Note from Crystal: I’m so honored to have my friend, Claire, guest posting here today. I’ve known Claire for almost five years and she’s been such a blessing and inspiration to me. I think you’ll be inspired by her post — and you’ll definitely want to check out her new book, Hope Runs!
Growing up, my mother had a favorite phrase: Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
That motto (which is now her email signature) has informed many of the choices she makes in life, and it’s also proved relevant to me. Indeed, I’m a passionate person. I work hard, I play hard, and in all areas of life I try to be passionate about what I’m doing — otherwise I just don’t think it’s worth much of my time!
Although I work outside the home, run a popular business blog, and have a family, I also have a passion for Kenya and AIDS orphans. Starting a nonprofit and joining my life with my foster son have been tangible outputs of this “outside” passion. Recently, this passion culminated in the publication of our new book: Hope Runs: An American Tourist, A Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption.
Ultimately, my experience has convinced me of the importance of cultivating a passion outside of your workplace, home life, or daily grind. In truth, I believe it’s essential to helping you find and maintain a fulfilling life.
Here are three reasons I believe you need an outside passion:
1. An Outside Passion Will Fuel You — Not Drain You
The problem with my mother’s motto (“anything worth doing is worth overdoing“), is burnout. The reason that many of us don’t pursue outside passions in our life is because we’re already overwhelmed with what we are doing already, and we think adding on one more thing will do us in. (To better understand our state of overwhelm, Crystal’s book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, should be your first stop.)
In reality, though, outside passions are the exact thing we need to become more energized, happy, and fulfilled. By adding in something to our lives that makes us feel excited, our perspective on our whole life can and will change.
2. You’ll Find Time for Your Passion
We all have 168 hours in a week, and most of us feel like that’s not enough to get done what we need to do. But, if you’re like me, even during the busiest times you usually find moments to do your favorite thing (whether it’s going for a run, having a cup of tea during a morning quiet time, talking with your best friend on the phone, or logging onto Facebook!).
The same is true of an outside passion. No matter how strapped you are for time, if you are truly passionate about an activity, you’ll find the time.
3. Your Outside Passion Will Open Your World to New Opportunities, and Will Encourage You to Share Your Passion
One of the great benefits of an outside passion is that it broadens your world beyond the day-to-day. In my case, an outside passion for Africa and AIDS orphans means that every day I orchestrate and participate in activities and relationships that are outside of my regular daily life of work and family.
Over time, I have felt so fulfilled by this that I have sought to share my passion, in order to bring in more of these relationships and activities. This, in turn, creates a cycle of even more fulfillment.
Once you make time for your passion, you’ll realize how important it is, and will want to share it with others. In honor of the culmination of one of my passions, I’m giving away a free ebook on the power of sharing our passions with the world that you can download here.
We all have “outside” passions we might like to do more of, whether knitting, swimming, coin collecting, studying French, volunteering, or something else. Unfortunately, most of us think we can’t pursue these interests — because they don’t fit into our current life, because we already have too much going on, or because we aren’t sure we can find the time. In reality, though, making time for these passions is essential to building the healthy lives we seek.
Take this post as a call to arms to go ahead and pick up your passion. Find that new or neglected interest of yours and carve out time to make it a part of your daily life. With time, you’ll find an even healthier, happier you hidden inside!
Do you have an outside passion you’re yearning to pursue? What is it? Can you take one baby step today to start pursuing it?
Claire Diaz-Ortiz (@claire) is an author, speaker, and Silicon Valley innovator who was an early employee at Twitter. Named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, she holds an MBA and other degrees from Stanford and Oxford and has been featured widely in print and broadcast media. She writes a popular blog at ClaireDiazOrtiz.com and is the author of the new book, Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption.
Would you like to win a copy of Claire’s new book, Hope Runs?
Sammy Ikua Gachagua had lost his father to illness, his mother to abandonment, and his home to poverty. By age ten, he was living in a shack with seven other children and very little food. He entered an orphanage seeing it as a miracle with three meals a day, a bed to sleep in, and clothes on his back.
When Claire Diaz-Ortiz arrived in Kenya at the end of an around-the-world journey, she decided to stay the night, climb Mt. Kenya, then head back home. She entered an orphanage seeing it as little more than a free place to spend the night before her mountain trek. God had other plans.
Hope Runs is the emotional story of an American tourist, a Kenyan orphan, and the day that would change the course of both of their lives forever. It’s about what it means to live in the now when the world is falling down around you. It’s about what it means to hope for the things you cannot see. Most of all, it’s about how God can change your life in the blink of an eye.
Would you like to win a copy of Hope Runs? Just click on the graphic below and type in your name and email address. Ten winners will be chosen and posted early next week. This giveaway ends Sunday, June 1, at 11:59 pm, CST.