” There’s such a thing as trying to hard. You’ve got to sing like you don’t need the money–Love like you’ll never get hurt–you got to dance like nobody’s watching–It’s got to come from the heart if you want it to work.”  Song  “Come from the Heart ” by Kathy Mattea

How do you go about living a more passionate life? Start with identifying what you love to do. Then identify your strengths for being able to do these things you love. 

Often times to create personal change takes courage and patience. For some people that I coach, the fear of change overwhelms them and they get stuck in the “same old, same old” by not questioning or challenging  their beliefs,  life style inconsistencies ,  and daily activities They suck it-up and continue to do things that bore them and alienate them from others.  To achieve renewal we all need to understand where we are now and what hinders our efforts to change and where we want to go. Sounds simple enough and it requires tremendeous energy and courage to create a new direction and be open to new opportunities. For those individuals that are able to start a journey of renewal and are able to overcome their old patterns of thinking such as, fear of failure or lack of confidence ;  constructive and positive action allows them to discover a new way of living where they can identify their passions align them with their strengths and create a  meaningful and satisfying life. Don’t limit opportunities, choices, and, therefore, your capacity to make a difference. Don’t give up your dreams by “playing it safe” or fulfilling someone’s expectations for you. Playing it safe or not to lose– is low risk, convenient, safe, and it will please your Dad.  Many of us live our lives in a “not to lose” way in order to please others and take little risk while preserving the status quo. The boring and non-fulfilling life has become the “way it is” because most people live this way. We use MSU’s (make shit up) and excuses to avoid responsibility. We pretend that everything is okay in our lives. Is this type of behavior just denial or are we that clueless? Many feel trapped and  just don’t think that there is any choice but to keep their head-up and keep going.  They don’t even think to dream big, let alone act on it. The blinders they’ve had on for so many years so distort their vision of independence that they believe their material possessions and position in life is all there is and the only thing to do is just accept it. They’re not stifling their dreams; they don’t even realize they can dream.

 Here are five simple tips to help you avoid “playing not to lose” and how to develop or reset your life by “playing to win” so as find  and live a life that you are truly passionate about:

1. Do a self-assessment –try to the Passion Test

2. Vision and Dream Setting:– Reflect on times when you have “Played to Win”. When you give 110% and embraced the possibility of greatness.

Think back over life to times when you’ve felt yourself unquestionably going for greatness, following your passions and succeeding beyond expectations.  What did that feel like? What did you think? What did you do? What happened because of your actions? How can you recreate that experience in your life now?

2. Live Each Day Without Limitations

Each and every day make sure you update your mental maps and do something to challenge the hum-drum of the status quo.  Make learning and  “self-development” and your strengths and passions a priority. Do one new thing each day. Have new experiences, open your mind to new connections and ideas and begin to do things that ignite your passion for life.

3. Reinforce Strengths by elminating “Energy Drainers”

Having negative energies in our lives can easily bring us down and encourage further feelings of depression. We have all encountered “energy drainer” at home,  social and, worst of all, workplace interactions that are filled with emotionally damaging interactions that impact our zest for life. We feel stuck, upset and impotent to handle these recurring situations.  Take notice of these interactions –what was the situation, who was involved, and how did you handle the situation. Reflect and ask yourself how you good of done different things to change the interaction from a negative experience to a more positive one. Try to find positive solutions in order to change your negative reactions. Take time to stop repeating old patterns of interaction and replace them with positive energy resources.  Talk to uplifting people, read inspiring poems and on a daily basis reflect on quotes to eliminate stress and renew positive thoughts and energy. Plant a garden, ride your bike take a hike, play some tennis, or anything you enjoy which renews positive energy. Be clear on your moment objectives, accept your feelings and do what you need to do to restore balance and positive energy in your life. Remember to do something great takes more than desire and dreaming. It takes positive and concrete action.  

4. Develop and create a strong sense of worth and love for who you are.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your needs and wants? What are your likes and dislikes? How in touch are you with your emotions  and feelings? Do you let your emotions overwhelm you or do you accept them and move on? Can you enjoy life in the “here and now” moment or are you always looking backwards or toward the future? What is your opinion on politics, religion, or life philosophy? Do you simply pick up the opinion of talk radio or cable and go with the crowd? Or do you truly know what you value and are willing to fight for? Do you make time to reflect and listen to feedback of your impact on others?  Do you self-disclose to others who you really are? Do you explore your need to update your mental maps and point of views? Answering these questions honestly will give you a good sense of what you want  in life and will increase your opportunities for living a good quality of life.

5. Create an “Enjoyment Journal”– Take Notice Each Day Of What You Love to do and don’t like to do

Take some time each day to tune into your inner voice. Listen to what resonates with you and what you truly enjoy. What excites you most about your potential dream job or the job you already have? Make it a morning or evening ritual to take 15 minutes to have some personal quiet time and really take stock of what turns your inner light on.

By learning and applying these techniques on a regular basis your awareness of when you’re “playing to lose” will greatly increase, empowering you to refocus on “ playing to win” doing the best you can with what you have. Greatness and renewal do not just magically appear. You need to accept yourself and do what you have to do to bring greatness into your life. Remember, you will become as dull as your unfulfilled dreams and only as great as your willingness to live your dreams. Renewing your dreams and desires is just the starting place. Get out of your head and get started on the new life you want to create. Remember everytime you confront contradictions between what you say you believe and what you do and struggle to discover your own truths in life, you create meaning and the opportunity for fulfilling your dreams and move closer to self-fulfillment. As Woodrow Wilson once said ” To push oneself to one’s limits inevitably involves risk…this is not to say that you deliberately try something you know you can’t do, but you deliberately try something which you are not sure you can do”.


 Questions for Reflection

 1. In my daily life I am excited about what I do and the impact I am having on others. What are the top three things you do daily both at work, home or in the community that excite and energize you?

2. Do you spend your days doing things you love and are you surrounded by people you like to work with and for?  

3. Do you get feedback or comments on how happy you seem to be and what fun it is to be around you? How often do you get this type of feedback or comments? 

4. Do you get stressed, upset and knocked off track when unexpected situations and circumstances arise? Y/N

5. I am very clear about the top five passions in my life, those things that matter most to me. Please list them and review how often you are doing  them.

6. I make decisions based on what will help me make money and pay the bills rather than what will help me live my passions most fully.

7. Life is confusing for me. I don’t have a clear sense of direction in my life. Y/N



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