How to Channel Your Passion Into Positive Change
Passion. It's the intensity you feel when discussing your political views. It's the feeling you get when you're fired up about a change you want to make in your life. It's the high of falling in love. It's the sometimes unbridled, unwieldy feelings that come when you're upset about an outcome of something you cannot change. It flows through you when you're creating something beautiful and also when you're dealing with something painful.
We all know what it's like to feel passion - yet we don't always realize when it's in front of us, ready to be utilized for positive change.
Why? Because it's easier to recognize the positive passions that engulf us when we're doing or feeling something that feels elevating or fulfilling. Some of the most underutilized of passionate emotions are ones like anger, frustration and dissapointment.
If you're passionate about something, it's likely clueing you into one of your many purposes in this world.
While it's never convenient, finding the passion behind our negative emotions, can be one of the most powerful agents for change that we can find within ourselves.
Here are the three tips for channeling your everyday passion:
Step 1: Be Aware Of Your Emotions
While you may or may not be doing what you're "passionate about" in your career or through school each day, there are likely everyday moments that trigger you positively and negatively.
Pay attention in those moments and you'll learn what your heart is telling you that you truly care about.
Don't fully understand what your emotions are telling you you're passionate about? Move to step 2.
Step 2: Find An Outlet
One of the most frustrating things about our emotions is that they aren't always so clear in their message. But they're always trying to tell us something. For this reason, it's helpful to find positive outlets to channel our emotions and get help translating them.
There are infinite outlets around us. You just need to find one that works for you. Some ideas are: getting in touch with a friend, journaling on a consistent basis, meditating - or doing an activity that helps you get mindful like dancing, going on a hike, reading, etc.
When your friend starts telling you she's sick of hearing you talk about how the world would be a better place if there were more cat-lovers, your journal entries quickly fill with drawings of bedazzled hijabs, or your Facebook comments flood with a bunch of 'dang, you spoke so well to that social injustice issue'- you may be onto something.
Step 3: Act
If you're passionate about something, it's likely clueing you into one of your many purposes in this world. Once you start to connect the dots (ie. "Oh yeah, I do always get fired up when someone talks about women's rights, maybe that's something I can get more tactically involved in."), it's time to do the work.
Stand up for yourself and the ideas you support, by finding ways to channel your passion into momentum.
And remember, passionate ain't perfect. It doesn't mean you have to jump in and solve every problem in the area you care about. It does mean that you have to start somewhere.
Our passion oscillates. It's with us everyday in every strong emotion that we experience - and it means we're alive. So, if something's frustrating or downright pissing you off right now, use it. Don't sleep on your emotions. Give them power.
If we recognize our strong, beautiful emotions as opportunity to build resilience and to move forward, we can create the change we want to see in the world.