Pursue Your Passion
I’ve been waiting all week to write on this particular topic. I can’t think of a better way to wrap up our first week on this series than with encouraging you to develop your greatest passions. As I mentioned when we began this 21-day series, there are only 3 things that create (or diminish) happiness in our lives. The first is the relationship we have with ourselves. This past week has been dedicated solely to various aspects of this very personal relationship.
As I spent the summer traveling the world, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, I discovered 12 common denominators between each of the couples. One of which was the need for every person in a happy relationship to have a passion or hobby of their own. There was something about developing a love and passion for a craft they could improve upon each day that increased the richness of their lives.
For one wife in South Africa, walking along the beach or going for a hike each morning ensured she began the day as happy as she could possibly be and it continued throughout her day. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle was one of her passions. She and her husband had a huge hobby they were working on which was building a kit plane they shipped in from Chicago.
A wife in Australia enjoyed pottery and even took classes at the local art college to better hone her skill. One wife I interviewed in San Diego enjoyed writing and she and her husband loved travelling so she combined those two passions and became a travel writer. Something that started as a simple passion later turned into a successful career for her. Photography, sewing, knitting, writing, painting, running marathons, coordinating charity events, it didn’t matter what the hobby was, only that they developed and nurtured their passion for it.
What is it you love to do most? If it’s not what you do for a living, chances are you don’t focus on it much. You allow other things to consume your day and look at that hobby as something that just takes time away from what is most important. If the interviews I’ve had with countless couples around the world is any indication, enjoying a hobby is a critical component to overall happiness.
If you don’t have a hobby and can’t think of one you might enjoy, think back to your time as a child. What did you love doing most? What came most naturally to you? Whatever it was, is likely what it still is and that passion should be developed. For me, what came most natural to me when I was growing up was writing. Developing that passion over the past couple years has yielded greater dividends than I could have every anticipated. Because of this, I can say with all certainty, this aspect of life can be one of your greatest rewards, if you’ll simply carve out the time to pursue it. You won’t regret you did.
Tomorrow, our series shifts away from focusing on our relationship with ourselves and on to zeroing in on improving our relationship with those around us. From our coworkers to our spouse and children to our enemies. Everyone has a place in our lives and each plays an active role on our overall happiness. This week will be focused on how you maintain control of your own happiness in each of those relationships.
Until tomorrow…make it a great week!
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