Finding your calling and dedicating your life to doing what you love undoubtedly is the most meaningful and fulfilling way of living you can create for yourself. I was recently reminded of this, when our dear neighbour, Mary (not her real name), quietly took her last breath while working in her beautiful, beloved garden at the ripe old age of 96 years. Spring, summer, winter and fall, Mary could be found in her garden most days, planting, watering, pruning, weeding, lovingly creating and re-creating beauty year after year.
When I heard that she had died peacefully while immersed in the activity she loved most, it brought tears of joy to my eyes. What a wonderful, long, fulfilled life Mary had lived and how beautiful that she was able to dedicate it to her passion, gardening, right till the very last moment.
I believe that pursuing her passion, played an important role in keeping Mary happy, healthy, vibrant and full of energy well into her nineties and until her last day.
Numerous studies in positive psychology indeed confirm that people who find meaning and happiness in their lives, tend to be healthier and live longer. Doing what you love actually fuels your health and happiness.
How can you find meaning and happiness in your life? How can you create a career that energizes and inspires you? How can you spend your days doing what you love?
Here are three small yet powerful action steps that will get you started:
1. Reconnect with Memories of YOU Doing What You Love
Remember a day/time in your life, when you were filled with passion, doing something you loved, feeling energized and alive. By the way, this does not have to be career related.
As you revel in this memory, pay attention to the sensations in your body and the feeling in your heart. What are you noticing?
What symbol, object, picture or word would help you reconnect with this powerful experience in an instance?
Put your chosen symbol, object, picture or word in a place, where you can see or touch it daily. It will serve as your invitation to bring passion into your daily life.
2. Choose Daily/Weekly Activity that Support YOU Doing What You Love
Sitting with your chosen symbol, object, picture or word, ask yourself: What can I begin today that would make me feel alive and excited? Think about activities you love to engage in. The ones you can loose yourself in, the ones that energize you. Write them down.
To get started, choose one of these activities and dedicate 5-15 minutes each day to this activity for the next month. Be specific about when you will spend time doing what you love and schedule it as you would with any other important engagement. After a month you’ll be surprised how easy it is to continue.
If your chosen activity requires bigger chunks of time, book a weekly reoccurring appointment with yourself dedicated to the activity you love.
3. Give Yourself Permission to Make Doing What YOU Love a Priority
Most of us have received messages along the way that we shouldn’t be too expressive and excited, that we shouldn’t take up too much space. These messages are really based in scarcity thinking and fear that there isn’t enough space for all of us to shine.
The truth is that when we begin to let our passion lead, we are beginning to fulfil the work that we came here to do. Recognizing this truth, give yourself permission to feel passionate and let your light shine, knowing that it will be a blessing for everyone around you, too.
Mary’s garden was appreciated by everyone in the neighbourhood and everyone who passed by. It brought so much joy and beauty to all of us. I believe that Mary inspired many neighbours to spruce up their gardens.
Similarly, when you begin doing what you love, you will most likely inspire people in your circle to follow suit. Passion is positively contagious!
As you are taking these three small, powerful action steps, you are planting seeds for a life and career filled with meaning and happiness.
Spending time each day or each week doing what you love, your vision of your fulfilling career will naturally grow within you.
Julia James is a certified life coach and award-winning author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution. With over ten years experience coaching people through positive career transformations, Julia is passionate about helping people connect with their true calling.