Looking back through my last few articles, I realized that I have frequently been running myself into the ground. My bed had risen to priority number one, and anything pulling me out of that warm and cozy spot didn't seem so appealing.
I've managed to turn things back around over the last few weeks, though, and I am looking forward to the day again!
So how did I go from dragging in the morning, not wanting to get out of bed, to hopping out of bed, and looking forward to what I will do today?
Here are the three questions that helped me get energized. If you are struggling with this, I hope they will help you too!
1. What am I doing that is draining me?
What I am doing that is draining me is a crucial question we should all be asking. If you don't know the answer, start up a journal. I used this happiness journal which has some great weekly questions to make you think, but you can use just about anything. Every day, write down specific things you liked and disliked.
It probably won't take long for you to detect a pattern. When I did this, I saw the patterns emerging within a few days. As soon as you know the pattern, see if there is a way to eliminate those draining activities. In anything we do, there will be required activities that drain us, but I have been amazed at how many things I've found that I've added to my list over time that no longer serve a useful function.
I constantly find myself thinking about ways to do more and more. “How can I do more today?” is a question I ask myself regularly. That's certainly a good question, but a much more valuable question is, “What activities should I stop doing?”.
If I can eliminate certain things that drain me and add no value to my life, then I can focus on those things that renew me.
Here are a few things I've found that I have been doing which drain me.
- Unnecessary busywork
- Playing on my phone
- Going to every event, practice, or thing I am invited to
- Constantly checking social media
- Hanging around negative people
It takes a lot of discipline to eliminate these time wasters, but you will thank yourself later.
What things drain you?
2. What things do I do that renew me?
What things I do that renew me is another question that can benefit from writing in a journal daily. You may also want to check with your doctor to ensure you don't have any hormonal issues that could be easily corrected with some medicine; common things like low testosterone can have a major impact on the joy we find in life.
Here are a few things that renew me.
- Going for a hike
- Focusing on the positive (check out this happiness journal)
- Getting a good night's sleep (click here for tips for a better night's sleep)
- Taking a 20-minute power nap
- Playing soccer or other games
- Walking the dog
- Hanging around positive people
- Helping others reach their full potential
- Spending time with my family
- Helping others in the community
What things renew you?
3. What can I do that would make an impact?
What I can do to make an impact is a much more difficult question that takes a lot of reflection. You need to ask yourself what you are good at and figure out where that can help. Find a spot each day to reflect on your life, and spend 20 minutes doing nothing but that. Check out the article Coffee with God for ideas on how that might look.
For me, here are a few specific ways I feel I can make an impact.
- Be present with my family and friends – listen and spend time with them.
- Set the vision for my company so that we can continue to grow.
- Help others who are looking to develop themselves.
- Create a leadership development program in my local church.
- Connect with others in the community to bring talent into organizations I believe in.
- Create communities like our Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter groups.
These are all items that I am in the process of doing or have already done. Your list will be different, but make sure you spend the time building it! I promise it will be worth it!
How can you make an impact?
Journal Your Happy Moments
Take note of your happy moments each day. If you're struggling with a loss of passion for life, those moments might be few and far between, but focusing on the positive can help you have more of them.
I created and used this happiness journal to help myself escape the rut. The daily and weekly questions helped keep me on track, and many others have told me it's helped them a lot as well. If you use it, let me know how it goes!
I hope these questions have been helpful if you are struggling to find your passion. It can be a long road, but it's possible to find it, so keep going!