It’s easy to get lost and forget who you are – what makes you, you.
Upon ending my carefree life as a student and entering the sometimes monotonous life of real world adulthood, I quickly learned that in order to stay sane, healthy, and most importantly, happy, I had to find other outlets to fill my time and pursue my passions. This blog was actually one of those outlets.
What spurred all this was an interesting article I read recently. It states, “When we have time to explore what we’re passionate about, we’re more driven, creative, and happy with everything we do.” The article goes on to explain Google’s 20% rule: employees spend 20% of their time on interesting projects and end up being more effective on the 80%. Putting this into practice by pursuing my own passions (writing, fashion, art) has really shown me the validity of this rule.
In taking the time to actually pursue my passions on my own time, I made a lot of self-discoveries. To sum those up: We were sent here to do and to create, and when we don’t, we feel unfulfilled. I believe this is why many people become depressed – they fall into unhealthy routines and begin to ignore their own passions.
People can lose themselves not only through mind-numbing routines, but also through unhealthy habits, negative influences around them, and unrequited relationships. It is only through getting in touch with ourselves that we can achieve true self-fulfillment and happiness.
So with this in mind, here’s a list of ways to stay mindful of your passions, practice them, and keep yourself happy.
1. Find your Talent
Perhaps you’re skilled at playing a musical instrument. Or are an excellent swimmer. Or spend your free time waving around glow sticks in intricate patterns in the dark – who knows. What I’m getting at here is that people usually enjoy what they’re good at. So find what you’re good at, even if it’s unconventional, and dedicate some time to it. Get even better at it. You will be on your way to feeling more fulfilled.
2. Find Friends that Support your Hobbies
Judgment is the easiest way to lose yourself. As young people, we are often more susceptible to what others say and their opinions of us because of the desire to be well liked. Falling into habits that aren’t true to who we are is even worse than denying our own passions to begin with.
3. Make Goals
Making goals is detrimental to escaping the magnetic pull of a 9-5 daily routine. If your days are all the same, what are you working toward? In school, there is always a new goal to achieve: Gotta turn in this group project on time… Gotta get an A on this test if I wanna raise my G.P.A… Need to study so I can get into law school… you get the idea. But once we lose what challenges us, we often lose our drive. Without the structure of school, it is necessary to MAKE our own goals to keep ourselves constantly working toward something greater than ourselves. I believe we often doubt our own ability to produce amazing things – but that’s because we don’t exercise our full potential.
4. Rid Yourself of Negative Energy
Sometimes, we can get so bogged down by negative energy via habits, negative people, or just a lack of inspiration, that we begin to forget our true selves. Often, these negative energies aren’t realized until we escape them. Then the light bulb goes on: “Oh my God, how was I dealing with that for so long?” We are makers of our own fate and don’t need to be around anything that sucks away our happiness. When you sense someone or something around you that makes you feel anything less than amazing, it’s important to be assertive and walk away from it.
5. Don’t Apologize for What you Want
Falling into patterns of wanting to be accepted, we often begin to apologize for desiring certain things: love, attention, companionship: the truth is, denying ourselves what we really want is the easiest way to fool ourselves out of achieving true happiness. The days of doubt our over once you recognize these patterns. You are a unique individual, are entitled to like what you want, achieve what you want, and in return, receive what you want. It is time to stop apologizing for what your heart wants and start embracing it.
By following these five steps, you will be on your way to achieving your true potential and loving yourself exactly as the beautiful person you are.