Ep #113: Creating Passion
Posted on May 5, 2016
One of the questions that I get asked a lot is, “How do I find my passion and my purpose?”
I feel like there have been a lot of books written on that subject as if you will find something outside of you that will provide you with the feelings of passion and purpose. I think it’s a huge disservice to people who are learning about self-help and are trying to feel better in their lives teaching them that there is some right job, right person, or right experience that will supply them with passion.
On this episode of The Life Coach School, we delve into how we can create passion for ourselves. We take a look at what passion is and where it comes from, and why no external factors can create it for us. Turn up your volume and listen in for my proven step-by-step process that you can start using today to generate passion in your business, relationships, and life.
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It’s the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!
What you will discover
- Why we shouldn’t seek passion and purpose from an external source.
- Why it’s our job (and not anyone else’s) to make us happy.
- What passion is and where it comes from.
- The step-by-step process for creating passion within ourselves.
- How to think thoughts that inspire passion.
- The importance of practicing the “language of passion.”
Featured on the show
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. Now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Well, hello my friends, how are you guys? I'm amazing. You guys signed up for Thought Work 2.0? I hope you have. We have a lot of people that have signed up, but if you haven't, you gotta come! We're doing two days of this stuff. I'm so excited. I've been planning it, working on it. It's going to be ridiculous. So if you ever wanted to work with me in person, if you want to take this work to the next level, if you're excited about the results you have so far, let's explode them. Come to El Dorado Hills in July, and let's rock it out. Go to thelifecoachschool.com to find out more information. If you go to the tab that says "Trainings," you will see that advanced class. Don't be worried about the word "advanced" if you're not feeling advanced. It doesn't matter. You can come and rock it out with us.
Today, we're going to talk about creating passion. Now, the reason I wanted to talk about this is I have a student that I've been working with who feels like she has no passion. She asked me, "How do I get passionate? How do I find out what my passion is?" This is actually a question I get asked a lot, like "I want to find out what my passion is. I want to find out what my purpose is." I think that there have been lots of books that have been written that talk about finding your passion and finding your purpose as if you will find something outside of you that will provide you with the feeling of passion. You will find some purpose outside of you that will provide you with that feeling, and I think that is a huge disservice to people in our industry, people that are learning about self help, people that are trying to feel better in their lives. I think teaching that concept that there is some right job or right person or right experience that will provide you with passion I think is a huge disservice.
This episode is all about how do you create passion for yourself, and I called it that on purpose because it's so important that you know that any emotion that you want to create in your life, you can create it. You don't have to wait for something outside of yourself. When my student was saying, "I'm not currently passionate about my job. I want to find my passion," what I explained to her was that her passion is not outside of her and that she needs to generate it from within her. What I recommended to her was that she start creating passion in her current job to teach herself that skill, and then she can go and apply it to anything else that she wants to do in her life.
Here's what I've noticed, actually, with a lot of my students and a lot of people. Elizabeth Gilbert actually talks about this in her book, Big Magic. She talks about how, and I've seen this happen, where we want something to be our passion. For example, we have students that come to us that want to become life coaches. They see other people that are life coaches, and they seem so passionate, and so they decide, "That's what I want to do. If I become a life coach, then I will feel passionate." They become life coaches, and they have that expectation of their career to provide them with passion, and what they end up doing is suffocating their own life. They suffocate their own potential joy.
I'll use the example of my son because sometimes when you can relate too closely to something, you can't really see the forest through the trees, so let me tell you about my son, who's an amazingly talented golfer. I've talked to you guys about him before. His expectation is that golf will provide him with success. He goes out and golfs and does very well, but if he doesn't do as well as he expects his sport to provide him with, that level of ecstasy and that level of success, then he constantly is negative and putting himself down. I say to him, "You have an amazing gift, you have an amazing talent as a golfer. Why would you take that little spark that's starting to build and create a fire and completely smush it with expectation that it be better than it is?"
I think that's what people do in their marriages. That's what people do in their jobs. Their expectation is that their husband will make them happy. Their expectation is that their job will make them happy. I always say to my students, "It's not your job's job to make you happy. That's your job. It's not your husband's job, it's not your wife's job to make you happy. It's not your boss's job to make you happy. It's not where you live's job to make you happy. That's your job." If you generate passion, then you find a job that makes it easy to generate passion, then you're off to the races. That's where I feel like I am now. I generate a lot of my own passion, but it's so easy now for me, and I feel like I'm in a position where I'm a life coach and I'm a teacher, and it's everything I love, and then I generate more love on top of it. I don't expect my career to provide me with that with no work from the inside, so I hope that makes sense.
