As we go through our lives, taking notes, learning lessons, and sharing our wisdom with the world, it’s likely that we’ll run out of steam, lose our way and find ourselves on the brink of losing our passion. It’s possible that fire that burns inside each one of us will even go out at a few points in our lives. Sometimes these are the darkest hours of our lives, but also the ones that build the most character. It wasn’t too long ago I was sitting at my parents house, unemployed, completely out of money, and wondering how I made such a damn mess out of my life. What I saw was a life that was a failure and disappointment to me and everybody around me. The fire inside of me had burned out.
The Power of Nothing
Many of us wish we could have a do-over when it comes to certain parts of our lives. I’m no different in that sense. I wish I could do college over because I think Id’ be a happier and healthier. I wish I could do my previous relationships over and not make the mistakes I did. But our past mistakes enable a brighter future. In fact, bad decisions that we make are what enable us to learn and make good ones in the future. When the fire inside us burns out, we’re often left with nothing.
Nowhere to go But Up
You’ve heard the phrase before “When you’ve lost everything you’re free to do anything”. Believe it or not, this is one of the most powerful moments in your life that can help shape your experience going forward. You have the opportunity to start rewriting the future. When the fire burns out, and you’re left with nothing, you’re free from everything. You’re free from expectation and you’re free to create things the way you see fit. But this comes down to making a choice. You can either let the fire burn out and the wind sweep you away and get caught in this shit storm that some say is “just life” or you can start to look at this as an opportunity for starting a completely new fire, one that burns deeper and longer and will carry you through your journey.
One interesting question that people seem to want to ask constantly is “how do you find your passion?” I think we have some preconceived ideas of what we’re passionate about, but mostly they’re not based on any solid understanding of ourselves. I think passion is largely derived from understanding our own values. I value freedom, creativity, and adventure, which might explain why surfing and writing appeal to me. So, before we can reignite passion, I think it’s important that we give some time to understanding what it is we value. I recommend the following exercise (taken from Anthony Robbins Personal Power II Program):
- What’s most important to you in a career?
- What’s most important to you in a relationship?
- What’s most important to you in life?
The answers to those questions will provide a starting point or the matches to reignite your fire.