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It’s not easy to do something you’re passionate about for work—and not only because it’s hard to discover your passion or find a job to leverage it.
Once we know what we love to do, we then need to work through all kinds of limiting thoughts, beliefs, and fears that may prevent us from taking action. Then we need to decide what that action should be—how and where to start, and how to stay motivated.
It’s with this in mind that coach and blogger Barrie Davenport wrote the 52-Week Life Passion Project, an insightful, comprehensive guide to identifying what you really want to do and building your life around it.
I’m excited to share an interview with Barrie, and grateful that she offered to give away 5 books for Tiny Buddha readers!
- Leave a comment on this post sharing something you’re passionate about. (If there’s nothing you’re passionate about yet, then just leave a comment saying hello!)
- For an extra entry, tweet: RT @tinybuddha Book Giveaway: The 52-Week Life Passion Project: Comment and RT to win! http://bit.ly/W8WUUz
You can enter until midnight PST on Monday, January 7th.
1. What inspired you to write the 52-Week Life Passion Project?
In my work with my coaching clients and listening to my readers’ comments, I’ve learned how daunting the idea of finding your passion can be for people. It feels like such an overwhelming prospect without any clear direction.
During my own search for my life passion, I was floundering for months in my attempts to figure it out. And there are so many fears and perceived roadblocks to finding your passion.
Through my own life passion search, as well as my long career in public relations supporting my clients’ passions, and my work as a coach, I’ve formulated a system that breaks down the process to help people learn more about who they are, what their deepest desires are, and what is holding them back from making those desires a real part of their lives.
I wanted to help simplify and streamline the process for people. So that inspired me to write the book.
2. Why did you choose to write it as a yearlong guide?
As much as I’d like to say finding your passion is a quick fix, for most people that isn’t the case. If you’ve reached adulthood and haven’t found your passion, then you likely have years of entrenched beliefs, fears, or even apathy around the notion of having a passionate life.
My system for helping people uncover and live their passion is a holistic approach involving all areas of a person’s physical, mental, and emotional life.
During the process, you make huge shifts in your thinking and attitudes. And you work on some very specific actions to move you forward. I wanted to break down this work into manageable chunks so the process would be less overwhelming, and offer readers the time to digest what they are learning.
So much of the change goes on in between lessons as you examine parts of your internal world you may never have examined before.
3. Why do you think so many people struggle in identifying a passion they can turn into a career?
Fear. Our minds tend to jump immediately to all of the possibilities for failure and disaster. What if I fail? What if I lose all of my money? What if I’m too old or not capable?
So many people begin a career for reasons that have little to do with their passion. Either they were nudged in that direction by well-meaning parents, or they followed a career path based on income potential, or maybe they just landed in the career by total chance.
Then the years go by, you are making a decent salary, maybe you have a family or other financial obligations, and boom—you feel stuck. Then over time you realize how unfulfilled you are in your career. But it feels like you have no options. So why even bother trying to identify a passion if you can’t afford to make a change?
But I have found if you just begin to search for your passion, and you find a way to make it part of your life—even outside of your career—the enthusiasm and joy your passion provides opens doors for career opportunities.
When you have that momentum and energy of real enthusiasm for something, you find creative ways of making the seemingly impossible possible in your life.
4. In a challenged economy, many of us might consider passion a luxury. Do you think anyone can do something they love for a living?
Yes and no. There are so many variables in everyone’s individual situation that impacts this. Timing and priorities in life will certainly impact whether or not someone can pursue their passion right now.
Finances, relationships, and lifestyle goals all must be considered in your decisions around changing your career. However, when you find your passion, often your priorities change. What was once important in your life might diminish in importance when you find something really fulfilling and exciting.
There are times in life when we must make the conscious decision to stick with our job even if we don’t like it. Maybe you have a goal to pay for children’s college, or you are trying to save a cushion of money in order to pursue a passion. The decision to do that should be a conscious one, and with an end goal in mind, not just a fallback position.
And while you are marking time in a job you don’t like, you can still pursue your passion in other areas of your life. The joy of spending some time with your passion can compensate for a less-than-stellar job. It can provide a creative and emotional outlet that offsets the stress or unhappiness of a career you don’t like.
5. In the Chapter Seven, you encourage readers to march forward in the face of fear. What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a risk but fears they won’t be able to support themselves and their families if they leave their current job?
Pick apart each individual fear and find out how much truth there really is in it. If you are afraid of losing your money, ask yourself if you have a history of making poor financial decisions. Review your finances and see in reality how long you could go before being out on the street.
Create a real plan for saving or making extra income to provide a cushion as you pursue your passion.
We are all resourceful, intelligent people capable of figuring out how to get things done. If you take small, manageable steps in the direction of your dream, addressing any real issues as they arise, and avoid ruminating on “what ifs,” then you can find a way to make real change in your life.
The unknown always involves some amount of risk and fear, so a little fear will always sit on your shoulder, but if you have done all you can to address any real issues related to your fears, then eventually you must take action in spite of it.
6. In the chapter on financial freedom, you suggest that it may be a lot closer than we think. Can you expand on that?
Financial freedom requires having your basic needs met and some of your wants—perhaps your wants related to your passion. But the things that truly make us happy don’t cost a lot of money. Material things and fancy toys don’t offer sustained happiness.
If you look around you right now, you will discover that you already have many of the things that provide sustained happiness—relationships, health, access to nature, opportunities for learning, growth, and meaningful endeavors.
We are already wealthy in so many ways, but we can’t see it when we are focused on filling our lives with extraneous activities or struggling toward goals that provide little return in sustained happiness.
7. What do you define as “low hanging passion fruit”—and why should we reach for it?
The low hanging passion fruit is the most obvious place where you will find your life passion. For many people that is a career. But it can also be an avocation, volunteer pursuit, relationship, or lifestyle change.
I have readers examine their own life circumstances for the most obvious place where they will find a strong interest that can evolve into a passion. You must start somewhere in your search—with something you can test and practice to see if it is your passion.
We often know intuitively what we want, what our passion might be. And usually it is right before our eyes. We just don’t reach for it and take a bite. The only way to know if something is your passion is to taste it—to try it out.
8. What advice would you offer to someone who wants to follow this yearlong guide but feels hesitant, doubtful, and scared to give it a go?
You have nothing to lose. The exercises outlined in the book aren’t going to trap you in a situation that threaten your security or force you to do something you don’t want to do.
Even if you decide you can’t or don’t want to pursue your passion, the work you do through the exercises in the book will help your personal evolution and understanding of yourself. This is all positive, life-affirming work. So there is really nothing to fear.
Learn more about the 52-Week Life Passion Project on Amazon.
FTC Disclosure: I receive complimentary books for reviews and interviews on tinybuddha.com, but I am not compensated for writing or obligated to write anything specific. I am an Amazon affiliate, meaning I earn a percentage of all books purchased through the links I provide on this site.