worry. I spent a good part of my life as a *gasp* pessimist. And I’m still very real with myself (and others) about what the world is and is not. But you know what? I think having a life I love is fully achievable. Because I am nothing if not determined, and that’s what I want. And you know what? You can, too.There are a lot of things I want in life, and very few of them fit into the neat little box I wish they did. Click To Tweet
It hasn’t been an easy road to get to this point, but I’ve made small changes along the way. More than a decade ago, when I left a 9:00 to 5:00 and started working for myself, that was a huge, scary step. But my quality of life is so, so much better for it. There are still things I’m working on, though, and this blog is a huge part of that.
So how do you decide to take that leap? To leave the job, to start the business, to pursue the life you love?
You listen to your gut.
You ask yourself the question: Am I living a live that I love living? And if you say no, then it’s time to change things. The good news is, you can.
How do you do this? Well, the first step is to identify your passion. Again, saying that is easy; finding it is something entirely different. And if you have no idea what you’re passionate about, it’s time to sit down, have a long talk with yourself, and start paying attention to what drives you. For example, I’ve always been a creative. This may come from being an only child for the first seven-ish years of my life, but my imagination just works like crazy all the time. And I’m also an entertainer; I love nothing more than to hold the attention of a group of people and leave them a bit richer in spirit than they came. And I’ve always been a good writer; I even spent a stint when I graduated from college as a reporter for a small newspaper. If you have no idea what you're passionate about, it's time to sit down, have a long talk with yourself, and start paying attention to what drives you. Click To Tweet
So I combine those things that I love. I’m a blogger, yes, and I’m also an actress. I believe that I can have both, so I do.
And how do you find your path? Well, that’s simple and complicated at the same time. For some people, it’s as easy as asking yourself, what makes me happy? For others, it might take hours of introspection and meditating on the question. Hell, I’m still learning to listen to my gut. But it all boils down to the same things: What drives you? What makes you happy? What do you feel best doing?
Once you’ve zeroed in on your passion, you need to start infusing your everyday life with it. It doesn’t matter if this comes in small steps at first; change is scary. But don’t you want to do what you’re passionate about every day, even for five minutes? Okay, me too. There’s no worse feeling than being stuck, and even though I control my own schedule, I still feel that way sometimes. It’s a natural feeling every once in a while; not everyone feels amazing all the time. But you take steps. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. You have to push a little out of your comfort zone in order to do greater things. There's no worse feeling than being stuck, and even though I control my own schedule, I still feel that way sometimes. It's a natural feeling every once in a while; not everyone feels amazing all the time. Click To Tweet
Now, I’m fortunate. I went straight to college right after high school before I had time to think about it (I wish I had appreciated how amazing it was at the time, to be honest), and poof! I had a bachelor’s degree by the time I was 21. And this month, I finally paid off my student loans, a major downside of higher education, especially for those of us who took a circuitous path after school.
And I waited a long time to do what I had always wanted to do: move to Los Angeles. But I did it. And you know what? I think I’m doing okay. I was a homeowner within 5 years of landing in La La Land, which is not an easy feat. And I still live my life on my own terms, for the most part. I’ve managed to do all that without a “desk job.”
But my life was still missing something.
You see, I wanted to start this blog in 2013, but I waited and waited and waited. I want to have it all. So I’m doing it now because, sh*t, what do I have to lose? I get to write again, which is something that I’ve missed. And I get to help other people and (hopefully) entertain them at the same time – how much better could it get?
Now, are there haters? Sure. There are. There always are. No matter what you do, there will be people who try to make you feel bad about it. As long as insecurities exist, those people will be out there. And for me, no hater’s voice speaks louder than the one in my head. I know, that’s why there’s therapists, but still. That’s the first voice you have to learn to silence.
