Tag: #mypassioninlife


Combine Your Passions to Create Opportunity

When helping my clients, one thing I like to do is encourage them to brainstorm ways they can combine their passions. An example of this is someone who has a love for sports and for photography parlaying that into a part-time or full-time job as a sports photographer. Or, someone who is studying music but also loves children and helping people could focus their career plans toward music therapy at a children’s hospital.

Taking your hobbies and passions a step further

I recently saw this quote on Pinterest and totally agree…

three hobbies

…but I also like to ask, “How can you take this a step further and find some overlap between the three?” What if you found one passion or hobby that made you money AND kept you in shape? Or one that let you earn money while exploring your creative hobby?

My own example

I’ve worked hard to try to do the same for myself. It’s taken a while to make each of my passions (spirituality, coaching, writing, and stand up paddle boarding) fit in a way that makes sense, but it finally came together this past year. About two years ago I discovered a passion for stand up paddle boarding which is a fun way for me to keep in shape in one of my favorite places:  on the water! While doing this, I started seeing a parallel between the lessons I gained from stand up paddling and the lessons in Scripture. I decided to use my creative juices for writing to start recording those parallels in the form of a devotional blog called SUP:  Spiritual Understanding & Prayer (on a SUP board).

But I still had a desire to figure out a way to incorporate stand up paddling in my work as a career and life coach. This took the longest to come together, but when I changed my business over from an image consulting company to a career and life coaching service, it suddenly became very clear how I could accomplish this. I could actually conduct a coaching session with clients on the water (using my spare board), and could translate the SUP beginner lessons with the things they are dealing with in life and work. For instance, how to achieve not just physical balance (obviously necessary for SUP), but also work-life balance.

Results

I have already taken a few clients out this summer and so far I’ve received great feedback from them. One said that because she did crew in college, going out to the river felt familiar to her which eased her nervousness about trying SUP. She said in turn, that has helped ease her nervousness before job interviews because of the techniques I’ve taught her for job interviewing makes each interview feel familiar and less nerve-wracking than before.

Another client has said that just being on the water left her feeling rejuvenated both physically and mentally, and ready to take on life’s next challenge. For me, it’s awesome that I get to use my passion for stand up paddle boarding and my skill for teaching a new hobby to make money while helping others, introducing them to something new, and getting a little exercise in all at the same time!

How can you combine your passions?

Whatever your hobbies are, I encourage you to start thinking about how you can combine your passions for maximum benefits, whether that means earning a profit, getting more exercise built into your routine, getting your creative juices flowing, or all three! One way to start getting ideas is by completing the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan which you will begin receiving for free when you subscribe to the paNASH newsletter.

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3 Excuses Keeping You In Your Comfort Zone

Yesterday I read a great post by Nashville’s own Allison Fallon entitled “3 Excuses That Keep Smart, Creative People Trapped.” I wanted to share her insights here because they’re so relevant for my readers.

When considering taking on a new coaching client, one of the questions I ask in the paNASH intake form is “Which do you wish you had more of:  time, money, or confidence?”

The reason I ask this question is because I’m trying to determine what might be an obstacle (whether real or perceived) that’s standing in your way of getting out of your comfort zone and pursuing your passions.

But sometimes obstacles can become excuses.

I loved how Fallon addressed the three most common excuses:  lack of money, not enough time, and fear.

Lack of Money Excuses

Fallon makes the point that “we allocate money for the things we decide matters.”

She then poses the question, “How would it change your money excuse if you were able to believe you matter?”

I see people who have no problems spending money on pet therapy for their dog. But they don’t believe they deserve an investment in career coaching. They give their pets things and experiences they know the pet will love. But they don’t think they’re worth the money to pursue their own passions.

One of my colleagues always says, “Show me your bank account and I’ll show you what matters to you.”

Not Enough Time Excuses

This same colleague also says, “Show me your calendar and I’ll show you what’s important to you.”

Unlike money, we’re all given an equal amount of time, so it’s a little harder to make this excuse fly.

It’s here where I want to insert an excerpt from Fallon’s article to really get to the heart of this particular excuse:

“I don’t have enough time to paint or draw or write or start a business because I am an incredibly busy, productive person and I don’t see how that thing is going to produce measurable results in my life.”

