Just about two weeks ago now I returned from fantastic trip to Hawaii. I mentioned in my last post that while I was there I totally unchecked from the craziness that sometimes comes with life. I rediscovered silence, I reflected a lot, and really listened to my self speak.
A couple of days into our trip I noticed a trend. When I actually listened to ME and observed my thoughts and the reactions of my body, I could very easily differentiate between what I felt passionate and got fired up about and - on the flip side – what I didn’t care if I e v e r did again. I was so excited about this realization, about finding out exactly this is what it feels like to love what you are doing. I don’t think it is that I hadn’t felt that energy or passion before, but it felt different when I was able to compare and reflect and back up the good feelings against feelings I once thought were good. Did that make any sense at all? Let me give you an example…
Up until the last two years, I really thought I liked my job in corporate america. I was contributing. I was getting a lot done, checking a lot of my list, getting raises, and was appreciated by my teammates. But did I reallllly love it? Did I really get fired up about what I was doing? I don’t think so.
I think I was a happy hamster.
Can anyone relate? I did love helping people. So, that was nice. And I was motivated by the team’s success, but I didn’t honestly feel fired up about billing, for example. It was a necessary evil. (To put this into further context, I am a super positive person so it is hard for me to easily see the negative.)
As I dip my toes further and further into the land of entrepreneurialism, this question of “what am I passionate about” it increasingly important.
There is no way that I am getting on the hamster wheel ever. again.
Knowing what I am passionate about will help me focus my ideas in terms of who is my ideal client, what is my market niche, how will I brand myself, etc.
As George Kao recently advised me, it will even help me figure out what I should do next on my to-do list. On a recent call with him I asked what he would recommend I focus on next in terms of business activities as they relate to my personal business goals. He said everything I mentioned was very important and valuable efforts. He carried on, however, and suggested I do the one I feel most passionate about in the moment. It made perfect sense to me…
Do what you are most passionate about in this moment. You’ll likely do it better than if you are doing something simply because you have to check it off the to-do list.
Between my realizations from the trip and George’s recommendation, I started to categorize my life activities in a way that I could easy reflect and measure my passion. I call it the passion-o-meter. Like thermometer – but with passion! I tested this mentally in Hawaii and tested it in reality just yesterday with my to-do list.
Instead of prioritizing Stephen and Franklin Covey style based on priority, I decided what to do based on what I felt most passionate about. I had a list so there was some direction, but it was much more fun to tackle the to-dos on a Sunday afternoon with this new model. Here’s a sample for you to consider:
Important Note: Sometimes it isn’t easy to start right away with listening to what is happening in the moment. That is why reflecting is so important. This template could also be used as a journal bolt-on or easy journal/reflection tool (if you don’t do any reflection or journalling right now).
I’d be interested in what you think of this idea. What techniques do you have to keep you focused and excited about what you are doing?