by Daffnee Cohen (originally appeared at DaffneeCohen.com)
Stop Being So Passionate! 5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Enthusiasm
Preface: I don’t want you to actually stop being passionate. The title is meant to grab your attention. I ENCOURAGE you to be insanely passionate about everything and everyone you can.
Truth: I have heard this before. Someone actually TOLD me to stop being so passionate about so many things…Wild.
Another truth: I’m learning that a lot of my peers and colleagues have heard something similar over the years. Fist bump for not being alone (by the way, there is a solid chance that 100% of the things you experience are also experienced by other people. Generally, you are never alone).
Now that you have those tidbits…
I am a passionate. I am passionate about A LOT. People, dogs, hobbies, efforts, philanthropy, food and more. If I had to write out everything I was passionate about, you’d be reading this blog for two more decades.
As an entrepreneur and creative spirit, I’m constantly thinking of new ways to turn the things I love into something bigger.
For example, I LOVE dogs and believe that I have a talent in training them. Does that mean I should start a dog training business? Maybe, maybe not. It’s far more complicated than making a Facebook page and stamping “Open for Business” on it right? I need insurance. I need to be unafraid of ANY dog or situation. I need to make sure the flow of clients is worth my time, etc etc. While this may be a great plan b or c in the future, my other business ventures are far more worth my time and investment. So for now, this fun idea that I am incredibly passionate about is actually not a timely idea (note: difference between a ‘bad’ idea and an idea that perhaps doesn’t fit into your current timeline) but remains a hobby and part of my lifestyle. This doesn’t mean I have to be LESS passionate about it, it simply means I’ve channeled this passion as a hobby.
So is there a true down side to being so passionate? You may think there aren’t any (or you may think it’s nuts and the entire thing is a down side) but I find this characteristic to be incredibly distracting. I get SO excited about so many things, I don’t spend the time I always should on my existing ventures. It’s also incredibly time consuming to constantly turn new ideas over in your head!
With that being said, remember that there is no such thing as a bad idea. Ideas are always brilliant. Being creative and innovative is one of the best skills you can have. While ideas aren’t bad per se, they may not always be worth the investment from you, whether that means your time or money. This analyzation is called intelligent passion (I made this up but hey, it works).
What’s the up side to all this love for life? It’s a GIFT to be so creative and so enthusiastic. I’m so confident that for every 20 unrealistic ideas I have, one or two will be solid. Personally, there is nothing more satisfying than creating something from nothing, generating more revenue, making new friends and anything else that comes along with your hobbies and interests. There are people (some of whom I mentor) who have a really challenging time finding even ONE thing to be passionate about or to act on. Wouldn’t you rather have the opposite problem?
Are you asking yourself, “What if I’m NOT super passionate about a lot?” Don’t worry, it’s not permanent. I’ve gone through ‘passion/interest block’ before. It’s totally a thing (in my head at least). Here are some things you can do to help stimulate your innovative and creative side. They always work for me!
1. Read books (any kind, stimulating your brain in this way is SO much more powerful than you may think).
2. Spend time in nature. It’s motivating and beautiful and just healthy
3. Start doing something you used to love to do. This could be something you haven’t done in a while because you ‘didn’t have time’ or because you got older.
4. Bring in a friend. Do you have a friend who is a religious yogi, bike rider, crafter etc? Go try it with them!
5. Start writing. I personally believe writing is one of the most healing and inspiring practices available to all of us. Even if it’s just a few notes or thoughts each day, start a notebook and put your ideas down on paper
Don’t ever let anyone tell you to stop being excited and enthusiastic. If an idea or interest isn’t something you are able to pursue, channel that energy and learn to incorporate that passion into something that brings you joy and happiness. Remember that your ideas are ALWAYS a good sign and to use your abilities to channel “intelligent passion.” To passion, creativity and the ability control our own happiness. Onward!