How to Do What You Love

We all have dreams and passions, but sometimes it’s hard to pursue them because of the practicalities of life. There are so many reasons to postpone our dreams.

What if your attitude was to embrace your deepest, most intuitive desires for life, including work? The very idea of it can sound impossible, given how we are all so caught up making ends meet and getting ahead.

But it's not this way in all cultures. Particularly in many indigenous societies, individuals seek to embrace occupations that fulfill the needs of a larger community, and yet still highlight their unique gifts, which are in turn celebrated within the community.

As an entrepreneur, I am always looking for inspiration and new ways of doing things. I recently spent time with the Yawanawa people in Brazil. Living on a reservation in the deep Amazon isn’t easy, so the tribe needs to work together—hunting, gathering, making music and art, and celebrating their spirituality. Each individual is celebrated for their contribution to the well-being of the community.

Here are three ways that we can each move closer to our true passions, and become more fulfilled. The good news is, you don't have to leave your job to get started:

1. Go with your gut.

At least once in our lives, we have proabably all experienced an unsettling feeling towards a person or a circumstance. Be true to yourself and don't dismiss these insights. Personally, I experienced this when I was working as a corporate lawyer. It was this feeling that helped me follow my true entrepreneurial calling. It was hard to do, but once I had insight into what was right to pursue, it was not something that could be ignored.

2. Make time once a week for an activity you love, that takes you outside of your comfort zone.

When you were a child, what activity did you deeply love? What experiences were immersive for you, or brought you into a state of "flow"? Flow is defined by scientists as a complete absorption in one's activity, or colloquially as being "in the zone." In Buddhism and Taoism, flow is described as the "action of inaction" and "doing without doing." There is a physical or creative outlet from your childhood that probably allowed you to feel outside of yourself, in a way, and simultaneously connected to everything. Try and remember what that was, and make time for it once a week.

3. Actively seek out nature, as it is your best guide to providing clues and contemplative thought.

People who spend time in nature report higher levels of optimism, creative thought, and connection to themselves. Have you ever noticed that it's while going for a hike, swimming, or walking through a park that you have your greatest insights? It's not a coincidence. The natural world is part of our evolution. So embracing an optimal life includes embracing nature.

What other tips do you have for doing what you love? Leave your ideas in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Jared Erondu