Here's what I hear from students a lot: "I have no passion. I'm trying to find my passion. I don't feel it towards my husband, job, or life. I know purpose will make me feel passionate. I want to 'find it.' I want it to come. I've lost it." One of the things I want you guys to think about is where does passion come from and what exactly is it? Think about that for a minute. What is passion and where does it come from? I like to describe it as a feeling. It's an emotion. Where do you feel it in your body? What does it feel like? Does it feel like enthusiasm and excitement mixed together? Does it feel like a drive to do something? Does it feel like motivation? How do you know that you're experiencing it? The next thing I want to ask you is where does it come from? If you've been listening to this podcast for a while you know what I'm going to say: it comes from your mind. It comes from your thinking. When you think passionate thoughts, you feel passion. That's why a lot of you, you're thinking, "Oh, I'm not getting passion from my job," and then you're beating up on your job, which of course makes you feel less and less and less passionate.
Here's where I think we get into trouble. I think that often, we have felt an effortless passion in our lives. It's felt effortless to feel passionate, so we feel like it's involuntary. We feel like it's something that just happens inside of us. I think that's confusing because passion isn't something that just happens inside of us. It's not something that the universe gives us. I think the universe directs us with our desires, but I think our desires and our passions come from what's already going on in our brain. A lot of you will say, "When I first met my husband, I didn't have to think about feeling passion for him. I just did," but if you were to go and inspect your brain when you first met the love of your life and what you were thinking about him then versus what you think now, it will be very clear why you felt passion then and didn't now. If you're in a current job that you don't have any passion for, write down all of your thoughts about that job, and it will become very clear as to why you don't feel passionate.
That effortless passion comes from that automatic, habitual thinking that we have programmed and learned in our brain, right? If we're consistently thinking a certain thought and consistently believing a certain thought, and we have that neural pathway going, and we've thought it enough that then we can delegate it to that lower brain of ours, then the lower brain will just take it over and think it for us. We'll have that experience of that emotion with very little effort on our part, and so we'll feel like passion is just alive inside of us. It's not. It's because we've made a deliberate choice at one point to think those thoughts, and now they're automatic, but it will feel effortless. If you want to have effortless passion, you need to get back to that space. If it isn't effortless, you might want to consciously create it and practice it until it is. The steps for doing that is create it, practice it, and repeat it. You repeat it enough times, it will become an effortless neural pathway in your brain. Then you won't have to put as much effort into feeling it.
I know what you're thinking: "Okay, so how do I create it?" The first thing that I recommend you do if you're not feeling passion in your life or with your mate or with your dating life or with your home or with anything in your life ... The first step, I think, is to understand why and do that thought download on all your thoughts about your current job. That's what I had my student do. I had her write down all of her current thoughts about her job. She said things like, "I just don't like it. I just dread it. My clients are annoying. I don't like this work anymore. I'm tired of doing it. I just fell into it. I've been doing it too long." Really negative, negative thoughts, so it was no surprise to me that she wasn't feeling passionate about going to work every day when her thoughts were so negative.
To do this in a way where you're not judging yourself and not editing yourself will be very powerful, so you'll be revealing your thoughts to yourself. I like them on paper. What I like to do is sit down for five minutes and just write unedited, and don't pick your pencil up because you will try and edit your thoughts or you will think some thoughts aren't relevant, and so you won't write them down. If you just sit down and just write, write, write, write, write, it will be really useful for you to see what's there and to see, "Okay, when I'm thinking these thoughts how am I feeling?" Dread ... Discontent.
My student, what she said to me is, "I don't know what my passion is," and I said, "What do you think it might be?" She said, "I don't know because I don't know if I could get it done, and I don't know if I could do it, and I don't know if I would like it." I said, "What I want you to do is I want you to imagine that you will like whatever it is you decide to do, no matter what, and that you will be able to do it and you will be successful." If you take off all these stipulations of, "I don't know if I can do it or I don't know if I'll like it," it kind of frees you up to open those doors to dream. Once I took those obstacles out of the way, she decided that she would really like to do a certain type of business with someone that she loved. She had this whole idea of how she'd want to do it and how it would help people. It was great, all the things that she wrote about it, but she said, "I don't know if I'd feel passionate about it."
