If 2013 was the year of mediocrity for you, then it's time to take the reins on your life and make 2014 the year of passion!
What do I know about this?
Well, four years ago, I was stuck in a mediocrity rut. Life was good, but it was just...ho hum. I had gotten caught up in the same old-same old routine. I was living for "Someday." You know the one. Someday, I was going to write that book. Someday, I was going to travel. Someday, I was going to do this. Or that.
The problem with Someday is that it doesn't exist on the calendar. You can wait your whole life for Someday and it will never come.
I was lucky. I received a wake up call at the age of 44. I had long ago abandoned my passion for barefoot water skiing after becoming deaf from a fall while crossing the wake at 19. The day before my birthday, I tried once again to barefoot water ski and my feet didn't get anywhere on the water. I was overweight, out-of-shape, and I figured I would never be able to enjoy that passion again.
That is, until a Today Show segment changed my life:
In a nutshell, that link brought me right back to my passion. If a 66-year-old gal could barefoot water ski, then so could I. So I dove back into my passion. The 66-year-old barefooter and I became great friends. She introduced me to the 2X World Barefoot Champion and the two of us wrote a book together, Gliding Soles: Lessons from a Life on Water. I took up barefoot competition at the age of 45 and learned to barefoot backwards on one foot at 48. Today, I write for WaterSki and Water Skier magazines. I barefoot water ski all year around with people from all over the world. Yes, life took quite a change of direction.
Here are four things I learned in the process:
1. New things will be uncomfortable at first
If you've done the same thing day in and day out for years, then you've created a comfort zone you're familiar with. When you make the decision to dive into a passion, you're going to stretch yourself in ways you've never been stretched before. You're going to push your body, your mind, and your soul into a whole new passionate direction. You're going to be very uncomfortable at times, but if you push yourself through it with your passion straight ahead of you, you'll arrive in places you never imagined.
2. What you put your attention on, expands
I hear excuses from people all the time and I trip myself up over them too-- "I don't have the time, money, energy, or resources to do what I passionately want to do." The concept is simple: if you focus on what you're passionate about, everything expands. If you focus on the negative, the lack, the stuff that's NOT working, all you're going to get is more of that. If you spend your time watching TV instead something that brings you on the path of your passion, that's a choice you're making with your attention. The next thing you know, five years have passed by and you're still not living your dreams.
3. People on the path of your passion will guide you
I learned this bit of wisdom from Kevin Hall, author of Aspire: Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power of Words in one of his emails to me:
"Dive in with all your heart, follow your bliss, and people will appear to help you with what you want most. "
Time and time again, Kevin's wisdom proved to be true. At every turn, I crossed paths with some amazing people. The same will happen to you on your journey of diving into your passion--the key is to be open to possibilities and opportunities that show up.
4. With every decision, you're either moving in the direction of your passion or away from it.
From the moment you wake up, you're faced with decisions of how your day will unfold. How will you use your time? Who will you surround yourself with? What attitude will you chose?
You may feel powerlessly stuck with your job, your home life, your situation, but the reality is, you are giving your power away by remaining "stuck." I learned this lesson from Janet Attwood, author of The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose. "Whenever you're faced with a choice, decision, or an opportunity, always choose in favor of your passions."
So here we are, at the start of a new year, a new you. Your passion is waiting for you.