Yes, your passion for learning and inspiring others led you to a career in education. But what about your other passions? Remember those? Those things that make you tick, or give you butterflies, or make your eyes sort of twinkle?
Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve even thought about those things. Maybe you’ve thought about them but keep pushing them into some imaginary future where you’ll have more time.
Today I challenge you to embrace your passions. Take them off the back burner. Move them to the top of your mind. And make time to nurture the heck out of them.
Are you with me?
Finding a fulfilling passion means determining what you love, enjoy, and value. Maybe you already know the passion that bubbles inside of you. Maybe not. Perhaps the years of focusing on your career and family have made your passion shrink behind the commitments of your life.
If you find yourself struggling to pinpoint a passion that moves you, take a few moments to really think on it — meditation-style. Think back to a time when you were free to do whatever you wanted. Go all the way back to your childhood. Was it painting, reading, playing the flute, or baking cookies from scratch? Maybe some of your best memories are from playing softball or dancing.
Let yourself relive the moments — you may be surprised to find out that these same things still make you feel alive! Nail down the things that make you feel that familiar twinge in your heart.
It’s okay to be passionate about something others might think is wacky or a waste of time. Finding your passion isn’t about pleasing others — it’s about pleasing you. Invest in something offbeat if it piques your interest.
Belly dancing? Go for it. Knitting cat sweaters? Absolutely. Ignore the noise of doubt and listen to the voice nudging you in a certain direction.
As a teacher, there are so many options to share your passion with others. Find small ways to add moments of your passion into your work life.
Love to draw? Why not add some amazing artwork to those boring worksheets? Create posters and signs for your classroom. Include drawing activities into your curriculum.
Love to write? Model some writing for your students. Begin an after-school club and invite fellow faculty members.
Is theater your passion? Join the school play as a volunteer. Direct a class play. Teach a lesson in Reader’s Theatre.
Do you love playing an instrument? Bring it to school and play a song during work time. Give private lessons to students. Volunteer with the school band.
Finding a way to incorporate your passions into your curriculum lessons will not only help you foster your own love but help to model for your students how following your passions is important to a balanced life.
By integrating your personal passion into your passion for teaching, you’ll be doubling your inspiration on a daily basis.
A completely full schedule can make you feel stuck and unable to follow your passions. Some simple time-saving tips can help you carve out time to dedicate yourself to the passion that moves you.
Elementary schedules incorporate time for play. Schedule your own playtime. Schedule it into your day, just as your students have a scheduled recess.
If you’re a morning person, make it a part of your early routine. If not, dedicate some time in the evening hours. Find a time that works for you and make your passion a scheduled priority.
If finding time seems too difficult, evaluate your schedule.
Make a detailed list of all you’ve done in a day. Try to record each 30-minute block of the day. Did you attempt to “quickly check” Facebook and lost 30 minutes? Did you binge-watch multiple episodes instead of just indulging in one? Did you open your email, only to find yourself navigating through images of celebrities?
Identify those wasted chunks of time and transform them into passion time.
Between times are all those unavoidable “wait” moments: waiting in the doctor’s office, waiting in line at the bank, waiting for your oil change, waiting for the bus. Make those wait times more valuable by using them to nurture your passion.
Have a notebook or use your notes app on your phone to make plans for your passion project. Bookmark related sites to read. If possible, bring your passion with you. Make more time, by using every moment more productively.
Some people make dramatic changes overnight and leap into their passions full-time. Unfortunately, not all passions can pay the bills.
Passionate pursuits may take time, especially if they’ve been put on hold while tending to other facets of life. Don’t fret. A slow and steady approach can give time to learn, explore, and grow as your passion becomes a stable part of your everyday life.
If you nurture your passion, it will grow. Just remember to create with abandon and bliss.
Ashley is an award-winning copywriter and content expert with more than a decade of proven results for national and local clients. From brainstorming high-end conceptual content to styling sentences that engage and convert, she’s got a knack for shattering the status quo. When she’s not in full-on writing mode, she’s hanging out with her rascal of a puppy and discussing the plausibility of unicorns with her 8-year-old daughter.