A month ago I happened to read a wonderful post by another blogger that I follow and I wanted to introduce you to her today, her name is Shannon of The Simply Luxurious Life. She always has something lovely and inspirational to share and I especially enjoyed her recent topic on discovering your purpose. I asked her if she would allow me to blog about her and her post, and I was so glad that she agreed.
I loved Shannon's post because I think it ties in really well with who a classy woman is and desires to become. Not only is she someone who is confident and knows what she wants out of life, she chooses to take the necessary time to discover what her purpose and passions are in life to so she can be truly fulfilled. This is just one characteristic that sets classy women apart. It's so exciting to see other women living out their purpose in life and nothing fulfills me more than working towards my own ideas and projects that I'm passionate about. How about you? Have you discovered your purpose? Are you still in the process of finding out what that is? Here is the first of a 3 part series Shannon writes about to help you discover exactly that.
When a person realizes their purpose, they are in essence discovering their passion, what they could spend endless hours involved in and lose all track of time. So why not spend your life pursuing your passion?
Easier said than done, I realize that. It’s much simpler to take the route you’ve seen completed by your parents or an older sibling, but if it doesn’t electrify you, why continue down such a route? Now, don’t go and quit your day job, especially in this economy, but consider for a moment the possibilities of taking a chance in those hours you are not at your day job to begin puttering away on those things that seem to take you out of your stressful world. Dare to dream. (For even more tips on how to use those hours effectively read The Other 8 Hours)
For some of you, you may already be living your ideal life, and for those people I applaud you – what a wonderful accomplishment. I would love to hear from those of you who have successfully found your purpose and are now spending your waking hours immersed in it – what helped you to arrive at this point? Please do tell!
For anyone who is still searching for their purpose, or has figured out their passion, but doesn’t quite know how to make it materialize, this series is for you. Over the next three Wednesdays, The Simply Luxurious Life will be taking you through detailed steps on how to create just that – a simply luxurious life for yourself.
Today’s focus is on discovering your passions, narrowing down what fuels your fire and adds energy to each step you take. Here we go.
Be Willing to Grow
Just because you increase in age doesn’t necessarily mean you are growing. Each person who takes on their dreams and challenges them to become their reality is choosing to grow. They are intentionally choosing to expand their minds, abilities, talents and opportunities. None of this can happen automatically simply because a person grows older. So make a conscious decision today to grow. Whether it be by picking up The Atlantic monthly magazine or purchasing a particular book to learn more about what you will have to take on, that is growth. Begin now. Decide now to grow.
Ask Yourself .....
If you aren’t quite sure what you desire, what you are passionate about, but you know you’re not passionate about what you’re currently doing, ask yourself these eight questions and actually write them down (this may take 15-30 minutes, but it is a good exercise if you are serious about narrowing down what it is that you are passionate about).
1. What do I do where I lose track of time?
2. What am I most often complimented on?
3. What do others look to me for?
4. What do I have the most fun doing?
5. What makes me feel great about myself?
6. What am I naturally good at?
7. What do I most often give to others?
8. What ideas, things, places and people am I most inspired by?
As you look back on what you have written, you should start to see a theme. For example: losing track of time shopping, receiving multiple compliments on my wardrobe choices, friends look to me for advice regarding their clothing, love flipping through fashion magazines, wearing fabulous clothes builds my confidence, having an eye for colors, textures and patterns that work well together, giving clothing as gifts – you get the idea hopefully. A person who answers the questions this blatantly should be building a career as a stylist or consultant even if it just begins in their evening hours. What do you have to lose by trying? Realizing your dream, spending your entire life shopping? There is not one dream that is too silly to pursue if you have a passion for it, a true passion. Always keep that in mind.
The only way to achieve the life of pursuing your passions is to begin today. Small steps taken every day will eventually get you to the end of the marathon. A funny thing will happen while you’re taking these baby steps repeatedly, you’ll realize (if this is indeed your passion) you don’t mind the extra hours you’re spending typing away on your computer in the middle of night. You won’t even be looking at the clock until someone has to nudge you and say, put the computer down and go to bed. The little steps will become a habit, and you’ll begin to see glimmers of progress every once in a while and no matter how little, this will motivate you to take the next steps tomorrow. Have faith, take action and watch what happens.
You still may not be convinced that spending those precious eight other hours you have before and after work working on another potential career is the best idea. In fact, you may have resolved to be content with how your life has turned out and feel it is much more “adult” to be responsible and keep the job that you can depend on even if it doesn’t electrify you in any way what-so-ever. But before you dismiss my suggestion entirely, consider the benefits.
Here are just a few things people have attained by pursuing their true innate passion – that voice they couldn’t squelch: a strengthening of one’s self-confidence, reduction of fear, anxiety and worry, actually improving at your existing career due to a sense of fulfillment, improved relationships because you are aware of who you really are and you can present your true self with confidence, gaining more focus for life and, the ultimate benefit, gaining genuine long-term happiness and personal/professional fulfillment. Just a few things to keep in mind when questioning whether it would be worth it or not.
So, if you haven’t nailed down what you are passionate about, sit down and answer the eight questions above. Then, just take one small step before going to bed tonight. And then one more tomorrow, and repeat.
Here's a little bit about Shannon and her blog....
The Simply Luxurious Life came into fruition when I realized the life I enjoy living - a life full of luxuries, but at the same time very clean and simplistic so as not to detract from the beauty - was something that others kept asking me about. This was the grandest compliment, and so I decided to share my passions as a way to help others find their passion in life by clearing out the clutter and bringing in the luxurious necessities that can enliven and inspire each day.
As a freelance writer and high school English teacher, writing has always been a part of my life, and I am thrilled to be able to use it expose my other passions - fashion, wine, food, design, gardening, travel and anything French. Being a stylish young woman living in rural Oregon, I am constantly seeking ways to enjoy the luxuries in life. Having moved from the metropolitan life in Portland, it at first seemed that my pleasurable passions were not as readily at my fingertips as they once were.
However, I have come to realize that luxury is always in our proximity if only we know where to look, regardless of where we might be living. Whether it be found in wine, food, fashion, home decor, gardening, or entertainment, contentment and pleasure can be found. Here's to the good life!
I hope you enjoyed Shannon's post as much as I did. You can click to read PART 2 & PART 3 of her 'Discover Your Purpose' Series.
Shannon, thank you so much for allowing me to share your wonderful post and the beginning of your series. My hope is that this message will reach someone who really needs to read it!
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*All image credits can be found on Shannon's original blog post.