One Year Later, The 10 Most Important Lessons I've Learned About Passion

One year ago, as I sat on my couch with my computer on my lap, I clicked "Publish" and officially became an author. I released Crazy Enough To Try last April, and it was the culmination of months of hard work and hours of writing, editing, and reworking.

It was also the result of countless conversations, both those that were documented and included in the book, as well as informal ones with others. Throughout that time, and even more so over the past year, I have learned so much from speaking with people about their passions. Some think of it as a guiding principle that energizes you, while others refer to it as a burning, almost suffering for it, sensation.

I thought I would take this time to reflect on what I've learned throughout this project and how it might be applicable to your life. Below are the 10 most important lessons I've learned about the search for passion and how to incorporate passion into your life. Also included are some of my favorite posts on these lessons.

  1. Life is too short not to incorporate your passion into your life. We're on this planet for just a short time, sometimes shorter than we'd like. Don't settle for anything less than being satisfied with this life. Incorporate your passions in your life in some way. Even if you don't realize it, doing something you love will help your overall satisfaction.
  2. Not everyone needs to use their passion to make a living. We don't all need to work our passions, and build a career or business around them. That can drain us, and distract from what truly excites us. It's ok to make a hobby out of your passion, or to volunteer spending your time doing your passion.
  3. Your passion is not unique. The number of possible passions is limited, so don't try and find that one thing that makes your passion unique compared to others. It doesn't exist. However, how that passion is manifested within you, what your personal experiences bring to it, and what you do to showcase it is what will be unique.
  4. Share your passion. By talking through your thoughts with others, you begin to understand what you love and why you love it a little better. Going through these motions will organize your passion and allow you to approach it through a different lens. Sharing will also give you the opportunity to meet and interact with others who might also be passionate about the same thing. Don't keep it to yourself.
  5. Practice your passions. It's easy to see our passions as incomplete or failing to show any promise. That's often because we've found what we love to do, but haven't spent enough time actually doing it. Spend time practicing and performing your passions and you'll see the progress.
  6. Be patient with your passion. Building your passions will take time. You begin where everyone else begins, knowing very little and being able to do very little. Don't give up before you see the benefit of your hard work.
  7. Take a break from your passion. Sometimes you won't want anything to do with your passion. It's unrealistic to think that you'll want to do something with your passion every single day of your life. Just like any love, there will be ups and downs, and days or weeks when you just need a break. That's ok, and taking a break will help to prevent burnout. But if you find yourself fighting to keep your passion alive for too long, maybe it's time to look elsewhere.
  8. Look Around You! There's inspiration all around us, if we take the time to look. Creating positive environments is important for learning what you're passionate about. To find your passion, you need to be open to listening to what's going on in your mind and heart. If you've surrounded yourself with negative people, negativity is all you'll be thinking about and feeling. Keeping positive and passionate people around you will be especially helpful in the early stages. They will encourage your small successes and keep you on your path. Seek others for insight. Ask Questions. Learn from them.
  9. Don't Get Distracted. Focus is critical in working your passions because it's so easy to become distracted. People will fight against you. Don't listen to them. Your financial situation can get in the way of your passions and debt will hinder your progress. Don't let it. It's easy to see yourself as being trapped, but do what you can to make wise decisions. You'll have to make some tough choices and be willing to sacrifice, but it will be worth it.
  10. This is a journey without a destination. We know when we start our journey of incorporating our passion, but there is no end. Along the way we'll learn more, change directions, and take breaks. That's why the goal is not to reach some destination, but to make that journey as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible.

Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I hope that these tips as well as the other information here has helped you in your pursuit of your passion. If you've learned anything on your passion, please share it with others in the comments. I look forward to another year of growth and sharing with you what I learn from others and their search for passion.

Stay Passionate Everyone!

- Ryan