This is a guest post by Megan Ray Nichols.
This time of year can bring some dreariness to the soul as you look out the window and see an abundance of one color: grey. Grey streets, grey sky, grey and bare trees. And this may leave you feeling a little grey and dreary yourself.
Consider your neighbor whose sunny disposition transgresses time and season. What is it that makes them have that zeal and zest for life that, right now, you just can’t seem to catch hold of?
Well, it’s different for everyone, but chances are your neighbor may have formed some habits you have not been introduced to quite yet. These habits are what differentiate the doers from the observers.
If you feel like maybe you’ve lost some of your zeal, keep reading for encouragement that will help rekindle your passions. Don’t spend life sitting on the sidelines and watching other people take advantage of life. Use these seven ways to be more passionate about the life you are living:
1. Take a Self-Evaluation
Getting to know yourself is key to understanding what will help you become more passionate about life. By taking a self-evaluation, you’ll begin to understand the areas of your life you value and that give you energy. When you find out what gives you energy, you find your passion. Ask yourself these questions:
• When do I feel most alive? When do I not?
• When do I feel most like myself?
• Who inspires me and why?
• What are my biggest talents?
• What am I most afraid of?
• Where do I spend most of my time, and am I happy with that?
• Where would I like to go, and what would I like to do?
• What do I value?
Writing your answers down can help clarify your thoughts and will give you good records to review when necessary.
2. Make Goals
Once you’ve discovered some of the areas you want to grow in, make goals to get there. Remember to make them SMART, as in specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. If you feel the greatest when you are writing but have insecurities about your abilities or just need some practice, consider taking a class or joining a group of other writers.
3. Simplify Your Lifestyle
To achieve anything, you’ve got to make way for it. This means decluttering your life is essential. Take inventory of the activities you and your family participate in. Include work time and work functions when creating your mental and/or physical list. If there are areas in your life that take away from your prime values, it may be time to cross them off the list or at least not let them have as much influence on your day-to-day schedule.
4. Seek out Opportunities to Use Your Gifts
Practice makes perfect, right? So seek out opportunities to use your gifts and abilities. As you use them more, you’ll become more comfortable with them and the cycle will continue — much to your benefit. And who knows? Depending on your gift, you may be able to make a business out of it, which would be great for your mental health as well as your wallet.
5. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
There are going to be times when you fail. That’s part of it, but learning to not take yourself too seriously can help you laugh at the times when you struggle. Most situations are not life and death, so don’t act like they are. Take things in stride, and you’ll find yourself better off for it.
6. Learn When to Say “No”
Even when you start simplifying your life and crossing things off your list that aren’t helping you get to your end goal, people are going to ask you to do or commit to other things. When this happens, get comfortable with politely saying, “No.”
7. Get Past Fear
Sometimes what keeps us from trying anything at all is fear. Fear of failure. Fear that others will make fun of you. Fear that you won’t make any money or you may even lose some. Fear that your friends and family won’t support it. And the list continues.
The best way to overcome fear, though, is to meet it straight on. As Babe Ruth once put it: “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
If you’d like to get some of that dreariness out and rekindle your fire and passion for life, start using these seven ways to do just that. And don’t wait for tomorrow. Do it today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan Ray Nichols is passionate about writing and science. She frequently discusses scientific news on her blog, Schooled By Science. On clear nights she likes to gaze at the beauty in the universe with her telescope.