Kathie Melocco - Health Activism

Blog dedicated to Social Justice and Health and Wellbeing Activism

January 27, 2010

Discovering your passion pulse in work/life

Here is an extract from my recent keynote that many have asked for a copy.
If I were to ask you what your passion is, could you name it? If you are like many people I talk to, you would answer, "I'm not sure." So many of us are so busy juggling our day-to-day responsibilities that we have become strangers to our passion. We may get small glimpses, little moments of enjoyment and inspiration, but rarely do we benefit from continual or prolonged periods of passion. Our lives simply do not reflect what's in our hearts.

So What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

A friend of mine was having a discussion with her three-year-old son about things like action figures and preschool friends, when suddenly the topic changed. He asked, "Mummy, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

She had not considered this question in many years, but it was every bit as relevant now as it was when she was a child. Even though she was a successful attorney, she knew she had not become what she truly wanted to be. She answered, "I don't know, sweetie. What do you want to be?"

"I want to be a policeman," he replied. "You could be an astronaut. Abby wants to be an astronaut. You could be one with her." Touched, she realized that although it was a little late for her to join the space program, she could be many other things. Not just in a career, but in life. She found herself wondering what really excited her about life. If she could be anything, if there were no limitations or obstacles, what would she be? A simple question from her son inspired her to reflect more intently than any professional seminar or coaching session ever had.

Few people could answer this question any differently than my friend did. Even if they are proud of what they have accomplished--even if they enjoy what they do--they cannot say that they truly have become who they wanted to be. Given the opportunity, they might make some changes; they know they can do more, be better, or be happier. But they don't know how. To begin to build the lives they want, they need to embrace their passion. And to do that, they must first discover it.

Four Ways to Discover Your Passion

Discovery by epiphany
--This occurs when you have one pivotal, life-changing experience that creates a sudden and intense awareness of an underlying passion. The experience is unexpected, and its effect is powerful. In a single, clear moment, the mystery surrounding the heart is revealed, and you are left with a distinct impression of who you must be. This moment of discovery does not necessarily result from a major event. It can come while on a quiet walk, reading a book, or performing daily chores. Whatever its context, it is an unmistakable wake-up call from your heart.

Discovery through change--Major life changes, such as birth or death, marriage or divorce, losing a job or taking a new one, and illness or recovery, can alter your view on life and cause you to examine the way you live it. As you react, you may learn things about yourself you never knew. This includes discovering your passion. Those living with disease or injury might discover a passion for helping others to overcome the same challenges. New parents might learn they are passionate about teaching or nurturing others.

Discovery through intuition--Discovering your passion is a product of intuition. You must sense your passion in order to identify it. You have intuition, but may not recognize its cues. Some of you might be born with such strong intuition that, from a very early age, you know your passion and are confident in it. With fearlessness and conviction you embrace it fully and follow the course it dictates. Something about your nature allows your passion to flow unabated. Once it is unleashed, it is so powerful that you cannot ignore it.

Discovery through experience--Most of you uncover your passion gradually as a result of day-to-day experiences. You get glimpses of it--courtesy of your intuition--but may not understand its significance or heed its influence. The messages are there, and they may be from your heart, but they are subtle. Unless you pay attention to them, you are likely to dispel them. They are neither earth shattering or life changing. The challenge is learning to listen to and interpret the signals of your heart and translate them into action.

Steps to Discovery
Take a step back
--In order to listen to your heart, shut out the day-to-day noise, stress, and confusion, and seek perspective on your life. This may require only a quiet walk in the woods or a night in front of the fire; however, if you feel you cannot escape so easily, you may need to retreat completely. This could mean flying halfway around the globe or loading a tent into the back of the car and spending a few days in the mountains. Sit down, breathe deeply, and try to relax. Then answer these questions: Where am I today? Where do I want to be tomorrow? What do I want to do with my life?

Look to the past, present, and future for clues to your passion--Search for clues to uncover your passion. Remember your childhood and any activities that excited or intrigued you. You may have abandoned them only because you thought it was practical, not because you lost your passion for them. Then examine the present. Consider the things you look forward to from day to day--the aspects of your work you enjoy or the activities or thoughts in your life you really love. Finally, look to the future. Make a list of the things you dream of, and take time to think about what they mean to you now. Once you have done this, look for connections between the ideas that have emerged.

Step back in--Once you return from your step back--whether it took you to another country or just another room--uncover your passion as you go about your normal routine. Examine your surroundings--the things you fill your home with, the ways you fill your time, the people you like--for insights into yourself. Schedule time with friends, family members, and colleagues to discuss you, and just you. Ask them to name your strengths and weaknesses, or your talents and abilities as they see them. Do this not because they know you better than you know yourself, but because they see your passion from another perspective.

