If you answered YES I encourage you to shift your focus. Instead of fixating on goals and getting ahead, focus on passion and pleasure. Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t like doing. You’ll work more consistently and passionately, feel less stressed and will actually achieve more.
Don’t know what you’re passionate about? No worries. Many or us aren’t sure what our passions are because we’re so busy trying to get ahead and focusing on pleasing others that we don’t take the time to please ourselves by exploring what we love.
Think back to when you were a kid. You just did things —played games, colored, explored nature, danced, read… without judging and analyzing everything. Eventually you discovered what you enjoyed doing and you kept doing it.
You can get back to that place of self-discovery and find your passion starting right now.
Here’s an easy four-step practice to get you started.
- Take out a piece of paper or open a fresh computer document. Make two columns. Label the first one “Things I enjoy doing.” Label the other “Things I dislike doing.”
- Start filling in the columns. Think about what energizes you and what drains you or generates stress. Keep the list going throughout the week until you have at least 10 items in each column.
- Spend more time doing what energize you and makes you happy. Make doing what you love a priority, not an after thought. To increase the likelihood of doing more of what you love, create an actual plan by scheduling what you enjoy. Take out your calendar and make a date with yourself.
- Do less of what drains you. If you have a task on your “Dislike” list that you must do and pair it with something on your “Do like” list as an incentive to complete it. Take a good look at your “Dislike” list and cross off anything that really doesn’t have to be done. Ask yourself: What can I release, cancel or let someone else handle? Just say no. (Saying no is a way to say YES to yourself.) You’ll eliminate stress and a dose of overwhelm and take some of the pressure off yourself.
Each day set an intention to spend more time doing what makes you happy and less time doing what drains you. You already enjoy many things. Don’t ignore them. Do more of them. You’ll increase your energy, elevate your mood and feel more hopeful, enthusiastic and positive. Enjoy your life. Happiness is a now thing! Don’t wait until later to be happy.