Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you. Oprah Winfrey
In last week’s show I looked at three more archetypes of toxic people that you may have had the misfortune to find in your life and I talked again about the importance of getting rid of them if you want to find success. If you missed it, please go back and have a listen. Toxic people can destroy your productivity and getting rid of them is essential if you want to find success.
American self-help author and a motivational speaker Wayne Dyer says that Passion is a feeling that tells you: this is the right thing to do. Nothing can stand in my way. It doesn't matter what anyone else says. This feeling is so good that it cannot be ignored. I'm going to follow my bliss and act upon this glorious sensation of joy.
…and I agree - Passion is what drives us. Passion guides us and fuels us in our life and career and it’s an integral part of what we are. But today I want to talk about something that I’ve struggled with in recent years it’s not something I hear anyone else talking about.
Rediscovering the passion that we have lost along the way.
Quite often the passion for what I do dwindles as I interact with difficult people and am burdened by unrewarding and unpleasant experiences. The film and television world can be a tangled web of lies, exclusion, late bookings and even later cancellations or indeed bookings that turn into thin air after weeks of communication and preparatory work. It’s the late payments and the chasing of money owed, it’s the lack of empathy from indifferent production personnel, the withholding of essential information, the disrespect for my talent and my person and of those that I bring onto productions as action actors or fight assistants and it’s the unreasonable demands and great comms before the day which become poor comms after the work has completed and I look to be paid. Comms are generally atrocious anyway with only a few stand out production managers and line producers really putting in the effort to keep you informed and happy. Sometimes in fact I feel that the way I am treated by others is deliberate cruelty and more than once I have joked about starting a society for the prevention of cruelty to fight directors, and yet I know that it’s not just me that has to deal with this. I ran a poll on Facebook recently and overwhelmingly poor comms was the biggest gripe which those that voted had to face. Close on its heels was the feeling that as a local crew member it was much harder to get employed on local productions than someone who lived further away. Episode 110 The Prophet is not recognized in his own land dips into that one in some detail so check it out if you have missed it. It’s a real problem and it’s a bastard to get around.
The passion for the work that I do has received such a beating over the years that I have had to work hard to rediscover it. I’m still working on my passion for fight work which has been smashed to pieces in recent months leaving me feeling undervalued and disrespected but to some extent I have been able to rebuild my passion for film-making.
I stopped making films in 2019 as I had two unpleasant experiences in a row but it had been hard going for years if I am truly honest. Being constantly let down and being rejected for funding, being abused by reviewers after months and sometimes years of effort spent on a project and time and again bumping into people who try to hijack my projects not by actually working to gain ownership of them but by claiming ownership after the fact. All of these things knocked my passion for making films to the ground and for two years I didn’t shoot a thing.
If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you. Alan Armstrong
So how do you keep feeling inspired and infuse passion back into what you do? How do you come to regain that focus, or to remember your original drive?
Well, I’d say you ain’t going to make any headway on rediscovering your passion if you don’t know what it is in the first place. So, first thing you want to do is get specific about what it is you want to rekindle. For me recently it was perhaps not so much the passion for just film-making, but about doing my own film projects. Whatever they may be.
When I decided that I wanted to rediscover and focus down on that the dimple act of remembering what my passion was made feel happier in the first instance. Just as seeing your passions withering on the vine or realizing that you have lost them will make you sigh for their loss, remembering them is the first step to recovering them. As soon as you discover what you have missed and commit to putting time and energy into it again, you will begin to feel an energy shift.
If you’ve forgotten, deserted, or closed away your passions just think back to a time when you were happy with how things were. How did you spend your time? What were your obsessions? What could you focus on or do for hours? What were your obsessions and primary focuses? What occupied your mind and heart? List all of the passions you once had then decide which of them you want to rediscover.
