Don’t Let Passion be an Excuse for Staying Stuck

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

We all want to work in the areas of our passion. consultants and coaches abound with insights and techniques to help you “discover your passion,” “live your passion,” “have more passion.” It’s appealing to think that you can spend your days working on all the things that feed your soul and energize you emotionally.

Listen, I’m a fan of doing what you love. But let’s be honest, even if you have a dream job where you get to spend your days and even earn a living doing the thing that thrills your heart the most, I’m guessing there are still aspects of your work that are not so thrilling – but they are still necessary!

Maybe where you are in life is not where you want to be. The job you have, your life circumstances and surroundings are not ideal – at least not for you.  Oftentimes the way to get where you want to be is to excel and thrive in where you are right now.  If your current environment is not even close to what fuels your passion, let me suggest the following:

First – be clear about what you do want – what would be the work, the circumstances that would truly energize, even thrill you? It doesn’t have to be just one thing. There may be several things you could do that would align well with your passion.

Don’t get too narrowly focused on only one way live and work with more passion. I’m a creative person. I love to “envision” new ideas, new possibilities. Early on in life, I thought it would be really cool to be a professional musician and performer. That would fit my passions perfectly.

Newsflash, there are no songs on the radio with my name next to them. However, I work with authors to help them create the ideal title and cover design for their message. That opportunity to create and envision is part of what makes me love what I do. Yes I am working in the area of my passion, just not in the way I initially imagined.

Living and working in line with your passion is not about making more money or having more notoriety and success. Rather, it’s about spending your time and energy on something that aligns with your VALUES and plays to your STRENGTHS, aligns with your INTERESTS, and maximizes your GIFTS.

Second – as I shared in my own example, recognize there is more than one way to move closer to working in your area of passion. Be honest with yourself in terms of the skills you have, the training and experience you have, and the stage of life you are in.

I love to lead worship. I’m good at it. But if you haven’t noticed, the vast majority of worship leaders in the church are wearing skinny jeans with holes in them and were born at least a few decades later than I was. Do I still enjoy leading worship – of course! But I am realistic in finding ways to express that.

Finally – be good at what you are doing now. Focusing all your effort and energy on what’s missing in your life is a recipe for staying stuck, for not living up to your potential and living farther from, not closer to your passion and potential.

I am a brand consultant. While products and organizations have a “brand identity,” so do people. So do you. A strong brand makes people feel good about themselves when they associate with that brand.

If you love Starbucks coffee, you probably feel better about yourself holding a Starbuck mug or coffee cup in your hand when you’re out in public than if that same coffee were sitting in a 7-11 cup. Why? Because the Starbucks brand communicates values (of quality, taste, socially aware, being trendy, etc.) that are meaningful to you.

So what is your personal brand? How do people feel about themselves when they identify with you? What are you known for? Being loyal, hardworking, creative, focused, what? If you are pining for your passion and not being faithful and fruitful where you are right now, I suspect living with passion will continue to elude you.

Yes, be intentional in figuring out ways to live and work in areas that fit your passion – but continue to excel and strive for greatness in what you do now, even if it’s not what thrill’s your soul. Being exceptional where you are will put you in a stronger position to move towards your passion.

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