Passion: Use It or Lose It

passion-stephsmiles

A few years ago, a colleague posted a Facebook status that stuck with me: How much is your employer paying you to ignore your dreams?

I remember thinking how fortunate I was to love what I do. I am grateful to have a job in my field doing something I love. It took a lot of work, though.

I’ve been criticized most of my life for not falling into line, not striving to make a ton of money, or getting into a more in-demand field. Sure, I could have managed a chain of stores or majored in another subject, but I didn’t. I majored in a language I love to do the only job I envisioned doing the rest of my life. My passion for reading and language mean more to me than any salary. I can work 50-60 hours a week, barely sleep, and fight migraines because I love what I do. It’s worth it.

True happiness, not just contentment, stems from passion. If you’re not passionate, then you just go through the motions, looking back 20 years later asking what the #$#@? Where has my life gone? Ignoring your passions makes you hollow. You become numb and have difficulty finding happiness in anything – especially yourself.

Passion is something you must exercise. And those who have it, show it. You see it in their work, attitude, physical appearance, and general happiness. The ones who love what they do radiate enthusiasm and inspire others to do the same.

So what do you to do ensure your practicing your passions?

1. Discover it. What fulfills you? Try different things and move on if you don’t feel completely attached to it. Once you find it, you’ll know. You’ll crave it. You’ll need it, and if you don’t have it, you’ll feel incomplete.

2. Make time for it. If you truly love it, you will never be too busy for it. If you don’t practice it, it lingers in the back of your mind – nagging at you. My peeps are great examples of this tip because they have full-time jobs, relationships, and families, but still live their passions. One illustrates. One teaches hot yoga. Another plays guitar. Another plays video games. And they do these things almost every day.

3. Stand up for it. Who cares what <fill in the blank> thinks? It doesn’t matter if they criticize it. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, not theirs. And if they really love you, they should see how important it is to you.

4. Never settle. This is the most dangerous action we can take. Settling can lead to regret and doubt. To our knowledge, we only live once so make the best of it. Find your path and follow it, even if it’s exhausting. Once you get there, you’ll be glad you kept going.

5. Remember your dreams. Life gets in the way of almost everything. Deal with it. Don’t stop believing in yourself and your dreams. If you find another passion and drop another one, that’s okay. If you have several, work them all in. Strive to do what you love and never give up.

Here are some of my favorite people who live their passions!

Bucket List Publications

Cinemassacre/AVGN

Geek and Sundry

Ghost Story #7: Dreams

Do you think ghosts can appear in dreams? I’m torn on this subject, and although I have dreamed about deceased people, I’m not sure they were ghosts or it was just a dream. This story comes from my mother-in-law* and makes me wonder if ghosts can intercept dreams.

A Ghost from the Past

It was July 1964, and little did Martha know she was close to going into labor with her first child. After returning from a long day at work, she laid down to take a nap.

Suddenly, her grandfather appeared at the foot of the bed. He passed away a few years before this incident. “Martha, I can’t stay long and need to tell you something,” he said.

She listened carefully but was terrified. It was an old tale that a pregnant woman seeing a deceased person in a dream was a bad omen for the baby.

“You are going to have a boy with long black hair,” he explained. “Don’t worry, the baby is fine. I need to go now, and I love you.”

She begged her grandfather to stay, but he drifted away. She awoke in a panic, and ran to her mom to tell her what happened. Her mom was worried there was something wrong with the baby, and they spent the next few hours waiting for the baby to move.

The next day Martha went into labor. A few hours later she had a healthy baby boy with long black hair.

Even today Martha isn’t sure it was just a dream; she wonders if her grandfather’s ghost visited and she was never fully asleep. Her grandfather never visited (or intercepted) again, but it makes you wonder if ghosts can enter our subconscious or if it was just a strange coincidence. What do you think?

*Names have been changed.

Don’t miss our Story of the Month, which is a weird tale that even skeptics will have trouble explaining!