Episode 081: Don’t Follow Your Passion. Instead, Follow This…

The standard advice to follow our passion isn’t always good advice.  Actually, you bring your passion with you in everything you do, as it’s part of you.  So if you’re not supposed to follow your passion, what should you follow?  On this episode we explore 3 road-signs to follow instead of your passion.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

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On This Episode

Rhythm of Life – All It Took Was This…
Random Riffs – A Mash-up of Incredible Proportions
Feature Segment – Don’t Follow Your Passion.  Instead Follow This.

Today’s Quote

Curiosity will conquer feat even more than bravery will.  –James Stephens

Rhythm of Life – All it Took Was This…

Have you ever gotten stuck, and didn’t know how to fix it?  And it was actually something relatively simple that fixed it?  That’s the situation I recently found myself in.

We had our first real snow of the winter, and I went to use the snow blower.  It started, but the gear was stuck in reverse.  I had to shovel my way out to get to church.

That afternoon, my friend Jeremy came to look at it.  It turned out to be something pretty simple.  Some WD-40 solved the problem – at least for a while.  It really needs a bit of axle grease for a longer-term fix.

It’s amazing, isn’t it?  Something as small as a tiny bit of grease, or lack thereof, could make such a big difference.  Something that seems like it can’t possibly move suddenly moves with ease.

What if the thing in your life that seems stuck – that won’t budge – only needs a little bit of lubrication to get moving again?  What if something tiny and simple could make all the difference?  Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of persistence and curiosity.  Asking a few questions to shift your thinking.  The creative-thinker’s equivalent of WD-40

What have you got to lose?  Why not go for it?  Leave a comment at kathleenannthompson.com to share what you’d like to get unstuck in 2018.  Set your intention, and see what happens.

Random Riffs – A Mash-up of Incredible Proportions

During the snow storm I described in Rhythm of Life, I was out shopping with friend Ruth.  We noticed that the snow would be perfect for building a snowman.

That made us burst into song – “Do you want to build a snowman?” from Frozen.  That later got me thinking.  This Random Riffs is what came out.

Feature Segment – Don’t Follow Your Passion.  Instead Follow This…

This is the sixth episode in our Life 2.x mini-series – how to live the next chapter of your life or career, and experiment as you go.  It’s also the start of a brand new year.  It’s a good time to be thinking about Life 2.x now.

Links to the other episodes:

Episode 076 – Why Start With Joy
Episode 077 – How to Live With Joy
Episode 078 – How to Measure Your Life
Episode 079 – What Steals Joy
Episode 080 – The Birth of Hope

If you and hope are the foundation, what’s next?

Some would tell you to follow your passion.  I’m not going to tell you that at all.  In fact, I think it’s often bad advice.  Just like last year when I told you in Episode 057 why most goal-setting programs don’t work.

Can you tell I think a whole lot of standard advice isn’t helpful?

So, if you’re not supposed to follow your passion, what should you follow instead?  Here are three road-signs you can follow on the road to Life 2.x.

  1. Your Why or Purpose

Simon Sink speaks about this in two books:  Start With Why and Find Your Why .

We have only one Why, and can have an almost unlimited number of Whats.  What about Why is so important?  As I thought about it, I realized this: the human brain craves both stability and variety.  Why creates the stability.  And the varying Whats offer variety.

  1. Your Heart

Your head gets easily swayed.  We think it’s so logical, but that isn’t entirely true.

Your heart is directly connected to your body.  It represents what’s good and generous.  And you can use your head to subject what your heart says to truth tests.

You can follow your heart whether or not you know your Why.

  1. Your curiosity

Elizabeth Gilbert mentions this in her book “Big Magic”.   She says that not everyone has one calling.  So rather than follow your passion, bliss, calling, or muse, follow what you’re curious about.

Liz did that when she was short on inspiration.  Her work ended up a novel.  And that was the furthest thing from her mind at the time.

My team did that when designing technology too.  We asked a question – “What could easy look like?”  That led to something incredible.

I’m going to follow my curiosity during this in-between time.  I’m going to give myself space to notice what I’m curious about.  Then play.  Experiment.  See where it leads.  It should be fun.  That really takes the pressure off.

Maybe you have a passion you’re following.  If so, great.  Don’t stop.  If you don’t, it doesn’t mean you can’t find one.  Or better said, let one find you.  You have creativity inside you.  Passion inside you.  Rather than wait for it to show up so you can follow, how about following these instead?  Your Why.  Your Heart.  Your Curiosity.

You want to live a 2.x life?  Start with joy.  Keep hope alive.  Follow your why, heart, and curiosity.  Just get moving.  Enjoy the ride.

What are you curious about right now?  Share in the comments.  

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.