Begin to experiment--If you still cannot identify your passion, it is time to act. Seek out new experiences, people, and activities. Take a class at a local college, apply for a part-time job, join a neighborhood athletic team, help a friend with work, attend lectures and meetings, or try a new hobby. Look for the fresh in the stale, the new in the old. If you think a bolder move is necessary, step out of your comfort zone and take some risks. If you usually stand on the sidelines as an observer, jump in as a participant. The point is to break down the barriers that might be preventing you from finding the things you enjoy.

Try taste tests--If you do not feel quite so daring, there are safer ways to experiment with passion: taste tests. Begin to let passion into your life on your own terms. Find ways to test your suspicions. Discovery will be more gradual than if you make more drastic changes, but you should begin to sense the things that move you.

Take perspective breaks--As you engage in the process of discovery, continue to take perspective breaks. Do things that offer you varying views of your life. Reading can expose you to new ideas and new frames of reference. Travelling requires you to ponder what is meaningful at home and in the new places you see. Watching plays and movies, attending festivals and celebrations, or taking solitary walks or extended bike rides cause you to see the world and your life in new ways.

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Passion versus desire, where do you sit in achieving your life purpose?

Finding your passion is about more than just fulfilling your cravings or desires. There is a difference between passion and desire. Passion that comes from your natural tendencies, or what can be called “purpose,” is not dependent on your circumstances. You can tell the difference between the two because of how you feel when you do the activity. Doing activities inline with your passion that comes from purpose will make you feel energized, alive and make you want to continue the activity even more. You can lose track of time, become obsessed and maybe even have to give yourself time limits on how much you engage in the activity. You are like an addict.

On the other hand, doing activities that fulfill desires that are circumstantial can make you feel satisfied and content. The more you do the activity, the more satisfied you become and less interested in continuing the activity. One example of this is the love of babies or small children. Someone whose passion is to be around them might want to run a daycare center or be school teacher, whereas, someone who wants to be a parent will feel that deep desire fulfilled by birth or adoption.

Your true passion is like a soul-mate activity. It is the thing that makes you feel alive when you do it. Recognizing your passion that comes from purpose, or your natural tendencies, can often happen if you think about what you would want to do if you had all of your needs and desires met. If you had all of the money in the world, finished traveling and had all of your wishes and desires fulfilled, what would you want to do with your time?

Some people say they have a dream or passion about something at which they are not very good. Just look at the American Idol tryouts. Everyone thinks they are the best. But they often have not taken any time to learn or train to be the best. They have a desire but not a real passion. People who find their true passion often want to be good at what they love. Wanting to learn more and putting forth the effort to do so is a natural part of pursuing your passion.

This is why passion is such a crucial part of success. It is like a natural river of drive and energy you can ride toward your goal of success. One way to ride that river is to find a way to be successful with the passion itself. If you love to paint, learn to be the best you can be and find a way to make money painting. You would have a better chance of finding success than if you love painting and you become a waiter. Another way to ride that river is to find a way for success in one area to allow you to engage in your passion. If you love to travel, but cannot find a way to make money from it, find another way to make money and then use it to travel. Either way, finding your passion is the best and strongest motivation to find success. Any successful person you meet can tell you in a heartbeat what their passion is and how that helped them find success. Find your passion, and let your passion drive you to success.

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January 16, 2010

This year's presentations and workshops

As promised below is the subject list of presentations that I will offer this year. Please email if you would like further details kathie_melocco@hotmail.com
Current international travel agenda available upon request.

* Sex, Money and Happiness -surviving in tough economic times. Inspirational and lots of humour.

* Discovering your passion pulse in work/life - how to get from where you are to where you want to be

* Growing your business through the power of social marketing - workshop only

*Transformational Marketing - how to move beyond nuts n bolts technician skills to powerful organizational transformation that delivers dollars and industry leadership. Lots of case studies including one that delivered a 700% return on investment!

*The Bikini Budget - everyone is doing it. Workshop only

*Goddess Power - using feminine intuition and values to create powerful change even in touch economic times

*Modern Miracles - inspirational keynote sharing stories of courage, hope and challenge sometimes against all odds with remarkable human achievement.

* Kathie's story - personal story of the power of connection, authenticity and the human spirit

* So you want to get publicity? - In 2010 you have to go social and viral. Hands on nuts n bolt workshops.

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