Passion is defined as a strong inclination toward a self-defining activity that people like (or even love), find important, and in which they invest time and energy on a regular basis (Vallerand & Houlfort, 2003). Discovering our personal passion is where we push ourselves to be the best version of ourselves and find purpose, but COVID-19 forced every person to adjust their hierarchy of needs to be enveloped by the very basic of needs (safety, security, health, etc.). In all facets and forums of my life the theme I hear from everyone I talk with is this pervasive feeling of apathy, fatigue, exhaustion. The idea of making space for anything extra, even if it is something we enjoy, quite frankly, has sounded exhausting.
For the past two years we have all been asked to be on high alert, panicked about loved ones, jobs, every mundane task was forced out of auto-pilot and we have been navigating the world creating new uncomfortable norms and conversations. There was a mental shift to survival and passion became secondary. Now we are squarely living in this new realm, battered and tired, but also desperate to feel reconnected to people and the world again.
So, how do we reconnect with our passions that provide these feelings of purpose and accomplishment? Happiness experts would suggest that the first step is to recommit to nurturing yourself. It is time to assess your needs, put the air mask on yourself first now. Next, be deliberate about truly reflecting on what you are passionate about. The world has changed so perhaps your personal passion and interests have shifted as well. Try setting aside time to reflect on these points that might inspire how to get one step closer to those feelings of harmonious passion that are so critical to psychological wellbeing:
- What are you good at? What are your skills?
- What is my purpose? What do I want to achieve in my lifetime?
- What brings you happiness or feelings of inspiration?
- What would you do if you weren’t afraid? What is holding you back?
Vallerand RJ, Houlfort N: Passion at work: Toward a new conceptualization. In Emerging perspectives on values in organizations. Edited by: Gilliland SW, Steiner DD, Skarlicki DP. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing; 2003:175–204.