“Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing.” - Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist
What exactly is passion? The dictionary defines it as an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. And positive energy is a collection of desirable attributes.
So how do you connect the two and transform what you’re passionate about into good stuff—a hobby, career, creative endeavor, way to help others, relationship, or all of those things combined? There’s no scientific method, math formula, or specific recommended dose guaranteed to connect passion to positive energy. But there are a handful of ways to drive whatever sets your heart on fire toward more favorable spirit and vigor.
If you saw the title of this article and your first thought was, “I don’t know what my passion is,” that’s OK! Give yourself some grace, caring, and a gentle reminder that just because you might not know what you’re passionate about right now doesn’t mean you’ll never know. Embrace a growth mindset—versus a fixed one—and reframe your thinking into, “I’m on a journey to develop my passions.” Because, really, isn’t everyone?
Some people know some of the things they’re passionate about today, but that doesn’t mean that they will always be passionate about those things. Time, new experiences, your environment, and meeting new people can help you discover other passions—ones you would have never imagined having. How amazing is that? There’s not a deadline or exact timeframe for when you must embrace your passions. You have your entire lifetime to do this.
Think about what keeps you in the moment and in a state of flow. What could you do for hours while simultaneously losing track of time? What makes you feel fulfilled? Answering these kinds of questions can help you understand and cultivate your passions.
Talk About Your Passions
Once you start to develop your passions, talk about them with others, especially those who have your best interests at heart. By vocalizing your passions to the important people in your life, you assign meaning and value to them. You also invite in other perspectives, inspiration, and motivation, which can be helpful in getting you to act and release expectations.
Feeling passionate about something or someone is great. However, to actually turn passion into energy that’s positive, some type of action is usually required. Channel your passion into momentum by starting where you are right now with what you have. Don’t overthink and ruminate, which studies show can lead to depression and anxiety. Just do something—anything. Even the smallest acts can be beneficial.
I’ve been passionate about health and nutrition my entire adult life. I’m especially passionate about sharing information about these topics with other people to try and help them live healthier lives. Some years back, I started a healthy foods and cooking blog.
As people commented on the site and shared it with others, I felt grateful to learn that it helped quite a few people learn to cook new things or discover how certain foods could help them feel their best. But I didn’t fixate on attaining a large audience, wealth, or any of the other outcome metrics typically assigned to content sites. I did it simply for the sake of doing it. It just so happened to lead to other paid health and nutrition writing opportunities, for which I’m appreciative, but I never expected it when I started the blog.
When you release expectations, you connect with your higher self and open yourself to up to beautiful possibilities.
Your Passions Might Not Be Your Livelihood
If you found a way to turn your passions into your job, or you intend to do so in the future, awesome. As amazing as it would be if everyone got paid to live out their passions for forever, it’s not always realistic. Think of hobbies you deeply enjoy. You may never be paid to do any of them, but they still propel your happiness and inspire you to outwardly project it. And that is reason enough to keep doing them.
Be Mindful of Distractions and Find Focus to Make Your Passions a Priority
Leo Babauta, the author of the Zen Habits blog and mindfulness expert, often writes about the importance of finding focus and not running to distractions so that you can ignite your passions and make a difference.
“Distractions, of course, are often about the fear of missing out,” Babauta writes in his blog post entitled An Addict’s Guide to Overcoming the Distraction Habit. “We can’t possibly take part in every cool thing that everyone else is doing, but we also don’t want to miss out on any of it. So we look online for what’s going on, what other people are doing and saying, what’s hot. None of that actually matters. What matters is being content, doing things that make people’s lives better, learning, being compassionate, helping. So let’s let go of what we’re missing out on, and focus on the difference we want to make in the world.”
Remember: Everything in Moderation
When you’re passionate about something and if it makes you feel good, it can be tempting to put all of your time and energy into it, which can lead to preoccupation. If passion turns to obsession, there may be consequences. Obsession can result in imbalance or, worse, destructive behavior. Maintaining a positive energy balance is key to living a healthy life. You, and the things and people for which you feel the most passion, need space. Allowing for space allows you to let go, release control, trust, and show love to yourself and others.
Why Is Turning Your Passions into Positive Energy So Important?
Something magical happens when you put focus into what ignites you. Your time spent on this Earth makes more sense, remarkable innovations come into existence, people deeply love and inspire one another, and so much more. Why? Because transforming passion into positive energy means you’re driving toward happiness: your happiness and the happiness of others. That doesn’t mean everything is going to be perfect or easy, but it does mean it’s going to mean something.
Your energy is contagious. What you put out there affects others more than you might realize. When you turn your passions into what’s good, you influence others to do the same. And the world needs more of that good spreading. What are you waiting for?
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program
Take your happiness into your own hands and become the person you’ve always dreamed of being with The Quest: Spiritual Solutions for Creating a Life You Love, our online course led by Deepak Chopra and Martha Beck. Learn More.