Friday, June 22, 2007

Thoughts on living a life of passion

Good day, everyone.

As you know, I am passionate about living a life of gratitude and sharing with others. Many of us like to believe that we are passionate about things but many times we are passionate about that which we avoid as opposed to being passionate about what we want to accomplish - passionate about moving away from that which we fear rather than passionate about running towards that which we desire. Ask someone about what they passionately want and many can’t tell you – but take something away and you will discover how passionate they are about losing something.

The reasons we tend to hold back our passion are many but most of the reasons are tied up in fear and doubt (even procrastination is an incarnation of fear) ….. things like:

1. My family will think I am crazy
2. My friends will think I am crazy
3. Complete strangers will think I am crazy
4. My company will assume I am a risk to their business model and I will be fired
5. Being passionate will cause me to take risks, risks that will result in failure
6. The failure from point 5 will cause me and those I support to lose everything
7. Someone else can do it better than I can or is already doing it and I just don’t know it yet
8. I can’t afford to start being passionate about something
9. I’m too old to start getting passionate about something
10. I can start getting passionate tomorrow – there’s lots of time left in my life
11. I’ll get passionate when I get some spare time (but I’m too busy to clean up my calendar to create more time)
12. I’m not really passionate about anything
13. No one is interested in what I have to say or do
14. I’m not smart enough
15. I am not handsome / attractive enough
16. I don’t have enough education
17. If I want something, others will think I am greedy
18. If I share something, others will think I am showing off or flaunting my abundance
19. There is no one out there to help me execute on my passion
20. The area I live in is not conducive to success

The list goes on and on. Many of you will have other beliefs that are either variants of this list or additions to the list. Scientists now believe that the origins of such beliefs are rooted as much in our genetic makeup as they are in our background and upbringing.

The unfortunate part of such a belief system is that we never reach the potential that not only are we capable of but that we have a responsibility to explore as the miracle that we are: to cultivate opportunity, harvest them and share them with others.

I have spoken throughout Canada and the US regarding the notion of living a life of gratitude (one of my speeches is attached for any of you who have not read it – many have read it and I apologize to you for the redundant mailing). I believe that living a life of gratitude stokes my passion for constantly trying to raise my awareness and capabilities to new levels. This fuels my passion for wanting to help others and opening the door to allow others to help me. It is my humble belief that such a lifestyle leads to abundance in a number of areas in my life.

From speaking with you individually, I know that each of you believes in the same fundamental belief system, but we all execute on different levels of success based on background, upbringing, genetics, our perception of how empowered we are to execute (the perception being negated by the previously discussed list) and the level of passion we feel regarding the execution.

The challenge is that if we wait for the right moment to execute our passion, that perfect moment when our desire aligns with everything else that we believe must be set up perfectly, for many the opportunity to execute never happens. Our fear of failure prevents us from acting unless we are absolutely assured of success; assurances that don’t exist anyway despite our desires or perceptions.

So I would like to offer a challenge to each of you this week. Assuming you had unlimited time, energy and money, you would be capable of living out your wildest dreams, of fulfilling your passion to achieve anything you wanted in your life. With such assumptions in mind, you would obviously take action, not fearing failure, not fearing what others would say to you, etc. If you follow the writings of Covey, Dyer, Waitley, Wattle, Hill and others, one of their common themes is that you will “see it when you believe it” not “believe it when you see it” – the notion that everything you desire is created twice – first in the mind and then in reality.

If you know what your passion is, take at least one action towards that passion, especially if the passion or action is outside of your comfort zone. Don’t choose something that is a little out of your comfort zone – go wildly outside your comfort zone with the belief that you are headed towards success. As long as it benefits someone (or yourself), the opinion of other people should not deter you from taking a step closer to your passion. Many people will try to slow you down because they don’t want to be left behind – they have the same fear of execution but instead of shedding the fear, will strive to hold you back to “keep them company”. The week after, take a larger step and each week after that, challenge yourself to outperform your previous steps. Pretty soon, you will be accomplishing things you never thought you were capable of.

If you believe you don’t have a passion yet, take some time this week to reflect on this. Everyone has a passion for something – for many it is dormant inside or fear of failure keeps it from manifesting. I’m sure that you will find your passion if you reflect on where you have come from and where you are going and perform such reflection without fear. If after that, you still don’t feel passionate about anything, drop me an email. J I can share some tools and techniques to help you discover your passion.

One final challenge – as in business, where your business is either growing or dying (there is no middle ground), your personal growth must always be taking place or at some point, you will be left behind. Make it a goal to read at least one book per week that improves you personally or professionally. For those who are short on time, there is always time to take care of yourself, putting yourself in a position to help others. When the oxygen mask deploys in an aircraft, airlines encourage you to put your mask on first and then help the child next to you. By doing so, you save both people; yourself and the child. If you struggle to help the child first without putting on your own mask first and you take too long to help them, you both fail. So when people tell me they didn’t help themselves this week so that they can help others, I remind them of this story. Sooner or later, they will run out of momentum, knowledge and skills and may not be able to help anyone.

Take a step towards manufacturing your own destiny. As I was quoted by Bob Proctor recently, “Everyone's life is under someone's control - it might as well be under your own so that you can direct your destiny." Harvest from the unlimited abundance all around us and then help others to do the same. It is our responsibility and obligation – and it feels great.

Take care and be well.

Create a great week!


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