I love personal development, and talking to people about their personal development. Plus, there are so many inspiring articles to read online that are all about how to have the life of your dreams – you could literally spend all your free time reading them! When it comes to doing what you love to do, however, there’s a point where you have to stop thinking about the “what you love to do” part, and start acting on the “DO”-ing part. I know because I’ve been there, over and over again. Thinking about what you love to do, trying to figure out what you love to do, frequently doesn’t get you anywhere. In order to really figure out what you love to do, and to turn “doing what you love” into something that earns a living for you (if that’s your goal), there’s no way around it: you have to act.
I’m going to give you an assignment. For the next two days (I’m writing this on a Friday, so you’ve got the weekend – but if you happen to read this on another day, just take the next two days) DON’T read anything about personal development. Instead, pick something that you suspect you’d love to do (or that you already know you love to do), and give it some energy. Make specific time available to do that thing (i.e. schedule time – make an appointment with yourself). It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time. A couple hours is great, but if you only have 30 minutes, then take 30 minutes. If you only have 15 minutes, just take 15 minutes. Come on, you have 15 minutes, don’t you?
Should you find yourself with “free” time over the next two days, have the “thing that you love to do” at the ready, so that you can give it some attention. Instead of doing things that you typically do to fill the time (like, say, reading personal development articles – or idly surfing the web – or flipping channels on TV – or reading the paper), DO what you love to do. If you find yourself doing something that really isn’t necessary, just stop, take a breath, and stand up. Yes, literally stand up. Say to yourself (or out loud if you don’t feel too self-conscious) “OK. I notice that I was just doing <fill in procrastinating activity here>. What I WANT to be doing is <insert thing that you love-or-think-you-might-love here>.”
Then, DO it. For at least 15 minutes, do that thing. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll end up doing it for longer than 15 minutes, but start small. You just have to get some momentum going. Through movement, through action, even 15 minutes of it, you will gain more clarity about “what you love” than you possibly could by sitting around thinking about what you love to do. So the thing that you choose to do for the next couple of days doesn’t necessarily have to be THE thing (in case you haven’t figured it – the “big” it – out yet) – it just has to be something that you know you enjoy. The one requirement is that it be something that requires DOING. Paint. Swim. Run. Design. Dig. Play.
Figuring out what you love to do is not an exercise for your logical mind, it’s something that you know with your whole self. In order to let your whole self into the equation, you have to get out of your chair and involve your whole self in the process. Using your intuition (or your best guess), pick whatever it is, and commit to giving it time over the next two days. I look forward to hearing all about what you’ve done with your time. Share what you love (or what you think it’ll be) with the rest of us, so that we can all get collectively inspired by each other’s action. See you in two days! I’ll get the party started in the comments.
UPDATE: Here’s my result from this experiment. You can do it too – It’s Easy!