Do You Desire an Absorbing Life?
Finding a passion.
Posted Apr 16, 2019
Creating an absorbing will give your days meaning. It will excite you and impart satisfaction. Do you desire such a life for yourself or for a client who appears aimless? When you lack a purpose you're like a traveler without a destination and a boat without a rudder. Complete this step to get on track.
The Step: Identify an objective or passion
This can consist of an idea, experience, project, vocation, or avocation you're currently interested in, were previously interested in, or captures your imagination and wish to explore further. Improve your expertise in something you know a little about, develop expertise in a particular area or discipline, learn a skill or better your professional life or broaden your life circumstances.
The possibilities are endless, for example: read the works of Shakespeare, play a musical instrument, become an expert basketball player, have a career as a fitness trainer, get a PhD in psychology, develop intimate friendships, learn a computer language, retire early, find a better career, tutor homebound students, learn a language.
If nothing comes to mind ask yourself: what have I enjoyed or has interested me when I was younger. Ask others what their interests or passions are. Do research on common life goals. Take a guess and experiment. Ask a friend or relative to suggest something. As a last resort list what you've rejected and start flipping coins. An uninspiring objective is better than none as a start. Familiarity may breed interest.
Suppose you have an idea yet you don't know if it has potential as an overriding passion. This is where experimenting, trial and error, and persistence come in. You won't know unless you make an attempt and persist for a trial period. Throw yourself in, give it a reasonable go. You may decide it's not for you after immersing yourself in it for a few months Fine! You haven't wasted time, rather narrowed the options, getting you closer to your passion.
Use the Problem Separation Technique (PST)
Developing a passion presents a major practical problem. I've suggested practical problem-solving strategies. But what if you have interfering psychological blocks including procrastination, indecisiveness, anxiety, depression, or addictions?
For psychological problems, including procrastination, use procrastination-busting strategies such as cueing, reinforcement, and the Three Minute Procrastination Buster. For details, see Chapter 6. Procrastination: The Easy Road to a Stressful Life in Three Minute Therapy and my PT blog: "Beat Addictions and Procrastination." Address your emotional problem(s), if you have any, by identifying your irrational demands. Then practice writing the Three Minute Exercise (TME) daily to uproot them. Here's an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1JQiF63e8I
Unless you know where you want to go you're not going to get there. Create a destination with which to navigate a positive, absorbing life.
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1990). Flow: the psychology of optimal experience (1st ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
Edelstein, Michael R. & Steele, David Ramsay (2019). Three Minute Therapy. San Francisco, CA: Gallatin House.
Ellis, Albert (1999). How to be Happy and Remarkably Less Disturbable. Atascadero, CA: Impact Publishers.