Re-engaging with a passion can be a bit of a pipedream for many of us. Over time, work and family obligations can crowd out those deep-seated interests that once made our blood boil. Life has a way of even thrusting us into survival mode.
I’ve been here more times than I can count.
Maybe you come home from work every day feeling tired and listless, with just enough energy to lie on the couch clutching the TV remote control. Or, perhaps you’re constantly stressed and aggravated at work… you may then begin to question what you’re living for.
If this is you or someone you love deeply, I will share a helpful strategy to help you come alive again. A strategy that you might not have considered before.
But first, we have to identify the underlying problem.
The real problem is “rest”. More specifically, the problem is not having the proper mindset and strategy for Rest that is restorative, resetting, and leads to creativity and productivity. Deep Rest, done right, is essential for living well.
Many times, we work hard just so that we can rest. But then, when we get an opportunity to relax, we don’t feel mightily rewarded because, once again, sleep means typically staring at the TV or scrolling through social media. That has some short-term dopamine-related benefits. But we all long for the long-term benefits of deep Rest.
We usually associate Rest with sleeping, napping, or even our 2-week annual vacation. You would be right. These are all forms of Rest that can help us to recharge our batteries. But there is still more.
Deep Play: A Strategy for Rest
When you learn how to re-engage with your passion or discover new ones, you can cultivate a state of being known as deep play. To simplify, deep play is a type of play that is challenging, intensely dramatic, and engrossing. Deep play allows one to rest finally because it causes you to detach from your current reality. By definition, the activity is challenging, both mentally and physically. As a result, it offers some of the same rewards (e.g., achievement, excellence) that our job may offer without stress and pressure. We find fulfillment quicker and in a completely different setting without the frustrations of work.
According to Alex Soojun-Kim Pang, the author of Rest, an example would be a scientist who also practiced mountain climbing and combines the focus and problem-solving ability needed to solve complex scientific problems with intense physical challenges.
Now, just because you’re not a scientist or a mountain climber, you can still apply these principles by diving deep into your passions, finding a refreshing sense of Rest, and coming alive again.
We All Had Dreams
Perhaps you have no idea where to start.
Start with your dreams and passions.
We all have dreams and passions. At some point, maybe these dreams and ambitions put you on the path you’re on now. Perhaps your initial goal was to work that job long enough to earn the money you need to fund your dream. Or maybe you chose to work because you were supporting a family you love and were willing to postpone your ambitions for them.
Neither of these motives is wrong, but if you have lost sight of why you started putting in the time and work in the first place, then maybe something has become unclear. If you’ve lost a reason or your “why” to work, you can become listless and start cruising through life.
So what do you do?
You reignite those passions, and you chase after them again!
You can begin this process by asking a few simple questions:
- Why do you do what you do?
- Where do you see yourself in the future?
- What are your beliefs and values?
- What things gave you joy when you were younger?
- And how can you get yourself back on track?
- What do you love?
- What makes you excited?
- What activities do you get lost in and forget about time?
The problem is that many of us feel our passions are ‘silly,’ ‘ childish,’ or ‘irresponsible. So we buried them for more respectable goals like ‘being area manager.’ But who said that being an area manager of an office supply company was more respectable than being an activist or an artist?
The point is that you don’t have to give up your day job or your work responsibilities. You must find and keep the burning passion alive to pursue it when you can; when you begin to practice this and remember your ‘why,’ life will have meaning and direction for you again.
Be well + prosper,