Living A Passionate Life

Living A Passionate Life - Samantha Leith

It sounds obvious to say that being clear on your passions is important in life and yet many people lead lives sadly devoid of passion. And we’re not always talking about the kinky kinds of passions (although that can definitely be something to include on the passion list). We’re talking about anything that drives and inspires you.

Much of what I am discussing here is drawn from a book that changed my life called The Passion Test by Janet Attwood. It’s authentic and simplistic, but also presents a system to discovering your passions and I highly recommend it.

You can find out more here

Here I am discussing some of my main takeaways from the book and how I utilize it to ensure that I am keeping my life and business on track and always working towards my passions.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO DISCOVER WHAT YOUR PASSIONS ARE?

It’s important to know your passions because we always want to be moving towards the things that bring us joy, animate us, make us happy, excite us and drive us to success. A life where you’re aimlessly punching in and out of your days without purpose can be pretty sad. Why not work towards something that will ultimately make you happier.

PASSIONS CAN BE SIMPLISTIC

Passions don’t have to always be intensely deep and meaningful; it can be something as simple as hanging out with your kids or old friends. If spending time with your friends is a passion but you’re slogging away for 80-hours a week, then this could be pretty difficult to find time. If you’re also not particularly excited about that job you’re working hard at, you’ll quickly fall into a slump. Knowing that your friends are your priority might lead you to change jobs, change careers and ultimately be happier.

PASSIONS CHANGE OVER TIME

This is important. What drives you in your 20s, at the start of your career, at the start of your relationships, friendships etc. is not the same as what will inspire you in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s. It’s interesting, but it makes sense that your passions will change, especially as you experience big life events. I retake the passion test every 1-2 years and this year one of my passions changed, which is significant.

So if you’re someone who knows about this book and has taken the test, revisit your passions, revisit the test and ask yourself if your passions are the same of if they’re changing.

KNOWING YOUR PASSIONS MAKES BEING YOU EASIER

It is much, much, much easier to be yourself when you know what your passions are. We so often wonder what defines us and it really should be the things which make us want to work hard; be it family, building a business, giving back to the community, travelling the world first class, working in the garden, learning Tik Tok dance moves or all of the above. This is particularly important in professional settings because so many people work in jobs they’re not particularly passionate about. We spend a lot of time at work and it’s pretty bleak to consider all that time going towards something which isn’t leading us to a passion.

PASSIONS MAKE DECISIONS EASIER

As a Gemini, decisions don’t come easily to either of my personalities so when I can make a decision easily, it usually comes down to something I’m passionate about. Once you know your passions, all you have to do is ask yourself whether any decision is leading you towards or away from your passions. It can be an invite, a meeting, job opportunity, date, weekend away or even restaurant choice. Does it lead you towards or away from your passions?

Maybe you’re really passionate about supporting local business. This will influence where you buy the furniture you use to decorate your house and you’ll feel happier and more satisfied whenever you look around your home.

IDENTIFYING CLEAR PASSIONS HELPS YOU TO SET GOALS

Once you know your passions, goal setting also becomes easy. You can really drill down on the types of goals that will lead you to your passions. If you are someone who wants a beautiful home, you first need a house deposit, so you make savings goals and you’re off.

Once your goal is set, your intentions become clear. Your intentions are the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. This will help you to take pressure off the goal itself. In my house-buying example, your intention is to save money. So you don’t have the pressure of needing $200,000 immediately, but you might need to change some lifestyle habits to save a bit more money every month. Your intentions allow you to do the work to achieve your goals and lead you to your passions.

CLEAR PASSIONS MAKE FOR A BLOODY GOOD LIFE

There’s a great saying about being clear on your passions:

“Whenever you’re faced with a decision, choice, or an opportunity, choose in favour of your passions”

This sums it up for me. What a great way to lead life.

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The Power of Flow

Flow. You know, that feeling when everything is aligned and you are on fire!!!! Don’t you wish you could have that feeling everyday? Unfortunately, reality (ie the shit hits the fan) sometimes and you can feel like crap – but when it’s all going well, woo hoo!!!! The Power of FlowSo how do you know when you are in Flow? It’s easy. That’s it. Plain and simple. The tasks that you have to do, the clients you have to contact, the research you have to do – all just happens.
  • Comparatitis disappears
  • You feel proud talking about what you are doing
  • You feel stronger, healthier and more energetic
  • Bad habits fall away (eating, shopping, drinking etc)
  • Your relationships improve
  • You walk a little taller
  • Issues don’t seem as big
I could list a million other things………….but that might bore you. Think about the water pictured. It doesn’t question – Is the waterfall up the road prettier, faster, quieter?? No it just is. When you feel like that – it’s Flow. Can you fake Flow? I don’t think you can fake Flow, but I know you can think you’re in Flow – but you’re actually not. Been there done that. That’s when you do enjoy what you do, and there’s nothing staring you in the face as really big problems – so it’s ok. You get what you need to get done completed. You get clients. You show up. But that it’s. Nothing spectacular happens. When you are in Flow – that’s when magic can happen. Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on a new project, and I am a different person. It’s not that I wasn’t me before, or working well. Nothing was wrong at all, but now it just feels so right. I think this can actually be a little hard to explain. It’s one of those things that when you know, you know. Like finally getting a pair of heels that don’t hurt. You think to yourself, why wasn’t it like this before, or why didn’t I do this faster. Then the beating yourself up comes to play. DON’T. Stop right there. If you are in Flow it’s for a reason, and the rest has just been a part of the journey. Other ways you can think about Flow.
  • Your A Game
  • Your Zone of Genius
  • Being aligned with your Passions
When you are working in Flow. Nothing else matters. You’re not suddenly drawn to that nights episode of MasterChef. You have the ability to focus on each singular task till it’s done. That’s a very important point. You see, I am not a believer in multi tasking. You can multi think – but multi tasking is hard, and usually ineffective, so why bother. You are much better off focusing on one thing at a time, and getting it done well….and it’s easier when you are in Flow!!!! Things to remember about what you do…..
  • Be passionate
  • Ditch It, Delegate It, Leverage It and Live It
  • Focus on you and your business, not what is going on around you
  • Take time out to figure out what you need to tweak to be in Flow
I did a full life audit. Every job, every business, all my personal projects.
  • Worked out what I loved and what I loathed
  • What I was good at and what I was not so good at
  • The people I loved to be around
  • The BIG picture of my future
  • The things that inspire me daily
All will be revealed in time, but with a couple of small tweaks – I am more aligned and in Flow now than I have ever been. Now I actually understand Flow from an experience point of view, rather than an intellectual one. DO IT!!!!!! This weekend, take an hour out of your day (or more if you want / need) and do a mini life audit. I promise, even with a couple of changes you will do more, be more and feel more, by being in Flow.