Updated: Dec 26, 2020
By the time we start first grade, we realize that life isn’t about doing only what we love to do and what we enjoy. After the excitement and newness wear off, school becomes something we have to do five days a week. Later on, that thing becomes our job and the regular daily chores that keep the house in order, gas in the car, and food on the table. There’s plenty we have to do each day that we aren’t particularly passionate about. That’s why it’s important to take some time for things, activities, and people that bring us joy. Putting them on the calendar and making them a priority is just as important as scheduling that teeth cleaning.
Start by figuring out what it is that brings you joy and energizes you. These are your passion projects. It can be an aspect of your job. It can be the volunteer work you do on Wednesday nights. It can be the hobby you indulge in on the weekends. It can be a group of people you love to work and spend time with. Make sure you know what you are passionate about and what’s important to you. Knowing what it is gets you one step closer to tapping into your passion more frequently.
Next, you have to find some time for what you’re passionate about. Time is a strange concept. In theory, it’s a measurable unit. We all have exactly 24 hours to work within per day. In practice, time behaves very differently at different times. It crawls almost to a stop when we’re standing at the stove, waiting for the pasta water to boil. It speeds up to lightning speed on the weekend when we’re having fun.
Time also can stretch out and fill the space we allow it. Let me give you an example. If you have all weekend to clean your house, it will take you ALL WEEKEND. If, on the other hand, you get a call on Saturday morning that your in-laws are going to be over for lunch that day, you get the same amount of cleaning done in three hours. The same holds true for all sorts of other tasks. If you have plenty of time to create a report at work, it takes you two days. If your boss needs it on his desk within the hour, you get it done in under 60 minutes.
Tip: Force yourself to do the things you don’t love quickly, so there’s plenty of time for what you enjoy. Using a timer and blocking chunks of time for specific tasks can be incredibly helpful here.
Example: Let’s say your passion is reading Russian literature, but you can’t find the time to get through War and Peace. Set a timer after dinner and challenge yourself (and your family) to get the dishes done in 15 minutes. Congratulations! You’ve just found an extra half an hour or more to curl up and read. Rinse and repeat throughout the day, and you’ll find plenty of time to tap into your passion.
Becoming aware of this time phenomenon can help you realize that there’s plenty of time for the things you’re passionate about. It’s entirely up to you to make that time by not allow other projects, tasks, and obligations to fill it.