How to Create a List of Passions That Inspire You Always
By Mike Iamele
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Let’s face facts—life isn’t always a 24/7 upbeat and inspiring parade. We face hardships, we get bored, we get discouraged. Maybe we don’t love our job. Maybe we just don’t feel motivated or inspired by our current list of passions and goals.
And it can be really hard to take action or go after the things we want in life when we aren’t feeling inspired.
Instead of waiting and hoping for inspiration to magically come to us, what if we could call inspiration to our door whenever we wanted?
Inspiration Is What Gives You Life
It turns out that we can. Inspiration is what makes you feel alive, what makes you want to take immediate action, and what makes you want to jump out of bed, connect with others, and engage with life more. When we’re inspired, we breathe life into the different projects and relationships in our lives. Inspiration is the spark that prompts us to be more involved with life, and the fire that lights that spark is our passions.
When we’re passionate about something, it feels like we can do it endlessly, like when we’re having a passionate conversation until late into the night, or when we’re passionately dancing at the club. And we can actually map those passions to create a formula for inspiration to come at all times. We just have to explore what you’re sensitive to.
Passions Are in Your Sensitivities
When we’re feeling really inspired, it’s a lot easier to become inspired because we’re sensitive to inspiration and passion in those moments. On the other hand, when we’re not feeling inspired, it can feel nearly impossible to get there. When we’re children, we’re usually a lot more sensitive to our passions than we are when we’re adults, simply because we get to do more inspiring things.
However, that means that we can rediscover those passions pretty easily by starting with what we are sensitive to in life and then creating a list of passions.
Every single person has unique sensitivities that they’ve had since they were born. Sensitivities are the stuff we feel. They include our passions, but they also include our pain.
So, if we’re not feeling particularly passionate, focusing on the passions we can’t access will only make us feel worse about ourselves. Instead, let’s start with the stuff that kind of sucks.
Map Your Pain to Discover Your Passions
Grab a piece or paper or open up a Word document, and answer the following questions:
1. What is one of the most challenging or frustrating moments of your life (that doesn’t feel re-traumatizing to think about)?
2. What were five things you felt in that moment? (e.g. “I felt angry, disappointed, stuck, not good enough, and embarrassed.”)
3. Now, flip it. What would you have rather felt in that moment? (e.g. “I wanted to feel calm, excited, motivated, worthy, and proud.”)
4. Take the words from Question #3 and start listing out any time you’ve felt those words in the past. Did you feel them with any particular friends? Did you feel them playing any games or in any hobbies? Did you feel them doing any work projects?
5. Start to notice patterns in the past and create a list of passions for the future (e.g. “I felt proud on the day of my wedding. Being connected to friends and family makes me feel proud and is a passion of mine.”)
How to Make a Foolproof List of Passions
It might take some finagling to modify those past instances of your sensitivities into present moment experiences. For example, you may no longer engage in that hobby, have that job, or hang out with those friends. So, as you start listing, be realistic about what will work for your current lifestyle. The important thing to note is you’ve felt lit up in life somewhere before, and we can map the very sensitivities that make you feel alive and lit up, and then replicate that feeling.
Choose Three Things to Do Daily
Take a look at the list and choose three things on it that you can realistically do every single day. These don’t need to be monumental things. In fact, it’s best if they’re super simple and practical to do daily. It doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as you can realistically do it daily, and it makes you feel some of those words.
The more often you do it, the more sensitive you become to the things that make you feel passionate and inspired, and the easier it is to become inspired at a moment’s notice. The rest of the passions—that you aren’t committing to daily—become your reserve list.
Why It Works
The trouble with most passion and inspiration advice is that it’s pretty generic—and it may or may not work for you specifically. However, if we start with your sensitivities and experiences where you’ve already felt those sensitivities, then we have a proven formula that works for you specifically. Instead of pushing yourself to be someone you’re not, it’s a lot easier to find inspiration in who you already are and what you’re already sensitive to.
Always Feel Inspired
Just like staying in shape, the best way to get inspired is to never get out of it. Inspiration doesn’t require a certain job, hours of time, or even a certain amount of money. Even if we only have five minutes free a day, we can do things that we know put us on track for inspiration and new action. Because, when we’re inspired, we’re motivated to take new actions and start changing our lives for the better.
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