Once you’ve calmed her down, the others don’t seem so bad. Jealousy causes people to do crappy things, and a lot of those crappy things manifest in being terrible to others. But don’t let other people’s insecurities stop you. If you encounter hate from others, you know what the best thing to do is? Approach it with kindness. A lot of times, there is hurt behind the hate.I've had people I don't even know call me a b*tch online. True story. And you know what? That hurts. But I don't let it stop me, and I hope you won't either. Click To Tweet
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Guys, truer words were never spoken, I swear. And if you’re like me, it’s super hard to stop comparing yourself to others. But you will be so much happier if you stop. Here’s the mantra: Stay in your lane. Stay in your lane. Stay in my lane. Look, you don’t know what’s going on in another person’s life. And it’s okay to feel jealous. But don’t let it consume you. It’s okay to think, wow, she’s got a great career. I wish I had that career. Then bless that sh*t and let it go. It’s okay to feel like you haven’t got it together, no matter what age you are. You’ll figure it out. And so what if you don’t? It’s your life. Enjoy it. If you want to take 20 years to finish your degree, go for it. If you want to switch careers at 60, do it. It’s your life, your pace, your time. Don’t compare your house, your spouse, your career, or any other part of your life to anyone else’s journey. And if you do, don’t beat yourself up; just let it go. Here's the mantra: Stay in your lane. Stay in your lane. Stay in my lane. Look, you don't know what's going on in another person's life. And it's okay to feel jealous. But don't let it consume you. Click To Tweet
Practice some gratitude.
This is going to sound like a cliché, but every time I start to feel sorry for myself, I think about people who have much, much less than I do. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, my family is still around, my husband is amazing. Those things are important. Do you have great friends? That’s amazing. Do you have enough money to buy things that you want? Incredible. Gratitude journals go a long way in helping to realize these things; I recommend writing at least three things in your journal every day that you’re thankful for. It will make your life feel so much more fulfilled, I promise. This is going to sound like a cliché, but every time I start to feel sorry for myself, I think about people who have much, much less than I do. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, my family is still around, my husband… Click To Tweet
The nitty gritty.
Now we come down to the meat of the matter. You have to have determination and persistence to get to any goal. The more you put into any endeavor, the more you will get out. If your goal is finding your path and living your life in your purpose and you throw everything you have behind it, the more success you will find.
I had an interesting conversation with my husband recently. I was feeling sorry for myself, complaining about something that I’m sure was insignificant, and I said to him, “You know, not everybody gets to do what they love. Some people work in cubicles their whole lives doing something they hate and never get out of it. Wanting something doesn’t guarantee that you get to have it.”
You know what he said to me? “Yeah, but you know what the people who succeeded did? They kept trying. They showed up. And maybe it took one time or maybe a thousand, but they tried.” And he’s right. One way to guarantee that you will never succeed is to give up. Because everyone has dreams, but not everyone goes after them. It’s the pursuing that’s the important part. You have to start in order to succeed. One way to guarantee that you will never succeed is to give up. Because everyone has dreams, but not everyone goes after them. It's the pursuing that's the important part. You have to start in order to succeed. Click To Tweet
A great way to figure out what you want and keep your eye on the prize is to write those things down. I do this monthly at the new moon, where I write 10 things that I really want to attract into my life. Sometimes it’s the same month to month, sometimes it varies, but putting those things in writing gives me something tangible to remind me of what my goals are.
Once those goals are articulated, then you can start thinking about how to achieve them. Or maybe you don’t; maybe you write them down and forget about it. But that thought is always there in the back of your mind. Sometimes you don’t need to have the how, it’s just about identifying the what.
For me, I want freedom. I want to be able to write and act and read and entertain.
What is it that you want?
That said, patience is very important as well. I struggle with this so hard. I am the most impatient person in the entire universe. Want, want, want it and want it now. I am Veruca Salt. But having patience is paramount to getting the life you love. It won’t always be easy.
So when I start to feel overwhelmed, I talk to husband, who is really great at breaking things down into bite-sized, achievable goals for me. Give yourself time. Relax. Focus, but don’t stress yourself out too much. Take time to take breaks or you will burn yourself out. But work at those goals daily.
As a takeaway, I challenge you to do a couple of things. Brainstorm what you’re passionate about and what makes you ridiculously, incredibly happy. Make a word cloud, a web, fill a page with ideas, whatever it takes. Once you’ve done that, think about what would ultimately make you happiest. What’s the overarching goal from all those words?
Got all that? Awesome. Now get out there, find your path, and f*cking kill it. Mwah!
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