I had her imagine that it was crazy successful and that she felt amazing, and then I asked her what she would be thinking. All of these amazing thoughts came out of her brain about how she would think about the business and how she would approach it, how she would feel, and therefore what she would do. It was really amazing to see how her brain changed from these thoughts of, "It will never work. I won't be successful. I'll be too tired. I won't like it," to really positive, wonderful thoughts. Her brain wanted to take her back to, "It will never work," because, remember if you've been listening to this podcast, the brain doesn't like change. The brain likes patterns, and it likes consistency, and it likes to stay the same with things that it knows are safe and are working. It's a beautiful thing. That's what's kept us evolving, but now it's not necessary. We need to evolve beyond that. We need to really manage what our thoughts are when it comes to thinking about it.
How do we create thoughts about what it is we want to do? The first question is what is it we want to feel? Is it passion? How will we know when we're experiencing it? That's really important. What does it feel like? How do we create it with our mind? What are the thoughts and beliefs that generate it? One of the things that I think is so interesting is that when they go into colleges and universities and they try and study happiness, they create happiness. They create momentary pleasure by showing people funny videos, endearing videos, pictures of their loved ones. Basically just tuning their brain into thoughts that will generate those emotions. We can do that on our own. We can study ourselves in that same way. When you think about passion, a lot of you may not be able to imagine it, so I'm going to help you here.
Think about a job that you would get up for ... Or a man or a woman or whoever in your life that you would get up for. You couldn't wait to see, you couldn't wait to work with, you couldn't wait to do all of the things that you want to do with them. You'd just jump out of bed. What would that feel like in your body? What would that experience be like? What would you be thinking about? What would your thoughts and beliefs be? For me, these are the thoughts I have. I'm very passionate about what I do, and I'll tell you the most passionate piece of my work is my studying and research and creating tools.
That is when I just feel like ... When I have a whole day just to do that, I wake up, and I'm like, "I cannot wait to study this. I cannot wait to write about it. I can't wait to create a podcast about it. I can't wait to teach it." Everything is I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait. This is so good. This is so amazing. I feel like I'm so excited and I'm so enthusiastic about this because this work matters. It matters in the world. My people are going to love it. I don't know if you're all going to love it, but I just think that you will! Many of you do, right? Maybe there's some of you that don't, but I don't hear from you. That's good. I don't have a lot of haters. Thank you, by the way, for not hating on me. Thank you for just loving on me ... so much appreciated.
When you start thinking about all of the thoughts that generate passion and you start practicing those thoughts, and you start feeling passion because you're thinking and practicing and feeling and thinking and practicing and feeling, then you ask yourself ... We go back to the model. Remember, your thoughts create your feelings. When you feel passionate, what do you do? For me, when I feel passionate, I come to work. Like right now, this is actually kind of interesting, I am going to meet my two best friends in the whole world, Jodi and Erica, who are ... I'm like separate friends from them, so I have Jodi is like my best friend more recently. Erica is my best friend from high school, and they love each other as well, which is such a bonus. I'm meeting them both at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, and we're going to go ... It's Erica's birthday coming up, so we're going to go and get spa treatments and go hiking and relax and eat. I'm on my way to see them right now, but I just wrote the outline to this podcast, and it's fresh in my mind, and I'm so excited about it that I'm like, "I'm going to stop by the office on my way there to record this podcast." That's literally what I'm doing.
If that's not passion and enthusiasm and excitement, I don't know what is. When I can't wait to stop and talk to y'all before I go and see my friends and relax with them. That's what I'm talking about. What would you do if you were super passionate? There are times when I just don't want to go on vacation or I don't want to go out with friends or I don't want to do stuff because I would really, genuinely rather work. Then sometimes I'm really passionate about my friends, and I can't wait to go see them, and it's equal passion there. I generate that. I generate my good time by the thoughts that I think. When I think that way, I ask myself, "What would I do? How would I connect? How would I show up?"
When you think and feel and act from that place, you create a neural pathway that is rewarding because you create something in the world that is rewarding. For example, I have this thought, "I can't wait to share this with my podcast listeners." I feel passionate and excited. I come here. I record this for you. The result in the world is that I help a lot of people. I get a lot of wonderful, amazing feedback, which, of course, makes me want to do it again and again and again, so then that neural pathway becomes very effortless for me.
