Life has become a matter of existing. It has become a matter of fulfilling obligations. Joy is fleeting. Passion is waning.
Here are 5 small steps to get your passion back:
- Start a Gratitude Chronicle
One of the reasons why our drive diminishes is that we are so focused on the bad that we don’t take the time to see all the good that is happening around us. We need a tool to remind ourselves to be grateful.
On a Google Doc or some other web-based word processing document, take a little bit of time every day to describe, in detail, one time when you were really grateful for something. Perhaps you were incredibly grateful when a dark time ended, when you received a gift that really hit home, or when a deal landed “from out of nowhere.” Whatever the reason, write one story every day of a time when you felt grateful.
In order for this to work, you need to describe not only the facts of the story, but what you felt about those facts.
When you run out of stories, just start making lists of what you are grateful for. Don’t take anything for granted (i.e. Did you sleep on a bed? Have you eaten? Do you have decent clothes?). As you remember that you are not entitled to any of the things you have been given, your heart will start to melt.
Now, whenever you are starting to go negative, turn to your smartphone, bring up the document, and read some of the accounts of times when you were grateful. Afterwards, take the occasion to add to your list the things you can be grateful for at that moment.
- Simplify the business
Many business leaders have spent so much time putting out fires that they have “forgotten” why they got in the business in the first place.
What was your vision for your role when you first started? Has your vision evolved? Take small steps towards nailing your vision and you will see drive come back.
After nailing the vision, look at how you spent your time over the last week or two. How much of that time was spent on the core part of that vision?
Have you been trading what is essential for what is urgent, but not essential?
It is time to get back to basics. If you knew there would be no negative consequences to your spending the vast majority of time doing what you do best to drive the greatest results, how would you spend that time?
Now develop a transition plan to get there. You will need to delegate, delete, diminish or delay certain tasks. Get on it as fast as possible.
Know that something is going to have to drop. Don’t let it be what is essential in favor of what is urgent. Choosing the urgent is probably what zaps your energy the most.
Proceed with the transition in small steps. See if you can free up just five minutes from the urgent to give back to the essential. Once you start, it will be addicting. You will become proactive, and most of your day will be spent building the business instead of putting out fires.
- Really connect to others.
Here is a novel concept…. When was the last time you really connected at a heart level to someone else? That is, you just let yourself be, and they let themselves be–no marketing…. no positioning…. no façades…. no hiding…. You just let yourself be.
For most of us, we have given up on having those types of relationships. We are too busy. We have too much anxiety. We are scared of being judged.
If you are married, I bet deep down, your spouse longs for this with you.
If you are not married, who can you go deep with?
Once again, start small. Don’t verbally vomit everything that you’ve been hiding. Start with being real for a little bit with someone you want to get closer to. See how they respond. Once you get going you will find it refreshing.
- Make time for once–loved hobbies.
What did you used to love to do that you have not done in awhile? For me, it is tennis. I used to play all weekend in my teens and 20’s.
What is a small step you can take to get that back in your life? I have not touched a racquet in 10 years. I can start by spending 5-10 mins per week hitting against a wall and building on that until I get my game back. What’s your version?
Taking small steps is the key to getting your drive back. Just five minutes will generate momentum to help you come back to life.
Chew On This:
- Which of the five steps will you start with today?
Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.