Wisdom For Extraordinary Living
Passions and Abundance
Note: Today’s post is a guest contribution from Eliot Burdett.
When Jacob asked me to write a post about what inspires me I thought, what the heck am I going to write about without writing a book.
When it comes to passions and inspirations, I consider myself a bit cursed because I don’t have just one or two. I have tons.
I love hanging out with my wife and my family. I love teaching my kids life skills every day and watching them grow up. I enjoy building unique businesses from scratch and making customers happy. I get a huge kick from helping others and seeing them achieve their dreams.
I thrive on intense exercise and being active. I watch as much hockey as I can. I dig listening to all kinds of music. I am pretty much addicted to trying new things and developing myself. I like food in a big way and anyone who watches me will see me snacking and munching 24/7. I have a blast doing extreme sports and I love adventures. I can get lost in fiction or a good movie. I also I like to gear down, relax, meditate and do nothing at least a few times every day. There is a good chance I missed a few things here and oh yeah I like to get a full night’s rest too.
All of this would be fine except there are only so many hours in a day (and, in a life).
Finding Balance In Passion?
Not being one who is able to focus very well, I try to pursue all my passions. Some people might call this some kind of attention deficit disorder. Some might say that I spread myself too thin and don’t reach the heights of achievement that are possible with focus. I don’t know about any of that. I consider my life more of a balance between many different things that bring me joy and inspire me.
Author Chris Guillebeau said that balanced people don’t change the world. That may be true, but I am not out to change the world. For me life is about being happy, and feeling good about my place on this earth. I don’t apply other people’s measures of success to my life. If I am at peace with myself, I know I am doing what I am meant to be doing.
And it’s not like I haven’t tried to be focused. I have tried to reduce my pursuits and focus on a just few things, but it just doesn’t work for me. When I cut stuff out of my life, I feel unbalanced, then get distracted by the things that I cut out, and find myself gravitating back to where I started before I cut things out.
If you are like me and have many passions, then you know there are some real consequences with all of this. Most of all, you need the time to fit everything in.
I create time in my day by starting early, when I am freshest and most productive. Every day, 7 days a week I get up by 4:30 am, so I can have quiet time by myself to think and exercise before my kids rise and then be present with them when they are awake. Sleeping in is not an option for me.
Pouring Yourself Into What Matters
There is also the little issue of getting into the flow of something you love. I have a tendency to get engrossed in one thing and forget the rest of the world exists. I love letting go and really getting into something, but the downside for me, is that when I surface from periods of extreme focus, I feel unbalanced, exhausted and disoriented because I have poured myself into one thing that matters to me and forgotten others. To safeguard myself against feeling this way, I have elaborate systems for managing my time and staying grounded.
Personal branding is also an issue. My blog will never get the traffic that others do because mine is all over the map in terms of topics. A reader called my blog a “self-actualization shangri-la” which kind of sounds cool, but I don’t really have a brand. I and I am basically just some dude who likes to laugh a lot and share ideas about healthy living, being successful and being happy.
Relationships can be tough as well when your attention is scattered all over the place, but there is nothing that I love more than my wife and kids and I never take them for granted. No matter what excites us, we are all happier when we have strong relationships and I could never let my pursuits eclipse the most important people in my life.
Of course everyone is different. Some of us are capable of that focus and some, like me, find it elusive. It’s all good. Whatever way you are wired, it’s a crime not to pursue your passions with commitment and enthusiasm. Find your balance and go after what excites you.
Eliot Burdet is a husband, father, entrepreneur, vegan, rec athlete, hockey nut, blogger, author, and a partner at Peak Sales Recruiting. He believes that life is good and everyone can achieve more success in business and life by pursuing their passions and leading a balanced, healthy and full life.