Australia is the third richest country on the planet, and we have more people who enjoy the creature comforts of the middle class than any other nation in the world. I know I love our country. I feel lucky to be an Australian. My favourite thing about living in this country is the land and our gorgeous coastlines, without a doubt. I am convinced that a deep gratitude for nature feeds an optimism that will never end. We have a gorgeous country with lots to love. But honestly, what’s the go with our mental health?
Anxiety and depression stop our freedom at work, at home and at play. One million Australian adults will struggle with depression this year alone, and this number is doubled for those who face anxiety, our nation’s leading mental health problem. Depression and anxiety is set to become our nation’s leading health problem by the year 2030, and it is already the world’s leading cause of disability. Suicide is the leading cause of death for all of our nation’s youth, for men under 54 years, and for women under 35. This is a truly devastating crisis we have on our hands.
Studies show that an active passion for our purpose brings fulfilment more than anything else on the planet. The research proves that when we want to change ourselves and our world, and when we believe that we can take action to improve our health, we get healthier, in our mind and our body. It’s not rocket science! But what changes do we make, and how do we know that we’re making the right ones? The big question that I am asked more than any other is this: How do we find our Passion?
The answer is not in reinventing yourself, or finding “the New You”. We already have everything that we need to find and follow our deepest passions. These 7 steps make this life changing task not only possible, but relatively easy:
P – People: Who is in your network?
Which five people do you already know who will come along side you in support and encouragement? We all need a team of cheering mentors, and you already know people who are perfect for the job. Start making the most of those relationships, by listing them and contacting them today.
A – Aptitude: What are your natural strengths?
What things do you enjoy doing, that come easily to you? What are the things that you become so in the flow with that time seems to stop when you are doing them? For me, writing and speaking come easily, and connecting with those around me. What do you do without trying. Your passion is an expression of those things.
S – Skills: What have you learned how to do?
What have you done at work, at home, or at play that have created the unique skill set that you are equipped with today. Pull out your resume from the archives and take a trip down memory lane. And ask your cheer squad to remind you of things that you have done in the past. We often down-play our abilities, but our passion needs us to champion them again.
S – Stuff: What resources do you have?
We all have physical possessions that will help us find and follow our passions. Chances are that if you have a passion for art you will be able to get your hands on the things you need for your next masterpiece. If you’re into cooking, get yourself into your kitchen, and if you’re a muso at heart, it’s time to pull your instrument out from the back of your wardrobe. Find the equipment you need to enliven your passion again.
I – Imagination: What do you dream?
At various stages of our life, each one of us dreamed of being great. We wanted to do something that we were good at to made a difference in the world. If you have had the guts to pull out that first draft of your biography, then it’s time for you to remember the dream that you had of being that inspiring author. Be honest, be brave, and imagine that dreams really do come true.
O – Opportunity: What can you change?
They say that you make your own luck. Anne Landers says that opportunities are usually disguised as hard work. It’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and start making changes to expose the opportunities that exist in our life now. For some, these changes will be tweaks and adjustments, because you’re on track and simply need to focus, but for others, the changes you make will create opportunities that change the course of your life forever.
N – Now: What are you waiting for?
Our life is only experienced in our “Now”. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow never comes. Today is the day we own up to ourselves, and be accountable to the next step. We need to realise we already have everything we need to activate our passion. Nothing can stop people who know how to continuously renew the energy they need to experience purpose that is fuelled by passion, every day.