The short answer is no. It doesn't need to be.

The long answer is that we're all born with an affinity to do things that light us up - to be passionate and find joy in life. It's actually that we're taught not to be passionate, so it's about relearning how to tap into our deep desires.

Passion, desire, intensity, conviction, excitement, even anger are all tied together and, by themselves, can be somewhat empty. They can be fleeting, misdirected, and can ultimately lead to feeling unfulfilled if they are not grounded in your internal truth - tied to your personal compass's North. Without the heart, you don't experience these juicy emotions. Yet, without your head, these emotions can feel dangerous.

So, how do you tie them together? How can you be responsibly passionate? How can you cultivate conviction to a path or experience without being blindly led by your emotions or only listening to logic? Here are three simple steps (notice easy isn't the same thing as simple):

Step one: boil it down. Regardless of the desired outcome (money, status, success, etc), what do you love to do? If you could spend your most valuable resource, time, doing ANYTHING, what would that be? There's no judgement. Give yourself permission to explore. If you don't know right away, that's even more reason to do this! It could be anything from sitting on your butt, talking to people, to sky diving or playing music. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter if you do or don't do it yet. Just free flow and begin to feel excitement around just acknowledging what brings you joy.

Step two: brainstorm. Now that you've identified what you'd love to do, whether it's 10 things or 2, pick two to three and figure out how you might start small. If you're having a hard time picking, just feel into which one holds the most excitement or resistance. What you fear the most will bring the most growth. How can you bring more of those experiences into your life? If you're wondering how to make time in your crazy schedule, start with thirty minutes. Think of the twenty-four hours in a day - how many of those do you give to yourself? Most people might count an hour in the morning getting ready, but that doesn't really count. You're doing things for yourself, like grooming, eating a healthy breakfast, but you're probably not giving that time solely to yourself. Time to yourself is time when you're present, your mind isn't on your to-do list, your significant other, children, or any responsibility other than expanding your here and now. Being present isn't always easy. However, by spending time focusing your mind and spirit on that moment, distractions and external influences fall away. When you're "in the flow" you're engrossed in what you're doing and focused on doing and being, rather than thinking.

Step three: tie in a reward for yourself. For example, one of the things I love doing is drinking wine. I love the experience, the sophistication, and what seems like endless versions of the same thing. I love that it brings people together; there's a sense of learning that comes with it and it is often best paired with delicious food. So, when I needed to make some extra money sometime ago, I decided to find the best wine bar in town (as polled through friends) and apply. Turned out the owner wanted you to know what you're pouring, so I got to enjoy my passion, share that with others AND make money. Win! 

Your reward could have nothing to do with money, that was just one example. Maybe it's a physical object you have from wood working, jewelry, or painting. Maybe you decide you want to start a collection of some sort. Maybe you want to volunteer and be rewarded through gratitude. Whatever it is, find a way to tie in the "head" benefit - instead of justifying all the excuses of why it won't work, why it's silly, why you don't have the time, give yourself a reason to do the passionate activity. Give yourself a reason to find time, stay committed and ultimately give to yourself. 

By going through these simple steps, you begin to create more appreciation for the things that light you up, and can make space for more of it in your life. When you start following through on small passions, it starts to show up in other parts of your life and can quickly become a new lifestyle. Life is an incredible, tumultuous, sometimes trying ride. When you have experiences in your life that bring unexplainable joy and you give yourself permission to incorporate more of them, you open your life to magic. Do you want magic or do you want mundane?    


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