Last week was a story of how my Passion Project was created, how it matured over time and how 20 years later, it still maintains a positive emotional response. This week, I'd love to be able to give you a tactical take away to help you create or move further along in your own Passion Project.
Look, this would be much easier to package my feelings into pill form and transmit the message to you that way, and I wasn't born with the best writing skills, so I'll do my best to inspire. You see, I've internalized something simple. I haven't over complicated a result with what-ifs or created a self-doubting reality clogged with so many moving parts. I've internalized the fact that only a select few people in this world bring me true happiness and allow me to be who I am without judgment. I want to be around that crew and that feeling.
In social settings, I'm actually quite shy. In business settings, not so much. It's a weird way to live, being both introverted and extroverted as needed, and sure, this search for true happiness required me breaking down a few barriers that largely involved getting out of my own way. I became involved with meeting new people on a daily basis, expanded my business starting at a face-to-face level and rekindled old friendships the old fashioned way. (Hint: not using a computer) At the core -- at a fundamental level, this sort of forced socializing when I didn't want to had some actual meaning; I was searching for happiness and never concerned with anything else.
I've been through a lot in my life, but that's not what this is about. No one needs to go through what happened to me and quite frankly, no one has to. You can be 2 years old, 20 years old or 100 years old to begin your Passion Project. Nothing traumatic should trigger it.
Let's be clear on what a Passion Project is: It's anything that drives you from the inside out. It's a positive and authentic feeling generator you have. It never wanes or peaks. A constant energy giving you, well, PASSION! Passion to pursue. Passion to dream bigger. Passion to love unconditionally.
Mine is clearly traveling the world, building a dream, developing business opportunities for others (and myself of course) and the enjoyment and re-emergence of a long-lost friendship with one of my favorite people. I wake up in the morning and think about my three brands and the progress each is making. With a passion project, you don't have to force it to stay top of mind. You almost have to compartmentalize it a bit so you can give appropriate time to your responsibilities. For me, my passion project is manifesting into more opportunities and actually helps drive the other two brands in a powerful way because you can look at them differently.
5 years ago, if you would have forecasted me building additional business opportunities in Australia, I would have laughed in your face. Australia? Now I have to Google 'hemisphere' to make sure I know how to spell it, because (back to the humor) "Australia is a whole 'nother hemisphere!" The thing is, I never get tired of it. Thinking as big as I do now is a recent thing and the reality is that this world isn't big enough for some thoughts. Don't limit how big your Passion Project can ultimately be.
This is as vivid of a picture as I can paint of how much this means to me. Hopefully, there's something you care for deeply enough to call a Passion Project.
And just in case you're having a mental block and need a thought-boost, here's 5 simple ways to culture and hold on tightly to your own Passion Project:
1. This isn't to be confused with a goal...
... like weight loss or a job promotion. You'll achieve that. What idea can you embrace that will transcend time? Raising a family? Charity? Lifelong learning in meeting new people and having great experiences?
When we were on tour traveling last year, I met this couple in Boston. Phil owned Paddy Rock and they were one of the sponsors of the shows on the East coast. His wife, Teresa, was awesome and a true supporter! When I spoke with him a few weeks ago, I asked him, why do you do what you do? His response was simple. He was so passionate about the music and the experience of the people. "Last year Paddy Rock sponsored The Go Set from Australia and capped off their tour with one final show in Boston. It was important for me to be there that night and it was a magical and electrifying experience. That might only happen once in this lifetime and I want to make many more of those once in a lifetime experiences. I can't play an instrument to save my life but music is my passion and always will be. If this is the only way I can show it then I will continue to work until Paddy Rock is a household name and every band I stand behind is too!"
2. Think like you thought when you were a lot younger.
Those were simpler times. It's easy to create a Passion Project centered around correcting today's negatives. What were you crazy in love with long ago? Is there a way to get that back? Would that be a refreshing place to visit mentally or physically? When I was in my twenties and running around Australia with Justin and his band and living a hippie lifestyle, I did not have a care in the world. Today, I love my life and enjoy how juggling family and business building make me feel. However, I never forget my 'roarin twenties' and how it was spent with someone who knew me before life got so much more, well, developed. It's the smallest memories that carry have the most gravity. For example, at 4 AM in November of 2015, on the last night of the Australian tour, we were in Tasmania. We stopped the bus in between Hobart and Launceston (a place where sheep outnumbered man 5:1). We all went outside and someone said, "Look up." As I shifted my gaze north, I was astonished to see the clearest and purest image of the Milky Way Galaxy. What I saw cannot be seen from any other place in the world. I felt so alone, yet connected with our world and the people around me. I could have stayed there forever. It was a religious experience for me. Again, not a care in the world.
3. Cast away self-doubt.
If you took my advice earlier on keeping it simple, there shouldn't be a lot of negative-Nancy telling you it's a waste of time. There's no such thing as dreaming too big and if all you're looking for is a way to be even a tiny bit happier, then self-confidence should always prevail. One of my projects is managing The Go Set band. Although I never doubt my abilities as a manager in regard to developing them globally, I do worry about the continental divide (and the fact that I have zero experience in music). Neither are anything I can control, so rather than focus on the worry to an unhealthy degree, I channel it all into the way helping people makes me feel. Same thing with Justin, the singer for The Go Set. He knows nothing of real estate in the Midwest and how to develop a sales team, but doesn't let that hold him back from the honest opinions he has of helping me succeed through enjoying life outside of work and coaching me to be a better person overall. Being the teacher and the student is key to casting away self-doubt.
4. Find strength in others.
If you're still reading, chances are your brain is swarming with half fleshed out ideas of what your Passion Project will be. Also, chances are it involves another human being. Tell that human being and involve them. It worked for me. We all have a lot of strengths and weaknesses. Life needs to be fun and if you are surrounded by the right people, it can be everything! I would tell you across all three of my brands, I have smart leaders that go to the end of the earth! There are days of course when life can be challenging and we all float through together!
5. Add by subtract
My Passion Project has spanned the better part of 20 years so far. It's never been the #1 most important thing in life, but I've found that it intensifies when I scrub out the bottom 80% of daily crap I have to deal with. It just gives me extra time to feel the good things.
The other day, I was surfing the web and quite possibly nearing the actual end of the internet. (yes, it was late) I saw a funny quote that read, "Life is short...wrong. It's actually the longest possible thing you can do." I belly-laughed at first, but then reflected at a serious level about how absurdly true that statement is. Life lasts a long time. Spend it with a Passion Project at your side.
"Feel free to comment below on what your Passion Project might be. I'd love to be inspired at your story as well!"