Sunday, 2 September 2007

The Passion Test - The Secret to a Fulfilled and Happy Life

From my newsletter (visit to sign up) - April 2007

Who do you admire? Who are your role models in life? Why do you think “celeb” magazines are always top of the reader polls?

We live in a society where so many people want to be someone else, where celebrity status can be acquired by simply being in a position of having something, good or bad, to say about somebody else, where being chased by the paparazzi is cool. We live in a world where reality TV is considered “real”, where “B” list celebrities living in a jungle, deprived of some food and washing materials is tough, where learning to dance on ice, ballroom dance, cook or sing is categorised as entertaining. We see wannabe pop stars abused by celebrities in an effort to “make it”.

I’m not saying this isn’t entertaining. After all, tens of millions of viewers can’t all be wrong, can they? I’m not saying that there isn’t a lot to be learnt from some of the content. Indeed, I learnt a lot from my daughter when during the last series of “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here”, when she was praying for one contestant to be booted out and I sarcastically contended that “he speaks highly of you” (or would if he knew her), and that she might be better served not judging people by the way they are portrayed on TV. Her response was to cut me down with “it’s alright for you, you just love everybody”. Not sure that is entirely true but the point was well made and left me considering whether that was true and what were the implications etc etc! (Isn’t it great how much we learn from our children?)

We were lucky enough to secure tickets to see a “real celebrity” in action last week. Dolly Parton, live in concert. Now this is someone I admire. This is someone who has “made it” by following her dreams and her passions, despite a fair amount of hard knocks on the way. She really is awesome in concert and her stories touch the heart. She doesn’t simply sing, she entertains in the true sense of the word, grabbing you by your emotions and leaving you with a sense of hope that the world is full of really good people.

They say a picture paints a thousand words. My view is that a song paints a thousand pictures.

I’ve rediscovered music recently. In my efforts to develop and grow, listening to hundreds of personal development CDs in the car I’d lost sight of the joy of music. Music has always been important to me since our childhood days being brought up on Neil Diamond, Tammy Wynette, John Denver, Abba, Top of the Pops with the silvery grey glitzy pictures that were considered the latest in special effects in the 70s. I’d forgotten just how music helps people to unwind, be with themselves, take stock, reflect, just enjoying the moment. Music is one way for me to move from contraction back to expansion.

Part of living a passionate life is recognising when you’re in “expansion” and “contraction”. This, from the book “Sad to Glad” by Janet and Chris Attwood, is just one of the tools we can use to ensure we stay on track living a life aligned with our passions. The first part of course, is to strip away the layers and get clear on our passions, what gets us up in the mornings, what drives us to achieve. Most of all, it is recognising that we are all unique. We all have something to offer and nobody else can be me! We, in turn, can be nobody else.

So, enjoy you being you and I will enjoy me being me. Know that you have a unique proposition for the world. You have something special to offer that nobody else can offer – YOU!

‘Til next time.


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