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 while you’re at work… you may then begin to question what is it that you’re living for?
If this is you or someone you love deeply, I’m going to share a useful 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 creavitivty 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 rest, we don’t feel very rewarded because, once again, rest normally just means staring at the TV or scrolling through social media. That has some short term dopamine-related benefits. But it’s the long-term benefits of deep rest that we all long for.
We usually associate rest with sleeping, napping, or even our 2-week annual vacation. You would be absolutely 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 begin to 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. The reason that deep play allows one to finally rest is that it causes you to detach from your current reality. By definition, the activity is challenging, both mentally and/or physically. As a result, it offers some of the same rewards (e.g. achievement, excellence) that our job may offer, but without the 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 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 restorative sense of rest, and come 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 just long enough to earn the money you need to fund your dream. Or perhaps you chose to work because you are supporting a family that you love and you 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, then you can become listless and just 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 your values?
- What things that 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 that our passions are ‘silly’ or ‘childish’ or ‘irresponsible. So we end up just burying them for more respectable goals like ‘being area manager’. But who said that being 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 just have to find and keep the burning passion alive so that you’re pursuing it when you can. When you begin to practice this and you remember your ‘why’, then life will have meaning and direction for you once again.
Be well + prosper,