This story, written by a friend, is the short version of her journey to awaken her passion and find happiness.
To me finding happiness seemed to be a trivial matter in the larger scheme of things. After all who has time to spend pursuing something so elusive and ephemeral as happiness? No, what I needed was to focus on getting my degree in engineering.
That would please my mom and make her proud of me; and isn’t that what every “good” daughter wants to do? I would just have to let happiness happen whenever it decided to show up; enjoy it, and then get back to the serious business of life.
That was the problem; the business of life was serious. At least that’s the way it felt to me. In fact it began to feel oppressive; it was a physical presence, closing in on me. The more I tried to please my mom and everybody else, the more serious life grew.
I envied my friends who were pursuing degrees that they loved, studies they had a passion for.
I hated engineering. I wanted to do something else. But how could I tell my mom?
One thing I’ve learned is that we all live in our heads, and there’s a little voice in there that’s constantly worrying and making up scenarios, which end up having nothing to do with reality.
Gathering my courage, I talked to my mom, poured my heart out, and told her that I wanted to pursue a different degree.
Unlike the doomsday scenarios that my imagination conjured up, my mom, after really hearing how truly unhappy I was pursuing an engineering degree.
This is the short story and of course my path was a bit longer and involved a great deal of soul searching.
Along the way I discovered that by asking myself certain questions the answers would lead to greater clarity to living my life on purpose and following my passion.
One of the most powerful questions is the simplest to ask, “Who am I?” I needed to be honest with myself and see what was working in my life and what wasn’t.
I ran across a wonderful post in, “Tiny Buddha,” by Ashley Wilhite on “Ways to discover your passion” and thought I would share some of her wisdom.
1. Slow down.
When we slow down, we are able to tap into the best version of ourselves, which is most often when we find the answers we’ve been searching for. This might mean practicing yoga, going for daily walks, or setting aside time each day to meditate. Slowing down allows you to quiet the outside voices and listen to yourself.
2. Change your story.
We all tell ourselves stories about who we are, what we’re capable of, and what we deserve. If we can identify our self-limiting stories (I’m not good enough; I don’t deserve to be happy, etc.), then we can begin writing new stories that are grounded in confidence and courage, and map out actions that move us from one to the other.
3. Own your uniqueness.
We are here for a reason. No one else has your unique blend of talents, wisdom, strengths, skills, and creativity. We all have something great to offer, and learning to accept and own what makes you unique is crucial to sharing your gifts with the world.
4. Cultivate confidence.
If we are continually telling ourselves we can’t, then we will never believe we can. There is a chance you may fail, but it will be impossible to succeed if you don’t believe in yourself. You can create affirmations, focus on the things you want, or make a vision board that shows your future success.
5. Find the themes.
Recognizing the recurring themes in our lives creates a pattern for us to either follow or change. What themes or lessons seem to constantly surface in your life? What are you drawn to again and again? What areas of life seem to be full of discomfort and pain? What areas are full of joy and light?
Ideas flow more freely when we write without an agenda. New inspiration may appear unexpectedly and it becomes easier to connect the dots. Spend a few minutes of quality time each day with a pen and paper allowing yourself to process your thoughts without influence from the outside world. Continue reading Ashley ways to discover you passion here…
Happiness, as I discovered, is not a trivial pursuit. Just the opposite; without passion and purpose happiness is elusive and without happiness the success you are seeking turns out to be an illusion, always on off on the horizon.
Not that every moment spend following your dream and in pursuit of your passion is bliss, but when you are doing what you love the challenges don’t seem insurmountable. Then your passion becomes your compass to success. With the right questions, a little guidance and focus you can awaken your passion and find happiness.