My wife just shared with me a sad story about a woman getting killed in a freak accident while walking down the street in NYC.
Uncontrollable events like this happen all the time and they remind me of the fragile and fleeting nature of life and the importance of living it to the fullest now. If you're still putting up with a mediocre life in hopes of getting something out of it at the end, please reconsider.
One way to live a fulfilling life is to ...
... follow your PASSION.
Passion is one of those words that people use often without really understanding the original meaning of the word. When most people refer to "passion", they use it to mean strong emotions reflecting an intense desire or boundless enthusiasm (At least, that's how I've always heard it used).
It was only after reading Aspire by Kevin Hall and confirming with the dictionary, did I realize that "passion" originally meant:
A Willingness to Suffer for What You Love
The most famous example being the passion of Jesus Christ. This definition has changed my perspective on passion. I no longer use it to describe something that I feel strongly about or that excites me. I use it to describe an activity, goal or cause that I care about so much that I am willing to suffer for it. This new standard makes it easier to discern whether something is truly my passion or simply a strong interest.
People who make a difference in their own lives and the world do so by following their passion. This means making the conscious decision to give up other enjoyable activities to focus your energy on the most important activities. Great parents naturally do this when they have children and similar to raising kids, doing what you love is very hard work yet rewarding at the same time. The good news is when you pursue your passion, you'll not only like where you end up but enjoy the journey along the way.
Look at your life and highlight the things you love that you're willing to suffer for. This self-reflection will give you insight into what you're passionate about. If you're not sure, just pick something you enjoy and see if you're willing to give up other activities to spend more time on it. Remember that in life you can choose and change your actions - just also keep in mind that you're responsible for the consequences.
Don't settle for a life that is only so-so.
Start living your best life today.
“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don't like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn't that a little like saving up sex for your old age?”
For those of you who read the entire article or just scrolled to the bottom, here is a bonus word (also from Kevin Hall's Aspire):
Compassion = Com + Passion = Willing to Suffer with Another
If you want to show true compassion, share in the suffering of the other person. Interestingly, when we all become more compassionate, there will probably be less suffering in the world.
Photo by Andreas Schalk
Robert Chen is the founder of Embrace Possibility and author of The Dreams to Reality Fieldbook. He helps people who feel stuck move forward by guiding them to see other possibilities for their lives. He specializes in working with high performers get to the next level. If you're going through a tough time right now, check out Robert's article on How to Feel Better Right Away and if you're having trouble getting what you want out of life, check out How to Always Achieve Your Goals.