Here are a few suggestions that may help you to rediscover your passion:
Slow Down: Arrange time for you to listen to yourself and don’t spend it keeping busy doing distracting tasks. The idea is to find your passion and purpose by doing things like sitting quietly and going for long walks; basically, letting yourself be bored. Being bored is a good thing. When you are bored your mind begins to explore… and your subconscious will keep going to what interests it. You will begin to rediscover your passion and begin to find the answers you’ve been searching for when you listen to yourself.
Celebrate Your Wins: Reflect on your big wins of the past and celebrate them. Then begin working on getting into the habit of celebrating your small wins every day. Too often we overlook what meaningful contributions we make every day and how satisfying our accomplishments make us feel. The productivity cycle reference.
Own your uniqueness. No one else has your unique blend of talents, wisdom, strengths, skills, and creativity. We all have something great to offer, and learning to accept and own what makes you unique is crucial to sharing your gifts with the world. Your uniqueness is the seed of your passion. Embrace.
Write: To rediscover a passion try putting pen to paper versus using a computer – your thoughts will generate differently when you write by hand. During your time alone, find time twice a day to set a timer for 10-minutes and write. Write anything and don’t stop to think. If you don’t know what to write next, write blah blah blah until a new idea emerges. Answer any question that comes to mind, but start considering questions like: Of all the things I do, I am most happy when… I am most proud of… I’ve always wanted to… I would like to work with… When I was younger, I thought I would…
Focus on the fun. Too often we get wrapped up in the expectations we set for ourselves. We focus on the details and the to-do lists instead of what is most important. What do you love to do? What makes you smile? If money were limitless, what would you be doing today?
Push past fear. It’s so seductive to tell ourselves that we’ll go after what we want when we have more experience, more money, or more time, but the truth is, that will never happen. We must identify these excuses as masks for our fear. It’s only when we get clear on our fears and recognize how they are holding us back that we can begin moving forward.
We all start our careers with optimism, zeal and energy; feeling genuinely excited about our future but for many of us, it gets harder and harder to hold on to that initial feeling of enthusiasm and over time our passion fizzles away. It might be a result of stress, increasing workload or just plain boredom - any number of factors which I have already outlined here, but as time goes by it becomes easy to forget the things that matter to us, and what got us into doing what we do in the first place. If you can find again that initial spark that drew you to whatever you are passionate about, you will rediscover your passion and if in the end you don’t remember your passion, or you just can’t connect with it again, find a new one.
Our passions are the true phoenixes; when the old one is burnt out, a new one rises from its ashes. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I still have passion but I’ve struggled with this sort of thing more and more recently. If you find yourself in the same boat then I hope you’ve found something useful in all of this. With passion comes drive and a sense of achievement. Take some time to rediscover a passion you have lost today.
In next week’s show I’ll be talking about the old idiom, The Devil’s in the Detail – But what does that actually mean and what’s it got to do with productivity? For creatives I will tell you that it will likely be the difference between success and failure. Tune in next week to find out more.
In the meantime, thank you once again for spending your valuable time here with me and I’ll end now, with some words from
Nina Amir who said Imagine your passion like a delicate flower—a passion flower. It needs love, attention, nutrients, and sun. If you ignore it long enough, it will die.
This episode is sponsored by William Samson from Samson Video Productions
Season 9 Executive Producer: Christopher McPhillips from Artos Digital
2-time winners of 'Social Media Agency of the Year' at the Prestige Awards; Artos Digital specialise in marketing communications, coaching and personal branding. Owner Christopher McPhillips launched the business from his home in Bathgate and now works alongside his wife, Electra, for specialised event-management and fundraising. Enjoying a broad portfolio of clients over the years, ranging from established enterprises to start-up's - a good fit for Artos Digital given their adaptable and agile approach. Christopher and Electra have combined their talents for three significant clients this past year: Reconnect, a SCIO who run the Regal Theatre in Bathgate; Pro2 Wrestling in Ayr; and Puppet Animation Scotland in Edinburgh.
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