If you share what you love for a living, there may come a time when you start to love your passion a little less. Or a lot less. Even though you know it's normal to feel less excited or enthusiastic, it can still be scary. You have so much invested in your work. Does this mean you have to chuck it all and start all over? Highly unlikely. You just need a little passion love attention. Here are some ideas to help you fall in love with your passion all over again:
1. Increase novelty.
We humans thrive on novelty. What's the equivalent of new lingerie for your career? Even the smallest changes to your routine will increase your energy. Always work at your desk? How about a new coffee shop? Work out in the morning? How about a lunchtime yoga class? Always dress down? Where is that diamond tiara?
2. Add dark chocolate.
Alongside novelty, small amounts of pleasure dotted throughout your day return a surprising amount of glow, which can help you experience your work afresh. An orchid on your desk, a new tea mug, three (or four) squares of dark chocolate savored mid-afternoon, a 10-minute late-afternoon stroll watching people or clouds: it's not about fancy or expensive but about remembering pleasure matters just as much as efficiency.
3. Set aside time for free choice.
Too many daily shoulds and to-dos bring out the rebel in us all, and we may perversely turn away from what we love out of a misguided need for freedom. Instead, set aside two or three hours for yourself several times a week if you can. During these times, do only what you want. No agenda, no shoulds, only asking, "What do I want?"
You may end up writing up a long overdue report, organizing your music, chatting with a long-lost friend, taking a nap. Just be sure and drop anything that starts to feel like a should or a habit -—that includes checking email and surfing the Internet. It's amazing how well this works to recharge you.
4. Experience beginner's heart again.
Go back to when you were first learning your passion. Remember the thrill of coaching your first client or doing a handstand or mastering Excel? Touch back into that initial excitement. Turn up the feeling and savor it. Focus on the emotions of discovery for a few minutes once or twice a day and you'll help reset your brain — and your mood — to a more grateful place.
5. Woo-hoo your wins.
Research shows that celebrating your successes, no matter how small, is crucial to learning and sticking with a new habit. But once we get good at something, we start to shrug our shoulders at our wins. This is related to hedonic adaptation — basically, you've heard it before, so you dismiss its importance. Stop that! Start collecting those glowing emails, great sales reports, fantastic evaluations, and then share them with someone else. Being witnessed in your wins helps you stop dismissing and reignite your enthusiasm.
Mentoring others is one of the most reliable ways to see your calling anew. Watching others fall in love with — and master — your subject is infectious. To prepare, you'll need to revisit your knowledge so you can break it down into digestible steps and create experiences to illustrate important points. You may even find yourself developing new income streams or becoming inspired with new ideas. Plus, seeing yourself as part of the lineage of your passion can help you recommit to mastery on your path. Your calling — no matter how inspired by love and passion — requires tending, just like your relationships. And just like your relationships, a little attention goes a long way!