Maybe you’ve just started a new business initiative, and you’re fired up about it.
Or perhaps you’re an avid blogger or crafter or gym rat, and you invest numerous hours into perfecting your craft.
But have you ever considered that maybe your passion is ruining your life?
Let me explain:
The other night, as I sat hunched over my computer, my face wrought with fatigue from too many late nights blogging into the wee hours of the morning, my husband begged me:
“Please come to bed! I just want you in my bed!”
I scowled at him, upset over his apparent “selfish” demands for attention when I clearly had important things to do. Didn’t he see I was busy?
I spat, “I’m not blogging right now, I’m paying bills! If you want the mortgage paid, you need to let me get this done!”
(Well, I mean, I was going to be blogging afterwards…..and probably really late into the evening….so he wasn’t too far off).
But this wasn’t about money or bills. And it wasn’t even about blogging.
The real crux of the matter was that I have become so consumed with my passion for my blog and my creative outlet that my life has become unbalanced. My passion has turned into a slight obsession and has begun to interfere with relationships with the most important people that I love: my family.
And don’t get me started on the chronic sleep deprivation from only getting 4-hour “cat naps” each night…..
The fact is, passion is beginning to ruin my life.
But Isn’t Passion a GOOD Thing?
But first, let me just say that if you have found your passions in life, you are so blessed. Passion is life’s blood.
There are so many people in this world that get up each morning and drudge through the weary monotony of their day….only to come home and plop down in front of the TV or computer and waste the evening away with hours of reality non-sense or pointless Facebook statuses….only to wake up the next day to do it all over again.
They may be afraid to embrace their passion. They may not have even discovered their passion. Some may be facing serious problems or concerns in life and their passion has taken a nose-dive.
Or, maybe they’re just too lazy or busy to actively pursuit it.
But those people feel empty because their life’s passion is so elusive.
And then there are people like me…
You know the ones: we wake up each morning and can’t wait to get the day started, because there’s so much to see….so much to do….so much life to experience….and we can’t wait to further explore our passions, because, after all, we live it and we breathe it.
(We’re actually pretty annoying sometimes, right?)
But some of us—just like me—start letting this passion consume our life.
We become so enveloped in our passion and goal-chasing, project-completions, or never-ending “To Do” lists objectives that we start to struggle with balancing this passion with all the other important compartments of our life–family, marriage, health, and friends.
We stay up like vampires while the world sleeps and plug away at our craft, until our heads ache.
We think incessantly about how to get to the next level. At 3 a.m. we’re wired, and early anticipating the sunrise so we can get crackin’ again.
We cut off friends and family because they don’t share the same vision that we do. We don’t like their criticism. We say they’re not supportive.
We shun quality time with our significant others and children for the sake of productivity.
In short, we’ve become obsessed.
And although passion is indeed a very good thing, clearly it’s possible to become much too consumed–to the point that our relationships and health become sickly.
And the reality is that in all this glory of passion, we’re suffering, too.
We just don’t know it.
WHY Do We Become Unbalanced, Anyway?
I’ll agree that when you’re starting a new venture–be it a new business, a new blog, or even a new healthy eating program, there’s a certain amount of focus and dedication necessary to get you to the next level. It involves a great deal of sacrifice of time, energy, mental power, and sometimes money. But at what point does it become “too much”? And why did it get that way? Here are a few reasons why:
- It feels GOOD! We gravitate towards things that feel good. Passion feels good. It gives our life purpose, and who doesn’t like to live a purposeful life? Our soul craves it. We want more. And more….
- We lack structure. We fail to set clear boundaries and our passion begins to tromp all else.
- We are afraid to relax. If we relax, we fear that we’ll lose our momentum.
- Selfishness. Sometimes we feel entitled. How dare someone or something prevent us from doing what makes us happy?
- Desire for perfection. Nothing is perfect. We know that. But it doesn’t stop us from wasting our time for the pursuit of perfection.
So HOW Do We Fix It?
Clearly, I don’t have all the answers; if I did, my life would be perfect, right? But I’m suffering, just like you: torn between my passion and all the areas of my life that need me to be alert and ever present. However, here are some things that I am going to do to try to put my life back into perspective, while hopefully still being able to thrive in my passion:
- Keep life in perspective. As morbid as this sounds, one day I am going to die. So will you. And when you’re on your death bed, what will matter the most are the family and friends you love, and that love you, too. You’ll wish you had more time with them. You may even regret the time that you gave up with them to pursue something that once seemed so important but now seems trivial. Make today count. Lighten up and don’t exclude the people that matter the most.
- Create a schedule. Pencil in your passion. Allot all the time you’ll need. Give yourself ample time to feel satisfied. Try using a timer.
- Get disciplined. When it’s time to stop, then stop. Regroup and refocus.
- Drop the attitude. Your loved ones are not necessarily attacking you or your passion. They’re trying to make you understand that it’s okay to lighten up, or genuinely may not understand. Drop the attitude.
- Get some help. It’s okay to say you need help. Maybe get your hands on a copy of How to Balance Your Life when you need more tips on balancing work/life.
- Embrace imperfections. Life isn’t perfect, so stop trying to make it so. Embrace the imperfections.
Do you have any additional suggestions?
Have you ever been obsessed with something?
Did it start to ruin your life?
If you’ve liked this post, please take a moment to leave a comment.. Let me know what you think of this article. I value and respond to all comments. When you respond, it let’s me know I’m not talking to a black hole. THANKS!
Photos courtesy of Free Digital Photos