Pursuing Your Passion: Recognize the Spark and Let It Ignite You

What happens when you’ve been concentrating on one big goal, making progress, and then BAM! One little thing happens that makes you say, “Wait a minute! I’ve been working toward this, and I know it will be great, but I’m realizing that what I should have been concentrating on all along is something else.” You realize you should have been pursuing your passion, and your entire world shifts.

What do you do? How do you feel? Are you a failure if you switch things up? Will that “big goal” you were working toward become just one more unfinished project if you move to something else in the interest of pursuing your passion? Did you forget to use powerful goal setting tips?

The advice you read everywhere is absolutely spot on: work on your passion project FIRST. Click To Tweet

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I love to write. My dream for over 30 years has been to write. Like, holed up in a remote cabin all alone, churning out reams of writing on a regular basis, all because it’s just what I love to do. That kind of dream.

As part of my writing process, I began blogging. Which has been awesome, and not at all what I expected when I began.

Then I discovered freelance writing was an actual “thing” and I thought, “Writing for pay? That’s pretty cool!” I started looking into it. But, being me, I felt that because I was already blogging, I didn’t have time to really make a go of freelance writing as an income replacement alternative. 

I commented once on a freelance writing blog, “I sort of wish I had already been a freelance writer before I started blogging.” The blog owner tried to encourage me by saying something like, “What’s stopping you now? You can always shift your priorities.”

You know what? In my heart, I didn’t believe her. So I kept reading about freelancing, tried to psych myself up to throw myself into it, didn’t do it, and felt like a failure because I couldn’t take that step.

Major hint: Failure to commit probably means it’s not really your passion, even if it seems like something you “should” want to do!

But I kept blogging, which has ended up bringing in an income, just in a different way. And I have to say, blogging is actually quite perfect for someone who doesn’t always want to be told what to write about. 😉 Hello! An independent blogger can write about anything! (If you think blogging might be for you, check out Suzi Whitford’s FREE blogging introduction The Blog Plan.)

But, this post is actually about what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks — what I’ve learned, and the lessons I want to pass along to you.

The Spark

Some really great stuff happened in January that caused me to rethink my priorities. Because of one tiny, frightening mouse click when I put my blog out there for people I actually know in real life, I was able to reconnect with someone who absolutely blows me away by the amazing things she’s been doing.

I didn’t even know this person liked to write, and now I find out she’s become an incredibly prolific writer who makes a good monthly income from doing what she loves. It completely turned my brain upside-down and inspired me.

I was like, “How are you doing this? Tell me everything! What programs/tools are you using to do A and B and C and X and Y and Z?” Because, in my mind, you have to do all of those things to be successful. And you need a plan. And you have to go through ALL the steps to do something “for real.”

You know what her answer was? “I don’t do ANY of that stuff. I just write. Then I publish.”

That answer, my friends, CHANGED MY WORLD. Back to basics, people! I started writing, and I went deeper than the 500 daily words that I usually shoot for. I started writing hundreds of words, then thousands. I started writing with a purpose.

And I started to believe. In the work. In myself. In the fact that this book thing really will happen.

Pursuing Your Passion: Recognize the Spark and Let It Ignite You | www.fillingthejars.com

How to Make It Work For You

Believe You Can Do It

Nothing will ever happen or be finished if you don’t believe in yourself. Honestly, this is the hardest part. While I LOVE to write and have been told I’m pretty good at it, remembering that and believing it are tricky. No matter what my current passion is, I always hit a wall of self-doubt.

You HAVE to blast through that wall. I’m doing it right now by continuing to write a story even though my brain is screaming NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Plug in the earbuds, turn on your favorite music, and drown out those negative thoughts.

If you’re worried about leaving an unfinished project to move on to something else, think about this: It’s likely that your current passion is related to whatever you were working on before, so you will probably be able to incorporate the old into the new. And if they are unrelated, you can worry about it all later. For now, be happy and excited!

Blast through your wall of self-doubt and let your passion ignite you! #motivation Click To Tweet

Allow Yourself To Dive Into the Depths

Be consumed. Don’t do it half-assed.

The advice you read everywhere is absolutely spot on: work on your passion project FIRST. And, as I mentioned in the post Stop Thinking & Start Doing, allow yourself plenty of time for that.

So, right now I’m allowing myself to pursue my passion. I absolutely KNOW that if I don’t do it RIGHT NOW, I’ll lose momentum. Plus, I want to come out on the other side with all sorts of great advice for you!

It’s not all easy, but it is SO EXCITING! And I love that I can blog about it, which makes me feel like I’m still working on two things.

Come Up for Air (Sometimes)

This post is me coming up for air, taking some time to check in.

I also try to spend a part of every evening with my family. It’s not always a lot — after all, how much time can you really force a teenager to spend with you? 😉 But I do make a point to stay off the computer in the evenings when my husband is home, and I usually turn off my phone by about 8:00 or so.

You guys, I have to say that I have not felt this positive about life during late winter in Michigan in so long… Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t sinking into some depression at this point of the season. (Full disclosure: Mother Nature is helping out this year! It’s been SUNNY and WARM for quite a bit of the past couple of weeks. Loving this!) I find myself smiling every single day, eager to tackle life and better able to roll with the not-so-great stuff that happens.

