Back when I was a young teen I attended a private school in Indiana. They didn't have many sports for girls. In the winter months, I was determined to find a way to get to all the boy's basketball games. So, I grit my teeth and got up my courage and joined the cheerleading team.
Yes, me a cheerleader (ha, ha, ha). It was one of the most awkward, uncomfortable experiences of my life. I did not like jumping around in front a crowd. It didn't jive with my personality or my sporty, atheltic self. (If I had those pictures, I am not sure I'd even share them with you!) At least it provides me with a funny story to tell about myself.
Why am I sharing this? Well, for the past year, my younger daughter has felt a strong inner desire to become a cheerleader. Finally, last week, with great hestitation on my part (I have visions of her becoming a basketball player), I signed her up for a cheerleading class.
Her reaction? She jumped for joy. She came out of her first class with a mile-long smile across her face. She was glowing with excitement and enthusiasm. She couldn't stop talking about the upcoming competition she will get to be in, the baton twirling and the moves she had learned. And, when she came home, she couldn't stop practicing. She was focused, determined, and intent on mastering the cheers her teacher gave her.
When a kid has passion, they work endless hours to become good at what they love.
Too many adults have lost this. I see them on a daily basis. The walking drones, looking grey, lacking smiles and robotically going through their days. They aren't connected to their passions. They don't feel a sense of purpose. They feel stuck in jobs they dislike and disconnected from things that make their hearts beat faster.
Watching my daughter this week reminded me of how essential it is to infuse our lives with activities we love.
When I think back to my high school days, I see now that I had a life-changing moment: I picked up and shot a basketball at age 16. I loved it. I lived basketball. I breathed it. I would get up at 6 a.m. to do workouts because there was very little I cared about more than becoming the best player I could be. I could play for hours on end on the hottest or coldest days. Nothing could or would deter me from practicing and playing the sport I loved. The result: I scored 1,000 points in the first three years I played.
When passion arises and you follow it with hard work and dedication, miraculous things happen.
Now, my passion is to help individuals and groups reach their full potential. When I coach others, speak to audiences and write--I feel incredible joy and inner peace.
Are you ready to connect to more of your passion this week?
Consider these questions (for maximum benefit, write your answers down):
1. What did I feel excited about when I was 5, 10 and 15 years old?
2. What activities did I do as a young person for hours on end, not realizing that time had passed by?
3. What activities did I do in the past year that brought a smile to my face and a sense of satisfaction to my spirit?
4. How can I begin infusing more of my passion into my daily life?
5. Is there a way to integrate my passion into my day-job?
The more passion and purpose you can infuse into your daily life, the better you will feel. Rather than struggling to get out of bed, maybe you will start waking up BEFORE your alarm goes off because you can't wait to get started!
This kind of life is possible for each of us. It takes a bit of soul searching to reconnect to this part of ourselves. This introspection is a tremendouls long-term investment you can make to create a life that feels joyful and satisfying.
Even thought cheerleading felt opposite to who I was, it certainly seems to make my daughter happy. So, I will encourage her to go for her dreams and to follow her passion.
Have a passionate week ahead!
Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.
-- Author Unknown
Chase down your passion like it's the last bus of the night.
-- Glade Byron Addams
If you feel stuck, I offer life and executive coaching that can help you create a satisfying, purposeful, passionate life. I'm here if you need me!
Patricia Omoqui, The Thought Dr.