Looking back through my last few articles, I realized that I have been running myself into the ground frequently. My bed had risen to priority number one, and anything that was pulling me out of that warm and cozy spot just didn't seem so appealing.
I've managed to turn things back around over the last few weeks though, and I am actually looking forward to the day once again!
So how did I go from dragging in the morning, not wanting to get out of bed, to hopping out of bed looking forward to what I am going to do today?
1. What am I doing that is draining me?
What am I doing that is draining me is a key question that we all should be asking. If you don't know the answer, start up a journal. You can use our happiness journal for this. Each day, write down what specific things you liked and disliked about your day.
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 see the pattern, see if there is a way to eliminate those activities that are draining you. 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 serve no 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?”.
|Stop. More is not always better!|
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 believe me, you will thank yourself later for doing that.
What things drain you?
2. What things do I do that renew me?
What things do I do that renew me is another question that can benefit from writing in a journal each day. You may also want to check with your doctor to make sure 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.
|Going for a hike renews me. What renews you?|
Here are a few things that renew me.
- Going for a hike
- Focusing on the positive (check out our 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 a game like soccer
- 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 can I do that would make an impact is a much more difficult question which takes a lot of reflection. You need to ask yourself what you are good at, and then figure out where that can help. Find a spot each day to reflect on your life, and make a habit of spending 20 minutes doing nothing but that. Check out the article Coffee with God for ideas on how that might look.
|Helping others is one way I can make an impact. How about you?|
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!
What ways can you make an impact?
You may want to download our happiness journal as well. Based on the latest research on the effects of daily journaling on happiness and on my own experiences dealing with depression, this 12-week journal will prompt you each day to focus on the positive.
I hope these questions have been helpful if you are struggling to find your passion. It can be a long road, but it's entirely possible to find it, so keep going!