Stop ‘life’ getting in the way of your passion.

We’d all like to leave our jobs and do something we’re passionate about, but we don’t.

Most of us just read about other people doing it, but don’t do it ourselves.

The trouble is most of us have financial or family commitments and it takes a very brave (or selfish) person to drop it all and pursue their dream.

But my question to you is, do you spend any time at all on the activity that makes you feel truly alive and happy.

If you don’t, then this article is for you.

Most people’s answer to why they don’t spend time doing what they love is ‘life’ gets in the way.

But it doesn’t. Watching TV, social media, (insert time-wasting activity of choice here) gets in the way.

We tell ourselves we just want to relax, well start the book/photography/painting/music practice/revolution tomorrow.

That would be fine, if it wasn’t for the fact that by not doing these things, you’re making yourself more unhappy.

I truly believe if you can just spend a short amount of time every day doing something that you are truly passionate about, you will feel happier for the rest of the day.

Take me, I’ve always wanted to write a book. I thought if I did I would feel I’d have achieved something and I would be happy. But when I did finally write a book when it came to the big moment of seeing it on a shelf in a bookshop, I was disappointed. I had the initial ego buzz, but after that, I just didn’t have that feeling of deep inner satisfaction I thought I would.

What I realised was this:

It’s the doing that makes you happy, not the having done.

When famous creative people are asked what project they would most like to be remembered for, they usually say their next one. They’re excited about what they are about to do, not what they have done.

So why not try spending twenty minutes ‘doing’ every day. I’ve picked twenty minutes because it’s short enough that everyone can manage it every day and long enough that you can do something worthwhile in that time.

You’ll be amazed that just by doing this, frustrating meetings/long commutes will suddenly become more bearable. As Nietzsche said, ‘He who has a why to live, can bear almost any how’.

If you’d like to try it, here are some guidelines for a thirty-day challenge:

  1. Get a journal or notebook which you will use solely for your Twenty Minute Me Time.
  2. On the first page write the numbers one to thirty. Each day you complete your ‘me time’, write the date next to the number and give it a big tick.
  3. Each day write down an entry, whether you do your twenty minutes or not. Was it hard/easy? Did you carry on for longer than the twenty minutes? How did it make you feel for the rest of the day? If you miss a day. Write an entry about why you missed that day.
  4. Use a timer on your phone, so an alarm goes off when you have achieved your twenty-minute goal. This will stop you checking the time and help you focus completely on your project.
  5. This thirty-day challenge will help create a habit, but if you can complete in the same place and at the same time of day, this will also help.
  6. Twenty Minute Me Time is a great procrastination buster and you may find that after twenty minutes, your mind is engaged and you want to continue. That’s great if you want to carry on, but don’t stretch yourself and change the timer to 30 minutes the next day. It will just make you less likely to complete it.
  7. It’s not accumulative. If you do forty minutes one day, you can’t take the next day off!
  8. If you feel blocked, still spend twenty minutes thinking about your project or looking through reference material relating to it.

    At the end of the thirty days, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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