One thing you must remember is that, in the beginning, it's not effortless. It's not going to come naturally to you. Why is that? Because you haven't practiced it and made it a habit. In fact, what was going on with my student is she had made negativity a habit. She had made the lack of passion a habit, so what came naturally to her was just being negative. She had a lot of negative thoughts that she didn't even recognize were thoughts. She just thought her life sucked. She just thought her job sucked. She didn't realize that those were choices because they had become habits, so they felt automatic. They felt effortlessly automatic. She just thought she was experiencing life, but what she had done is programmed her brain inadvertently for negativity. That's why she was always feeling bummed out all the time and lackluster and not very motivated.
I told her programming your brain and learning something new is awkward. It's like learning a new language. It's kind of frustrating. It's tedious. You don't know what people are talking about. You don't really know how to pronounce anything. You haven't practiced it yet, but the more you practice it, the more you can speak the language, the more fun it is to go to that country and speak that language. You have to decide. If you want to speak the language of passion, you have to study it. You have to study what creates passion. What are the thoughts in my brain that create passion? How can I practice that repeatedly? How can I practice those beliefs? This is important work. I can't wait to help the world. What I say matters. What I learn matters. I want to share what I have. This is really going to help the people that are struggling to find passion in their lives.
In the beginning, that may feel awkward. It requires deliberate practice. One of the things that I like to tell all of my students is that you have to practice it a hundred times before it will be come effortless ... minimum of a hundred times. Most people want to practice something for three minutes. A hundred times of practice. I gave you guys the example of learning how to ride a unicycle and how one of my students' sons, they told him that it would take twelve hours to learn how to do it, and so he gave himself twelve hours of failure in order to become successful. That's something that I really want to offer to you here. Give yourself a hundred times of failing to feel passionate when you're practicing those thoughts, and then after a hundred, I almost guarantee that you will be able to generate your own passion.
Here's what will happen. Your lower brain is already efficient at not feeling passionate, at feeling dread, at feeling frustrated. It will want to keep those manufacturing sites going. It will be like, "Why are we going to passion when we're already so good at frustration?" Your brain will want to pull you back. "This will never work. This is different. This is hard. This is cumbersome. This takes too much effort." Remember your brain doesn't want to use a lot of its juice. That's why we're not really motivated to learn a new language every week.
How cool would it be to be able to speak four languages? We all have the ability to learn four languages. It just takes time and practice and repetition, that's it. That's all it takes, but how many of us actually do that? It's because our brain resists it because it requires so much energy. It's like "No, no, we're just trying to stay alive over here. Don't be putting your brain to work on stuff that's not necessary." That's the exact same thing that will happen when you try to learn to be more passionate. It's going to say, "No, why are we going to spend all this energy on learning how to be passionate when we're so good at being dispassionate about something? We're already good at this thing, why do we need to learn that other thing?"
You just need to remind your lower brain that its opinion is noted, and we're actually going to evolve, just like a manufacturing plant. We're not going to keep making Atari games, we're going to move on to Xbox. We're going to upgrade. Yes, it's going to take some effort, and it's going to be awkward and tedious in the beginning, but once we practice enough, it won't be awkward and tedious. It will be efficient and effortless, and I'm willing to go through the work to create enough passion in my life that it becomes effortless.
That is how we do it. That is the meta-skill. That is the process. You can do it with any emotion. I just did it with you with passion. Next week, we're actually going to do it with confidence. I'm going to talk to you about confidence, how it's different than passion, but how the process of creating that emotion and creating the thoughts and feelings and actions and results that come from creating confidence can completely change your life. I'm looking forward to seeing you guys all next week, and I'm looking forward to seeing you in July. If you want to come and train with me in person, completely change your life, go to thelifecoachschool.com, hit "Training," and make sure you check out my advanced training coming up in July. I can't wait to meet you in person. Have a beautiful, amazing week. I'll talk to you guys later. Goodbye, my friends.
Thank you for listening to The Life Coach School Podcast. It is my honor to show up here every week and connect with people that are like-minded, wanting to take their life to a deeper level with more awareness and more consciousness. If you are interested in taking this work to the next level, I highly encourage you to go to thelifecoachschool.com/howtofeelbetteronline. It is there that I have a class that will take all of this to a deeper application where you'll be able to really feel and experience how all of these concepts can start showing up in your life. It's one thing to learn it intellectually. It's another thing to truly apply it to your life. I will see you there. Thanks again for listening.