Link love: Living your passion

I’ve given a lot of thought to the idea of finding a way to live out my life’s passion as a career. This, of course, first involves identifying my passions before I can go about finding a way to incorporate them into my life. Even once they are identified, though, the process of finding a way to live into them is not always easy.

This has been a real journey for me (one that is far from done) as I have “tried on” a variety of different things in the search for one (or a set) of them that will allow me to live the life I dream of, filled with work that I am passionate about. In some cases, I’ve discovered that I just didn’t have the necessary talent for it to be a good match. In other cases, I’ve found that I wasn’t nearly as passionate about doing the work as I thought I’d be. And in yet other cases, I encountered other roadblocks that I wasn’t determined enough to overcome.

This week’s set of links are all about finding one’s passion, what it is like to live one’s passion, and what else is necessary besides passion for a given career to be successful.

The first link is from Fast Company and is called 8 Signs You’ve Found Your Life’s Work by Amber Rae. I really love this list of signs because they can help me assess rather quickly whether I’m on the right track. This goes deeper than whether I love it to questions about how easy I find it to commit and whether I love it enough to overcome the obstacles I encounter along the way.  What a great assessment tool!

As I mentioned earlier, the first step is discovering the things that we are passionate about. The next two posts both talk about how easy it is for us to leave those things behind in childhood and forget what really brings us joy.

On the Dreaming Beneath the Spires blog, Anita Mathias has a recent post entitled Redigging Ancient Wells: Discovering our True Passions by Re-discovering Childhood Passions. She muses about the fact that most of us were readily in touch with our passions in childhood. Those passions are the key to the things that continue to be our passions as adults, but so often we have decided that those things must be childish or impractical, and we’ve forced ourselves to give them up (much to our loss). She writes about the joy she has found in going back and re-discovering those things that were her childhood passions.

On the Ken and Paper blog, Ken Roberts shares a beautiful story in his post Why You Absolutely, Positively Have to Share Your Gifts about a case where he re-engaged in a childhood passion and the difference this made in his life and in the life of someone very near and dear to him. This is a really touching example of the importance of claiming our gifts and sharing them. (In fact, it just about made me cry when I read it on a break at work at my desk!)

My final link for this week is from Jane Friedman’s blog, and on the surface it would appear to go against everything I’ve mentioned so far. The post is called Placing Too Much Importance on Passion. I found this post many, many months ago, but I bookmarked it because she brings some balance to this conversation. She doesn’t claim that passion is unimportant or that it doesn’t matter, but she does claim that passion by itself isn’t enough to create a satisfying life, and I think she’s right. It takes a combination of passion, talent, and commitment to create that life, and so many of us fall short in one of those three areas. Knowing this makes it possible for me to better assess options by looking at all three factors, and it also helps me to be aware of which of the three may need more emphasis from me when things are tough. In addition, she ends the post with a great list of questions to consider for those of us who are trying to identify our passions.

I found all four of these links to be thought-provoking and helpful on my journey to explore this question. I hope you will too. Do you have any other resources or ideas to share that you have found helpful?

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.

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