To this excuse, I would say: we live in a culture that is obsessed with productivity. Everything is measured by how much money it can generate, how much progress it can help us make. Thank you industrialization. And while there’s nothing wrong with productivity, the problem I see comes when we begin to worship productivity and forget that some of the most valuable things in life produce results so slowly, they are hard to measure.

In fact, consider some things that might be considered “un-productive”:

  • Getting more sleep
  • Taking a long walk
  • Daily journaling
  • Spending time with our children
  • Reading books
  • Working out
  • Saying “no” to an opportunity
  • Going to therapy

Are these things un-productive, or are they just slow-producing?

Over time, we will begin to see the fruits of our labor. But if we are desperate to see progress right away, we might feel disappointed. Some of the most valuable progress we can make in our life often happens under the surface, where nobody (including us) can see it.

Fear Excuses

Fallon says that once you’re able to say you’re afraid, you’re being more honest because the first two excuses are usually based in fear.

Fear of what?

It could be fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of loss of control, etc.

It’s important to remember that everyone has fear, and it’s always going to rear its ugly head. It’s knowing how to view fear as Fallon describes in her article. And how to deal with and overcome fear as I explain in my recent post “Overcoming Fear“.

This can eliminate the excuses and get you out of your comfort zone!

Are You Ready?

Are you ready to stop making excuses, and start making yourself worth “it,” whatever “it” means for you?

If you still have concerns about money, time or fear, the best way to get started is with small commitments. You can access paNASH’s on-demand videos on various topics that are affordable (some are free!) and allow you test the waters and work at your own pace. Click here to learn more.

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Strive For Completion, Not Perfection

In coaching clients on how to answer commonly asked interview questions, I always tell them not to use the canned answer, “I’m too much of a perfectionist,” for the “What is your greatest weakness?” question for several reasons. One, it’s just that, a “canned answer” and recruiters know that. They’ve heard it a million times. Two, perfectionism isn’t always a strength disguised of a weakness. It can be an actual weakness that acts as an obstacle to your work performance and even the pursuit of your passions.

Perfectionism Results In Delay

Those with perfectionist tendencies usually delay their passions and projects because they are waiting for everything to be perfect before turning in their assignment, releasing their project, starting their new business or launching their new product. I often witnessed this among the recording artists I previously worked with when I used to do image consulting. Once a song was finished, instead of taking the necessary steps to finalize it, they would continue tweaking the recording and production of the song, spending extra time and money in the studio.

While it’s risky to tell a potential employer that you’re too much of a perfectionist because they may interpret that as being a procrastinator or someone who doesn’t see things to completion, it’s even riskier to use perfectionism as a way to procrastinate or not follow through on your dreams and your passions. You can always find ways to improve something you’re excited about, but if you’re doing so to the point that no one is benefiting from what you have to offer because you’re still keeping it under wraps, then what’s the point?

It’s always a bit scary to put something out there with your name on it, not knowing what people are going to think about it or how they’re going to receive it. You are making yourself vulnerable to possible criticism. But you also can’t wait until everything is perfect or the timing is perfect, because there’s no such thing. So what is a perfectionist to do?

Beta Test

Learn to view your creations and the work you’re passionate about in phases. For instance, when a tech company launches a new site or app, it’s typically first launched in beta as a way to test the product in the market and test its performance. Why not try the same approach?

Your “phase one” could be to share your idea with a small segment of your market and ask for their feedback, or do a focus group to test your idea with a small group of potential customers. Then, go back and make any necessary tweaks and don’t waste time with the unnecessary ones. Rinse and repeat for phase two. Think about it:  there’s a reason why so many computer software programs have various versions (1.0, 2.0, 2.3, etc.). Your creation can have a 1.0, 2.0, 2.3, or even a 3.0 version too.

How a Perfectionist Can Know When to Say When

Once you’ve tested a few different versions of your creation, you still need to know when to stop tweaking and start sharing. A couple of clues include what kind of tweaks you’re making. Are they necessary for the project to accomplish its purpose? If not, it’s time to quit tinkering with it and release it. Are your friends continually asking you when they’re going to get to see this great thing you’ve been working on? Or worse, have they stopped asking you this? If so, then yes, it’s time to debut this great masterpiece of yours.

