10 Ways to Restore Your Real Passion
Let’s face it, even if we know what we’re passionate about and do it regularly, even on the job, sometimes our passion wanes. We can start to feel “blah” about what we once felt bananas about. We can feel like we’re hired guns for a paycheck. We can feel like burnout could just be one more crisis away.
How can you restore your real passion if you realize its starting to slip away? Here are ten ways:
1. Give away some of what you do regularly: I’ve realized that by giving away coaching or advising to those who can’t afford it keeps me fresh and reminded that I’d do what I do even if I didn’t get paid. And its fun and an education for all involved! For you might that be going overseas or serving with a non-profit like Doctor’s Without Boarders(medicine), Orphan Network (children), International Teams (the oppressed) or serving on a board? Or might it be volunteering in your local church or synagogue? Maybe just finding people who can’t afford you and offering to do it for free with no strings attached will serve you and them.
2. Invite feedback from those you serve: Ask them honestly in person or even on a feedback form: “How have I (or my company) helped you? ” Just being reminded that you really did help them tangibly (saved them money, provided a great experience, really listened to them, offered excellent service or even changed their life) can rekindle your fervor to keep doing what you do best.
3. Meet with a coach: A good coach can quickly help you get to the bottom of why you’re lacking passion for what you do. Sometimes its just a simple or a profound question that can make all the difference.
4. Take a vacation: Sometimes, you just “gotta getta way!” Given the statistics that most American fail to even utilize their actual vacation time, regularly go without adequate sleep and live with the great burden of real or imagined stress can make a vacation just what the doctor ordered… (AND – DO unplug and turn off the cell, the computer and the Blackberry.)
5. Attend a conference: Getting both more education in your passion area, extra motivation or just connecting with others can remind you and refresh you. Industry conferences can do that. Or if you’re in a leadership role in a business, church or non-profit, the Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit in the first week in August (5-6) offers both spiritual inspiration along with input from leaders including Bill Hybels, Jim Collins, Jack Welch, Tony Dungy, Daniel Pink and Terri Kelly.
6. Read books to rekindle your vision and grow your knowledge: The more expertise you gain in your area of passion, the more you will be needed and the more you will want to share what you know. Are you reading any books in your passion area right now? Why not? Here’s two I’m currently reading that fire me up: The Call by Os Guiness (Subtitled ”Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life.” Written in 1998 and this is my 4th time reading through it with a highlighter!). The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom. (Subtitled “The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations.”)
7. Get greater clarity on your passion: If you’re reading these so far and you’re not quite sure what your passion is – make a priority to explore that area. If you haven’t yet, participate in an Endeavor coaching program. We’re planning another Endeavor Group Program in September. Plan to be there and let others know too!
8. Make a two column list: What Currently drains Me/What Currently Energizes Me: Once you make the list, create a plan to do less of the draining stuff and more of the energizing stuff…even if it takes time to get there!
9. Play out a passionless scenario: What if I never get to do my passion again?: Consider this from how this will affect you and how it would leave a void in the world. Remember that your passion is YOUR passion. It may just be that you were put on this earth to live out that passion. Hmmmm…
10. Work for an “Audience of One:” In other words, do what you do for the applause of God and not for fame, fortune or pats on the back. (Trust me, performing for others is DRAINING!) In The Call, Os Guiness says, “A life lived listening to the decisive call of God is a life lived before an audience that trumps all others – the Audience of One…. Living before the Audience of One transforms all endeavors.”
And as my friend Bob Lyman always reminds me: don’t forget to have fun!