Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Chapter 9. Pursue a Passion.
GR Quotes and my notes
Not everyone shares my (GR’s) particular passion, of course; instead of books, it might be college football, or community theater, or politics, or garage sales. But whatever your passion might be, happiness research predicts that making time for a passion and treating it as a real priority instead of an “extra” to be fitted in at a free moment (which many people practically never have) will bring a tremendous happiness boost. – GR
One thing I learned from my blog, however, was that some people feel overwhelmed by the question “What’s your passion?” It seems so large and unanswerable that they feel paralyzed. If so, a useful clue to finding a passion to pursue, whether for work or play, is to “Do what you do.” What you enjoyed as a ten-year-old, or choose to do on a free Saturday afternoon, is a strong indicator of your passion.
Last winter I went through Aaron Ross’s Unique Genius Superhero Program to unearth my passion. I love how he pulled from my past experience, my current skills, and my future hopes to show me what my own passions were. He went further than GR and blended the passions and revenue streams to a make money in what you love to do. Serve the people that are most like past versions of yourself. It was great. That program led me to start this blog. It pushed me to start new adventures in the Pasadena Triathlon Club. I plan on doing more of the Unique Genius work this winter too. It takes time and focused effort to make it happen, but it’s so worth it; to work for something you really want to do.
Write a Novel
GR made a goal to write a novel in 30 days. The idea is to DO something. Do it now. Move forward on your dreams. Take action. As Aaron says, throw a rock. Then, make it happen.
When your passion is important, when you recognize it as such, you give time and space in your heart and in your calendar, and in your wallet. Go for it. I spent more money on triathlon stuff this year than in the past. But, I also did so many more events and went so many more miles. I had great experiences, because I got up early and made the workouts. My goal was triathlon focused. You can replace it with your own goals. Races are so tangible. There is a deadline, a starting gun. The race will start with or without me. I haven’t DNF’d on a race yet. I always finish. It’s not fast nor pretty sometimes, but I have been able to always finish the race. I used to study the swim portion to identify the halfway point in the swim. I knew if I got to the halfway point, I would make it through the whole rest of the race. I learned that the commitment to the event and to a workout with my friends were motivation enough for me to get out of bed at any time of day (or night). The crazier, the better the story for later.
Forget about Results
How poignant, when applied to me and racing! I don’t do it for the time results. I was not born a runner or cyclist. I’m asthmatic, for gad’s sakes. When I run harder than an 8:00 min/mile, I start wheezing and have to take a break. The fear of bad results never stopped my progress or stopped me from starting the challenge. Do your passion because you want to do it. The journey is the treasure, not the finishing medal.
Master a New Technology
This blog is a results of that challenge. GR challenged herself to start a blog. Aaron challenged us to start a blog. So, I started a blog. It’s a great vehicle to reach like-minded people. Like attracts Like. It just does. Happy-seeking people look for happy-seeking people. They find happy people. Triathletes find triathlon people. Blogs are more universal in nature than Facebook. FB is suppose to be just your friends. Blogs reach new friends, all over the world. WordPress allows me to see all the stats on my blog: how many people looked at my posts, what country the clicks were coming from. It’s amazing. Certain topics generate worldwide interest. Garmin 920XT is one hook. Sorry if I made you look at this happiness blog just cuz you got a hit for Garmin.
Passions and dreams can sound very out there. But, it boils down to very tangible things that you try out. Throwing a rock, i.e. taking action, is very concrete and very real and as little (or as big) as you want to make it. It can start as simple as sending a few emails, posting a few pictures. Then, after I do that for a few months, the patterns and thoughts, turn into new friends and new experiences. My passion is to bring other people along the journey of finding more happiness. Finding peace in who they are right now. Letting go of the sins of the past. Trying new sports. Going new places. Trying new jobs. Cooking new foods. That’s what I want to do. Here’s to Choosing Happiness!