What do you do when the things you enjoy doing suddenly turn into a source of stress and disgust?
It happened to me. Writing was a source of joy, a means to relax and learn. Out of seemingly nowhere I hated it. I couldn’t get a word on paper. I was repulsed by any attempt to write.
How could I go from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye?
Simple. I sold out. Here’s how it happened.
In my attempts to grow the audience of this blog, I was lucky enough to write an article for a popular blog.
I was asked to promote the article on my end. I did. It felt horribly wrong.
Facebook is the way to share things nowadays, so I asked a few close friends to read and share the article (if they wanted to). For every request, I wanted to sell a tiny bit of my soul.
I don’t share something on Facebook because you ask me to. I share something because it is interesting, inspiring, or funny. And even if I do, I rarely post it on my wall – I send close friends a link. How could I ask you to do something that I would not do myself?
This wasn’t me. And this feeling of “selling out” slowly started filling the void from which I normally find inspiration to write.
With my new goal to grow the blog there was now an ulterior motive to my writing. Marketing started to get the overhand and all my blogging efforts were approached from a perspective to “sell.” It crept up on me without me realising it.
I saw marketing everywhere and was disgusted. Luckily the solution was just around the corner. I had just forgotten about it.
One Simple Answer, One Simple Solution
Why do I fly planes? I don’t do it for the money. I don’t do it to build up my hours. I do it because I enjoy it. I enjoy it so much that I would even pay to fly.
The problem – and a good chunk of stress – starts when you do things with an ulterior motive. You start doing things for the wrong reasons. This is when you lose sight of what is important.
Why do you do the things you do?
If you feel you are walking on the wrong path, this question is critical.
Why do you work? For the money? To provide for your family? Or do you do it because you enjoy it?
Why do you go out? For the hopes of meeting a nice girl? Or to have a good time?
Why do you exercise? To get a six-pack? Or because you enjoy team sports?
Why do you want a girlfriend? To fill a hole? Or because it enriches your life?
Why do I blog? To grow an audience? Or because I enjoy writing, connecting with you, sharing ideas, and creating?
What happens when you let go of these ulterior motives is wonderful. You go back to a childlike state of being and enjoying the present moment as it is.
You know what I am talking about. In this state, there is no other possibility than to be happy. For most of us these moments are just that; moments, fleeting periods of happiness. Soon you must go back to “real life” again. Back to work.
But what if you don’t have to? What if you could fill your life with happy moments?
You can. It starts by doing what you love to do and do it your way.
That is exactly how I wrote this article. I asked myself why I am blogging.
I love writing and I love creating. But most of all I love to connect with other people. Connect with you. That’s what I decided to do.
I let go of my ulterior motives and went back to the core. By doing this, frustration made place for joy, words started to flow again and this article was born.
Instead of focusing on the BS – fancy words, marketing, polishing up the site – I focused on sharing my feelings and my thoughts with you. That is what it is about: being real.
To rekindle your passion, all you need to do is ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. If it is not in line with your core values and beliefs, drop it.
When you do, the BS will leave a space behind for your passion to grow.