Passion is a feeling of excitement and intensity. The energy of passion fuels a fulfilled life, and supports the growth and development of our personal purpose and potential. When was the last time you felt pure passion? Do you even know what you’re passionate about? Would you recognize an opportunity to reconnect with your personal passion if one presented itself?
In childhood, you were filled with passion. You knew instinctively what you loved, and you probably approached each day with joy and anticipation. You were truly connected with your passions, and you were living authentically. Then, you grew up. You got responsible, and your passion was replaced by the multitude of “shoulds” and “musts” thrust upon you by an adult world.
In my work as a coach, I’ve had the opportunity to help many people rediscover and reconnect with their passion. The process I use involves identifying and aligning with personal values. While much of our culture equates values with a sense of morality, in the coaching world values are referred to as those qualities or interests which you’re naturally drawn to or inclined to experience. They’re the feelings or experiences in life you truly appreciate, and both passion and fulfillment live on the other side of their discovery and integration.
When you know what is passionately and excitingly important to you, you will become very clear. You will begin to approach life differently, and set goals with more vision and intensity. You will embrace both success and failure with a greater level of acceptance and insight, and you will enjoy the process of living more fully.
The process of rediscovering what your values, and thus your passions, are is fun and easy. You can begin by asking yourself a few questions.
What Are Your Favorite Past Times?
If I were to give you one free day – meaning you would get paid, everything on your “to do” list would be accomplished, and everyone in your family would be taken care of, what would you do? Would you spend the day in the sun reading a good book? Would you cook a gourmet meal? Would you go antiquing, or take in a matinee? Would you spend the afternoon with your spouse, or with friends? Would you spend the day working out, or being pampered in a day spa?
Once you’ve determined what you’d do, decide why that would be so satisfying. What about these activities interests you? For example, if you’d prefer to spend the day with friends, it might be that you really appreciate the connection and communication you give and receive when you’re with people you care about. If you chose to go antiquing, discovery may be exciting to you. If working out or spending the day at a spa sounded heavenly, it could be that health, fitness, and wellness are potential values.
The things you love hold significant clues to unlocking your values. Once you’ve identified the specific activities that attract you, the key to defining your values lives in identifying the feelings within those activities that fulfill you.
When Do You Feel Most Natural?
When do you feel most natural? Where are you most at ease? When your competence is so seemingly effortless that others recognize you for your abilities, it’s likely you’re near a natural aptitude, and these abilities will frequently lead to your values.
For example, do you effortlessly create systems to organize tasks or physical items? Order may be a value. Do you easily spend quiet time with yourself? Perhaps you value solitude. Does creating something where nothing existed before thrill you? You might consider building or manifestation for your values.
Nature has purpose. The more closely aligned you are with your natural abilities; the closer you will be to defining your values, and the more likely you will be to experience great passion and fulfillment on a recurring basis.
What Could You Teach?
Do you have substantial knowledge about a specific subject? Have you ever been told you should write a book or teach a class? What would your book or class be about? Our interests, those things we are drawn to spend time learning about or talking about, are related to our values.
I worked in Corporate America for ten years before becoming a coach. On “the side” I read book after book about self development. I went to ten seminars per year, and I worked with my own coach. I loved talking with others about human development, and I invested a great deal of time and energy mentoring my staff. I was naturally gravitating toward one of my highest values – growth.
Your inherent interests will help you define your values. Pay close attention to the experiences and topics you’re naturally drawn to, and you will discover the passion at the source of that intrigue.
The passion living within you can fuel your life. You can jump out of bed first thing in the morning, excited to take on the world. You can stretch yourself beyond personal limits which may have held you back in the past. You need only connect with the source of inspiration and enthusiasm inside of you. Once you do this, your whole life can change.
Kimberly Fulcher is a professional coach, author and speaker, with twelve years of experience in human development. Her professional experience includes the co-founding and $ 38 million dollar sale of SkillsVillage.com, and her leadership of a leading Silicon Valley consulting firm, where she grew revenues from $3M to $25M in four short years. Kimberly sits on the board of directors for The Silicon Valley Coach Federation, and actively supports non-profit organizations that benefit underprivileged women and primary education initiatives. Kimberly offers group and individual coaching programs, speaks throughout The United States. Kimberly can be reached via her website at http://www.compasslifedesigns.com or by email at Kimberly_Fulcher@compasslifedesigns.com.