Tag: pursuing your passions


5 Ways to Discover New Passions in Your Life

Originally published on The Daily Positive.

Is it time for you to learn something new or try something again? Is there a place you’ve never visited? I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, explore your surroundings, and talk to interesting people. Here’s how doing so can lead to new passions:

1. Try something new.

When we open ourselves up to new experiences, we discover passions we never imagined! If I was told three years ago I would be spending my free time stand-up paddle boarding down the river, I wouldn’t believe it. And if I was told this new passion would trigger a career change, I really wouldn’t believe it. This all came from taking a beginner paddle boarding class.

new passions

2. Try something old.

The first time I tried rock climbing I was horrible and thought I could never do it. A couple years later, I tried again, and surprisingly, I could! What was the difference? Just a little tweak in my approach. I listened to what an expert said about using my legs more than my arms. This made a huge difference!

Don’t assume because you failed at something once, you’ll fail again. Try a different approach!

3. Travel.

I know a woman who discovered a unique passion when she traveled to Italy. While there, she learned the time-honored art of bookbinding by hand. First, bookbinding became a hobby for her, and now it’s her full-time job! If she had never visited Italy, she may still be stuck in her previously miserable career.

New places or even a simple change of scenery can lead you down a path you never knew existed. You don’t have to travel far away, new passions can be discovered somewhere within driving distance too. 

4.  Pay attention to your surroundings.

When you pay attention to your surroundings, you’ll discover new opportunities for new passions to arise. Sometimes just inquiring about something that catches your eye can lead to a newly discovered passion.

Many cities and local colleges host community classes on topics within arts, languages, computers, etc. In the past, I’ve taken a photography class, an archery class, and even a fly-fishing class. I’ve also taught some classes! This year I plan to take a marketing class and a financial success class. Pay attention to the opportunities around you! 

5. Talk to people.

A few years ago a friend of mine and his girlfriend were traveling in Florida when they noticed a van with the picture of a stand-up paddle boarder on it. They inquired about it and discovered a place where they could learn to paddle board. The first day, they fell in the water several times but went back a second day to try again. They quickly became so passionate about this experience they decided to open their own paddle boarding company. They talked to everyone in the business to learn as much as they could. Nine months later, they opened their own paddle shop with much success! Their success happened just from expressing an interest and learning from the people around them.

Everyone has the opportunity to discover new passions. Find more ways to do so in the complimentary on-demand webinar 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Work and Life.

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Feeling trapped? 7 Possible Ways to Cope

A few weeks ago I took a mini-vacation down to my favorite area of Florida, Seagrove Beach on beautiful 30A. I was anxious to get my paddle board out on the beautiful emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but the beach’s warning flags told me I should re-think my plans. There was a purple flag indicating dangerous marine life, and a red flag indicating high hazards and strong currents. 

So, I improvised and took my board out on Eastern Lake, a rare coastal dune lake that runs under scenic highway 30A and eventually feeds into the ocean after a heavy rain or other inflow. Because it is a coastal dune lake, Eastern Lake is rather small. And since there hadn’t been a previous heavy rainfall to create an opening to the ocean, the sandy beach served as a barrier between the lake and the ocean.

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I paddled from the beach end (the south end) where the salt water mixes with the fresh, to the marshy north end where I’m sure some alligators make their home. It was only about a mile and a half from the beach barrier to the marsh end of the lake. Needless to say, for someone who is used to paddling on rivers with an unlimited amount of distance available, I felt a bit trapped.

Unlike the ocean, I didn’t have a wide open space to explore, so all I could do was just keep paddling in one big circle around the perimeter of the lake. Despite all the beauty surrounding me and the change of scenery from my regular paddle route, the feeling of going around in circles made me frustrated. 

7 Possible Ways to Cope

I’ve thought about that day a lot since returning from my trip, feeling like there is some kind of lesson in it (and there probably is because there have been so many from my various paddling excursions). But what? As soon as I started writing this story, several possibilities came to mind:

  1. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want when we want it, so be patient.
  2. Make the best of your current situation.
  3. Just enjoy and be content with and grateful for the beauty of your current place/situation. Things will soon change for the better.
  4. Wait to make your move until conditions are more favorable.
  5. Pay attention to the warning flags.
  6. You’ll keep going in circles if you don’t step out of your comfort zone.
  7. Don’t wait for an opportunity to come open. Make your own opportunity.

Can You Relate?

I’m still not sure which of the above lessons I was supposed to learn that day. But the experience of feeling blocked in or trapped is one I’ve felt more than once in my career, whether it was when I was trapped in a toxic office environment, or when I was restless because I was not working in my purpose.

Can you relate?

In two instances, I waited patiently for the conditions to be right to make my exit, and spent my time wisely planning my course of action for when the appropriate time arrived. In one instance, I stopped focusing on the warning flags and took a leap of faith.

I know which approach has worked best for me, but in general I can’t say for sure that either of those approaches is better than the other. And I can’t say that there’s one approach that fits everyone experiencing the same frustrations because everyone’s journey is different. What I can do is coach my clients on the approach that works best for them, their personal situation, and their unique goals and strengths. Which lesson from the list above speaks most to your current situation?