I have no intention of ending the blog — I’m definitely addicted!

The other day I asked myself if I would stop blogging if I had the opportunity to earn a full-time income by writing fiction. (Okay, so I can dream. 😉 ) Anyway, I sort of surprised myself by realizing that I have NO desire to stop blogging.

In fact, I’m using the process of pursuing my passion of writing fiction to brainstorm new ideas for posts to help YOU prioritize and pursue what matters most to you so you can Build Your Best Life!

Update: In the time since I first wrote this post, I have:

  • Published 5 quick-read cozy mysteries in Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune World.
  • Started working on my next story in the series (sign up HERE to be notified when it’s released)
  • Written and published the ONE FOCUS Method book.
  • Quit my part-time job so I can work from home full-time.
  • Grown my business to a healthy full-time income.

THAT is what you can accomplish when you pursue your passion, even if you are an overwhelmed overthinker.

Amaze yourself!

You’ve got this!

Pursuing Your Passion: Recognize the Spark and Let It Ignite You | Be happy, be excited, and discover what happens when you blast through the wall of self-doubt and begin pursuing your passion... | www.fillingthejars.com
Be happy, be excited, and discover what happens when you blast through the wall of self-doubt and begin pursuing your passion... | www.fillingthejars.com

Be happy, be excited, and discover what happens when you blast through the wall of self-doubt and begin pursuing your passion... | www.fillingthejars.com

Pursuing Your Passion: Recognize the Spark and Let It Ignite You | Be happy, be excited, and discover what happens when you blast through the wall of self-doubt and begin pursuing your passion... | www.fillingthejars.com

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10 thoughts on “Pursuing Your Passion: Recognize the Spark and Let It Ignite You”

  1. Hi Julie! Love this concept and congrats on finding and fulfilling your passion! After doing some self assessment and discovery tests, I read in a career book, The Pathfinder, that not everyone necessarily has a passion or is a passionate person. I reluctantly believe that may be true for me. As much as I want to have a fulfilling career and make some sort of money doing what I love, I don’t believe I have a true calling or passion – at least not yet. Life for me right now is working 7:30-4:30 and balancing being a mom, wife, step mom (to a teen), homemaker, and trying to have a healthy family. I’m not sure how to pursue my passion even if I found it! Do you have any insight!? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Krystal! So many thoughts started going through my head when I read your comment, because I’ve had many of the same feelings. It sounds like you’re in a very busy season of life, and I think it’s harder to recognize sparks when we have so much on our plates. Plus, I totally get the idea that not everyone has a passion. I also have a feeling you’re the type of person who is capable in many areas. That makes it even more difficult to “decide.”

      Have you read “The Art of Work” by Jeff Goins? He talks about an interesting concept called a “portfolio life” — our “passions” may change throughout our lives, or it may take us many years to actually realize what we were “meant” to do.

      A couple of thoughts: 1. Was there anything you absolutely loved to do before “real life” began? Even if it’s not something that seems career-worthy, maybe it’s time to pick that back up as a hobby, see if the interest is still there. 2. Be open to recognizing the potential in offhand comments people make, especially when they say “you would be really good at…” or “you should be a…” When people say those things, does it ever sound interesting, but maybe you blow it off as unrealistic? Don’t do that.

      I would love it if you could keep me updated on this, either here in the comments or by email – [email protected]

  2. I love this post! Sometimes we ignore the signals we are getting from the universe. I recently re-read The Alchemist which really focused on purpose, the signals or spark as you phrased it and following your path. I’m finding my purpose as well. The funny thing is I’m also Julie, spent 22 Michigan winters before I migrated south, and I started EBA last week and I’m loving it! Taking a few minutes away from Unit 2 to blog hop. Wishing you every success in your writing! I’m visualizing seeing your book in a bookstore window or my Amazon feed. I can’t wait to read it!

    1. Hi Julie! (Someday I hope to convince my husband to move south, at least for the winters!) It looks like you have a good start on your blog, and I know you will love Elite Blog Academy! Looking forward to watching your progress! Thanks for mentioning “The Alchemist” — I had never heard of that book, but it’s now on my must-read list. 😉 I’ve spent a long time ignoring signals, and learning to listen is really quite a mindset shift.

  3. That is wonderful to hear Julie, you sound so content with what you are doing. I have been thinking a lot about this sort of thing since Ruth Soukup wrote about Playing to your strengths. Not putting so much energy trying to fix our weaknesses. It makes so much sense. So it is good to hear your story and how you are moving forward.

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  4. You are so in my lane of passion with this post about pursuing your passion. 🙂 I believe we MUST follow down the path of what we’re passionate about because our passion is deeply connected to our purpose. And the most important thing I’ve learned in pursuing my passion is to learn to do things afraid. It gets so much easier after we move. Great post. #MMBH

    1. Hi Brandi! Thank you so much for visiting from #MMBH and for your comment! I’m glad you liked the post. “Doing it scared” is something I have to work on every day…

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