Are your goals and accomplishments at a stand-still because you’re waiting for perfection? Delay no longer and start achieving your goals with the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan when you subscribe to the paNASH newsletter. And if you want to know the proper way to answer the “What’s your greatest strengths?” question and other common interview questions, shoot me an email and I’ll provide you some information about paNASH resources and services!

Shortly after writing this blog post, I came across this video by Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby. It uniquely illustrates the point I’ve made above. Check it out:

 

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Your Passion, In Beta

11 Benefits Of Pursuing Your Passions

Last week, I talked about what it means to be “passion poor” (feelings of hunger and emptiness when we are living without passion).

This week, I want to talk about what “passion rich” looks like. It includes all the benefits of pursuing your passions. Benefits that come from living a life with passion and making our passions our plan, not just our dream.

Passion Rich Benefits

When it comes to life in general, there are many benefits to pursuing our passions, whether they’re a hobby or a form of service to our fellow man, or both.

These benefits include:

1. A simplified life and personal freedom.

With all the chaos and information overload in today’s world, there’s something very freeing about going back to the basics of our interests and joys.

Over time we tend to complicate what was once something simple. This introduces confusion, and eventually our passions and reasons for doing something get misplaced.

Rediscovering our passions (or discovering new ones!) can bring some simplicity back into our lives. This can lead to new freedom in our day-to-day routines.

2. Greater self-awareness and self-confidence.

Many times we feel pressure from family or society to be something we’re not. This can cause our confidence to plummet because we aren’t operating in our own strengths and interests.

Taking time alone to listen to what our soul is telling us and to recognize our strengths and interests leads to authenticity, which in turn leads to greater self-confidence.

3. Expansion of our comfort zones.

As our self-confidence increases, we begin to push the boundaries of our comfort zones.

It’s in this expanded territory where we can discover new passions we never knew we had!

4. Empowerment.

With increased self-confidence and new strengths and interests, we become empowered to combine our passions and take them to a new level that can benefit a greater whole.

Making A Living With Our Passions

Oftentimes, when we’re pursuing our passions authentically, our passions become our career or vocation. We’re actually able to get paid to do the things we love to do!

For some of us, we kind of just “fall” into such a situation.

For the rest of us, we have to make a conscious, intentional decision to make a career change, and then figure out how to do that. This frequently involves changing our vision, overcoming our fears, and maneuvering through a variety of obstacles.

The benefits of taking our passions to the next level and turning them into our vocations include:

5. Work we love.

There’s nothing more life-draining than being stuck in a job that doesn’t bring us some form of joy and doesn’t utilize our strengths and interests.

Now, I must say what I’ve always told my clients when coaching them on their careers. None of us are ever going to love 100% of our job 100% of the time. But if we can find something we love at least 60% of the time, then we can be enriched and fulfilled in our work.

And yes, there are ways to find such work!

6. Professional growth and career success.

When we’re doing what we love, we can’t help but excel and grow in our area of expertise. This can lead to rapid promotion and career success.

7. Professional freedom.

In pursuing our passions as a living, we can have the opportunity to be our own boss which gives us professional freedom such as choosing who we want to work with, making our own schedule, and even obliterating salary caps!

8. Fulfillment of our vocational purposes.

There’s nothing more rewarding and fulfilling than knowing we’re doing the work we were called to do. This happens when we’re using our skillset to do what we love and what benefits others which results in a return. It’s what I call “finding your sweet spot.”

Benefits of a Harmonious Life And Career

When we’re able to incorporate our passions into both our careers and our lives, we get to experience the ultimate benefits:

9. Cohesiveness and harmony in work and life.

When we experience this benefit, the lines between work and life are blurred because our work often doesn’t feel like work.

The joy we experience in our work spills over into our lives, and vice versa.

10. Increased satisfaction overall.

The cohesiveness mentioned above leads to an overall satisfaction with every area of our lives.

11. Being part of something bigger than ourselves.

As humans we are all born with a desire to fulfill a purpose that fits into the bigger picture and grand scheme of our world. We want to leave the legacy of having made an improvement and impact on our surroundings in our time here on earth.

We accomplish this through the unique passions and abilities with which we’ve been equipped.

Our passions are meant to be discovered, pursued and used. They were never meant to lie dormant or be hidden under a rock!

Do you need help unearthing some old (or new) passions? Or do you need help figuring out how to incorporate your passions into your life or career?

Check out the complimentary on-demand program 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Life and Work.

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