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paNASH Success Story: Making a living on rediscovered passions

I always love sharing paNASH Success Stories, and here’s another one! I’ve been working with this client for about six months. When I first met her, she was coming out of a very successful career as a professional athlete, and didn’t know what was next for her. She had a lot of interests, skills, and creativity, but didn’t know how to put them to use. She was working a retail job that didn’t match any of those skills or interests and hated it.

Rediscovered Passions

Since we started working together, she has quit her retail job, explored a variety of possible career options, and has rediscovered her previous passion for writing. She has also rediscovered her love for all things design, including graphic design and interior design, and is putting into action a way to help her and her family prosper.

She is using her love for writing to write for her husband’s home improvement and renovation business’s company blog, and she is revamping her own interior decorating blog she started a long time ago. In addition, she is using her graphic design skills to improve the brand and promotion of her husband’s business, resulting in new clients. And, she is developing her interior decorating talents to keep current clients by providing a “next step” service for them after their home renovations are completed. It is the perfect complement to her husband’s own business and passion.

The Process of Experimentation

It took some time for this client to arrive at this plan. She was trying several different things and considering an array of possible options. This often made her feel like she was aimless and all over the place. I reminded her this is a season of experimentation for her and encouraged her to embrace it.

I told her that by trying different things she would eventually arrive at the answer to her “What’s next?” question. And she has. She did so probably sooner rather than later because she was using the tools my coaching services provide, including:

  • goal-setting
  • accountability
  • encouragement
  • soul-reflection and self-assessment
  • personal branding
  • and much more.

rediscovered passions

Lessons Learned

Some of the biggest lessons she says she’s learned from the coaching is to not try to fit someone else’s mold and to not listen too much to what other “well-meaning” family members say she should be doing. She’s instead learned to take the talents and interests that go all the way back to her childhood and discover ways to incorporate them into adulthood. 

Adulting doesn’t mean letting go of your childhood passions. It just means learning how to rediscover those talents and interests and develop them in a responsible way that benefits the world around you.  Is it time for you to do this? Let’s talk!

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Stand Up For Your Worth

What’s your worth? My first year out of grad school, I worked at an institution where my male counterparts got paid A LOT more money for a lot less responsibility than me. I also once worked in an industry where I was often told, “Oh, we can’t pay you for your expertise, but this project will give you great exposure.”

HOLD UP! Am I the only one who sees there’s something clearly wrong with these scenarios? The second scenario mentioned will sound familiar to a lot of people here in Nashville, but it’s one that’s (at least in its particular industry) rarely questioned or challenged.

Know Your Worth

If you work hard and do a good job, shouldn’t you get paid for it??? My grandmother believed so. She was the hardest working person I ever knew. Here’s her story, and how she serves as an encouragement to stand up for your worth. I hope that both men and women will learn from her example and teach their children her example as well:

Know Your Worth And Close The Wage Gap

 

Too Old for Gold? Age Is Just a Number

Like most people, I’ve been watching the Olympics the past week and a half. It is the best way to witness people’s pursuit of their passions in action. What I love most about the Olympics and sports in general is the inspiration and encouragement it provides for everyone who has a passion and a dream.

You’re Never Too Old…

One story in particular I am personally inspired by this Olympic season is of the Uzbekistan gymnast Oksana Chusovitina. Oksana is 41-years-old competing in her SEVENTH Olympics (and still hasn’t ruled out Tokyo!) in a sport where age 21 is considered “old.” Oksana is my “shero” because she and I are almost the same age (I’ve got a year on her), and she is not letting her age be an obstacle to her dreams and her passions.

Most people in her position would tell themselves they are “too old.” Too old for what, I ask? Tell that to the 85-year-old woman I met while recently volunteering for the Senior Olympics. By the time she had made it to the event I was working, she had already competed and medaled in NINE other events over the previous three days.

…Or Too Young

On the flip side of this, I was recently working with a new client who shared with me that one of her self-talk limiting beliefs (a perceived obstacle) is she is “too young.” I found this surprising coming from someone who works as an actress, also a career where time and age are against you. My response was, “too young for what?” When I delved deeper into where this limiting belief came from, I discovered she suffers from the same thing I do, “youngest-sibling-syndrome.”

Age Is Just a Number

The point is, age is just a number. We have the choice to let our circumstances, others’ opinions, or even our own negative self-talk control our lives. Or, we have the choice to be inspired and moved by the examples of those who ignore all the “you can’t because of your age” talk and say to themselves, “I can, even if I fail in my attempt.”

From the judges’ perspective, Oksana failed miserably in her landing of her vault. Upon landing so hard she ended up going into a flip on the mat. From my perspective, she should have gotten extra points for the extra flip, for making such a failed landing look so graceful, and for experience!

Change Your Limiting Beliefs

If you have a God-given desire in you to try something you may consider to be either “too old” or “too young” for, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is this limiting belief keeping me from?
  • What would be the worst-case scenario if I keep believing this?
  • How can I turn this belief around to a more positive statement?
  • How can I benefit from believing the more positive statement?
  • What would be the best-case scenario if I start believing the positive statement?

Be honest in your answers. For more inspiration, check out these other blog posts: