I follow a few blogs on positive thinking, happiness, personal development, changing your life, pursuing your passion, etc. Mind you, reading a lot is good but useless if there is no action coming out of it. I am actually thinking of decreasing the amount of info I am taking in, just so it does not stop me from acting on it.
You read and read posts and articles that are echoing each other, yet provide different angles on the same thing – how to be happy. Some things stick with you. Some things later fall into places and suddenly you see the big picture, have an epiphany. And it may be the simplest, most obvious thing of all, yet it’s only when it hits you that you suddenly get it.
Here are a few recent discoveries of mine.
James Rhodes writes brilliantly about his escape from the corporate world, his extreme journey towards his passion and his takeaways from that experience. Passion is the key word in his story. It’s the striking story of the inspiring man. But above all strikes the quote he cites, by Charles Bukowski – find what you love and let it kill you.
Brilliant, isn’t it?
The recipe for happiness is so simple – find your passion and pursue it. Yet, when we discover our passion, we are often too scared to pursue it. We are equally afraid of failure and succeeding. You know the drill – excuses are made up, procrastination is allowed to take over, overthinking overwhelms.
This seemingly slight, yet profound in its effect, rephrasing (re-framing) helps. Instead of ‘find your passion and pursue it’, find what you love and let it kill you. Easy. Extreme. No other way. No more excuses. Go and do it. Now. And keep doing it until you are done.
This piece, from another corporate escapee, with 4 lessons on how to find the right direction in life also stuck with me. And what is the right direction in life but finding and pursuing your passion?
- Stop overthinking
- Try anything. Do something
- Follow your inner voice/ trust your gut
- Believe in yourself
I feel like tattooing these on my forehead. They are obvious, right? Yet, I had a bit of an epiphany after reading them. Maybe some planets aligned somewhere, I am not sure. I read it many times before. But it only hit me now. I have decided that I will stop overthinking how I pursue my passion (which is writing) and interests – sustainability, marketing and own business (here is how they are different), and instead will try to make them happen. And ‘try anything’ is a useful re-frame of ‘just do it’. ‘Just do it’ is too uncertain and pushy and scary, whereas ‘try anything’ is gentler and easier to do. Just 20 seconds of ‘insane courage and embarrassing bravery‘ now and then is all that’s required.
I will no doubt fail and then I will try again. And teaching myself to fail repeatedly will not be easy. There is an ego to be silenced and thinking to be reprogrammed. But once you tell yourself that failing is just part of trying to live your passion, then suddenly it’s ok. Because if one try has failed, it’s ok, there is another one and another one, and only 20 insane brave seconds is what’s required. Trying is easy and doable. I just have to remember that whenever I am having a negative thought (it’s impossible, I can not do it, etc.) or overthink (I have no idea where to start, I need more research, etc.), I need to replace this with action – trying – instead. And this is how I will live my passion – I will fearlessly dive in and let it consume me…
Consider this my new manifesto.